Due to these targets, we will see many new turbine farm deployments, a mix of both onshore and offshore. Not only is this a huge challenge from a manufacturing and construction standpoint but crucially also in effective maintenance – keeping the blades turning.
Access to and maintenance of wind turbines is both difficult and expensive, especially when offshore. On average turbines can only be inspected once or twice a year, when mechanical and electrical assemblies are checked, minor repairs are performed and consumables like greases, oils and filters can be exchanged, but what happens in between these infrequent service intervals?
Unlike most process critical rotating assets in manufacturing, such as gearboxes, it is not possible to take samples of oil monthly or quarterly to assess whether internal mechanical damage is starting to occur. The opportunity to predict a failure and intervene in time to prevent costly or even catastrophic damage with conventional maintenance practices is extremely limited.
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Gill Sensors & Controls Limited Unit 600 Ampress Park, Lymington, Hampshire, UK SO41 8LW
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