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Let’s talk safety – What kind of maintenance do wind turbines need?

Wind turbines run continuously for 120,000 hours transforming kinetic energy generated by wind into electricity. To achieve the expected life span of 20 years, they need proper maintenance to operate safely. Read what operators need to look out for.

The consequences of a wind turbine failure can be dire. Whether it is due to component wear, or loosening of parts, it can have a detrimental effect on the performance, uptime, and production output of a turbine. As the turbine blades are put under tremendous strain when a turbine operates, it’s essential to check on them regularly for safety’s sake. In practice, performing scheduled maintenance work on the devices is imperative. The question is: how?

Preventive and predictive maintenance

“Prevention is better than cure” – this also applies to the maintenance of wind turbine devices. While regular inspections and routine checkups have the potential to prevent minor issues from becoming something significant, predictive maintenance is a whole different ballgame. The use of software applications to analyze data points and monitor a turbine’s speed, temperature, vibration, and other factors has been revolutionary.

Working with foresight

The maintenance of wind turbines occurs at predetermined intervals – normally once or twice a year whereby the important electrical and mechanical assemblies are checked. Condition-based maintenance and predictive programs are widely recognized forms of maintenance strategies. In that regard, SKF Remote Diagnostic services are next level due to the latest and most innovative technology and tools with cost-effective services. Combining easy-to-use sensor technology and the SKF Pulse app for intuitive condition monitoring, it informs the operators about the abnormalities of the equipment in real-time.

Corrosion protection

Industrial pollution, UV radiation, frost, salty air, and other similar pollutants are all foe of the wind turbines – causing corrosion. Although we cannot circumvent the machines from operating under such harsh environmental conditions, we can certainly protect them. For this reason, SKF has developed a range of lubricants that are proven effective against corrosion. Whether it’s LGHP 2, LGEP 1, or LGWM 1, the grease plays a decisive role in the service life of a wind turbine.

Ultimate drivetrain monitoring accuracy

Maintenance is a tough, time-consuming, and expensive job. While it’s essential to have a smooth maintenance process, sometimes false alarms can disrupt emergency resources. A big step towards more accuracy and detectability of the condition monitoring system is Protean. The system helps reduce false alarms triggered by weather conditions and can contribute to a healthy maintenance process with less downtime.

Safety is for everyone

Wind turbines hold a fantastic safety record – but like most types of moving machinery, they are prone to failure. However, as technology is opening more doors for the wind industry, it is easier than ever to take good care of enormous structures like wind turbines. High quality components like bearings, seals, and lubricants when paired with AI technology can ensure a smooth operation of the turbines. And guess what? At the same time, it would be increasing power production while reducing downtime.

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