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11/7/2016

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Windfarm:top5technicalrisks
Dec03PostedbywebmasterinWindTechnical
Greensolverisoftenaskedwhichtechnicalrisksaremostlikelytoaffectawindfarmsprofitabilityrisks
thatshouldbecarefullyconsideredandanticipatedinordertominimiseprojectdowntime.
AspartoftheriskanalysisrequiredbytheISO55001AssetManagementstandard,Greensolverhas
identifiedtherisksthathavethelargestpotentialimpactontheprofitabilityofawindfarm.Thesewere
identifiedbasedonthefrequencyofdamagetheycausedandtheeconomicimpactofsuchdamage.
Theconclusionsofthisstudyrevealthatthefivemajorriskstoprofitabilityare:gearboxdamage,rotor
damage,lightningdamage,firelossandelectricalfailure.
Gearboxdamage
Alongwiththeblades,thegearboxisoneofthemostimportantcomponentsofawindturbine,constantly
workingtoadapttheactivityofthegeneratortotheavailablewindresourceatanygiventime.
Asaresultofthemechanicalloadsplacedonthegearbox,theplanetgearteethcanerodeduetoexcessive
friction,andGreensolverwouldadviseassetownersandmanagerstoworkwithConditionMonitoring
Systems,suchasremotecontroloftheGearbox,sothatifsignsoferosiondoappear,swiftactioncanbe
takentopreventfurtherdamage.
Rotordamage
Damagetoarotorisoneofthemostexpensivelossesthatcanoccuronawindfarm.Arotorincludesthe
hubandtheblades,bothofwhichhavetoberegularlyinspectedforpotentialmalfunctionsanddefects
whichmayoriginateduringthemanufacturingprocess.
GreensolverchosetheCornisCamerasolutionforitsbladeinspectionservices,whichmakesuseofaHD
photographictechniquetoidentifyanywearandtear,allowingassetownerstorectifyissuesatanearly
stage.
Lightningdamage
Lightningdoesntaffectspecificcomponentsofthewindturbine,buthastobementionedasthemost
frequentexternalcauseofdamagetoanasset.Lightningstrikesnotonlycauseexternaldamagetothewind
turbine,butcanalsoaffectaturbinesinternalconnections,causingshutdown.
Thisdangerisparticularlyevidentatwindfarmslocatedinstormyregions,forwhichproperlightningrod
installation(bothonmonitoringsystemsandblades)andregularbladeinspectionsaretheonlywaysto
preventpotentiallysubstantiallossesasaresultoflightningstrikes.
Fireloss
Ofcourse,themainproblemwithfireisitspropensitytospread.Asaresult,installingfiredetection,
protectionandsuppressionsystemsisessentialonwindfarms.Thecausesoffirearewiderangingandit
wouldbedifficulttoprotectawindfarmfromitaltogether.Preventingitsspreadwhenitdoesoccur,
however,canandshouldbeachieved.
Electricalfailures
Theelectricalcomponentsofwindturbinesshouldbecarefullymonitoredatalltimes.Converters,in
particular,areliabletofailure.Topreventtheselosses,Greensolverwouldadviseassetownersto
compartmentalizetheconverterfromtherestoftheturbine,andcarryoutpreventativeconverter
maintenanceonaregularbasis.
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11/7/2016

greensolver.net/en/news/windfarmtop5technicalrisks?tmpl=component&print=1&format=print

Havingsparepartsavailableisoftenthekeytoavoidingsignificantdowntimeasaresultofelectrical
failures.Problemswithconvertersalonerepresent30%oftheregularfailuresaffectingwindturbines.
Keepingastockofcriticalsparepartsonsite,includingconverters,canmakeallthedifferencetomonthly
productionfigures.
OneofGreensolversjobsistoidentifyredflags,suchasthosebrieflyoutlinedinthisarticle,andhelpput
measuresinplacetopreventsubsequentlossestoanasset.Multiplesolutionscanbeappliedtomaximizean
assetspayback,dependingonitslocation,technicalspecificitiesandwindresources.Greensolvers
thoroughknowledgeofthesesolutions,alongsideallofthefactorsleadingtoprojectdowntimeandlosses,
allowsustoadviseprojectownersandoperatorsonthebestcourseofactions.
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