Wind turbines
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With the Federal Government’s recent initiatives supporting offshore wind projects, opportunities for wind generation are rapidly expanding. However, the unique maintenance requirement of turbine mechanics presents distinct challenges that can prevent operators from getting the most out of their investment.

The intricate design and sheer height of wind turbines means maintenance is a complicated undertaking that demands highly trained technicians who can safely navigate both the heights and the complex mechanical components.

Turbine blades are susceptible to wear and tear from continuous exposure to varying wind speeds and weather conditions, which can significantly impact the turbine’s efficiency and overall energy production. The solution is a proactive approach to turbine maintenance that harnesses the most cutting-edge tools available to achieve minimal downtime and optimal energy output.

Here are four essential tips for getting the most out of wind turbines.

1. Streamline yaw brake replacement

Yaw control is essential for optimising energy output and minimising stress on its structure during varying wind conditions. However, replacing the yaw breaks can often pose a challenge. Yaw brake callipers can weigh between 60kg to 200kg. With some turbines featuring up to 20 brakes, this places great strain on personnel. Many turbines do not have in-built elevators either, so personnel have to climb a 100m high ladder before repairs can even commence.

Regal Rexnord’s Yaw Brake Lifting and Installation Tool can enable easy interchange of yaw brakes in-situ, eliminating the need for heavy lifting. Brakes can be attached to the tool and lowered down to the floor for maintenance work, and then the reassembled units can be raised back up. This tool is available in various configurations to suit multiple turbines. Weighing in at 40kg, it can be easily transported too.

2. Conduct up-tower maintenance on-site

Traditionally, servicing yaw brake discs required the complete disassembly of the large turbine nacelle, and components had to be transported elsewhere for maintenance, costing operators valuable time and resources. Using a portable Disc Resurfacing Tool, up-tower operations can be carried out on-site with increased speed.

Featuring a compact design and milling machine that quickly replanes the disc, Regal Rexnord’s Disc Resurfacing Tool can operate inside the turbine nacelle, eliminating the need for nacelle disassembly. This eases maintenance work, while maximising energy output and reducing downtime.

3. Employ tried-and-tested expert solutions

To optimise wind energy output, it’s crucial to have access to a specialised expert capable of swiftly delivering comprehensive solutions.

Regal Rexnord develops its products in close partnership with onshore wind turbine OEMs, shaping its components and assemblies to suit designs from the initial prototype phase. All braking systems have undergone rigorous testing in cold, hot and humid weather conditions to guarantee performance.

Replacement components and assemblies are guaranteed OEM quality, adhering to break specifications. Regal Rexnord also offers aftermarket support for various turbine parts, including but not limited to brakes, pads, pistons and seal kits. Employing a turnkey approach throughout the turbine lifecycle allows for exceptional product performance that extends service intervals, allowing turbines to spend longer producing valuable energy.

4. Secure 24/7 support

As early installations grow older, responsive maintenance support is important for reducing unforeseen downtime. Regal Rexnord offers its customers 24/7, 365 days-a-year global maintenance support via a dedicated service app that provides access to key technical information and guidance for critical repairs. Through a combination of the latest tools and continuous expert support, wind farm operators can overcome the challenges of turbine maintenance and significantly optimise wind turbine efficiency.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Regal Rexnord. For more information, visit www.regalrexnord.com

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