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December 2022

Case Studies: Transportation Challenges

Whether it’s moving massive parts for onshore or offshore wind projects, transporting equipment to its final destination involves precision work and planning.

Moving an 80-metric-ton transformer A team with Collett & Sons, a company that transports difficult and abnormal loads worldwide, took on the unique challenge of transporting an 80-metric-ton transformer to the Harting Rig Wind Farm Substation in South Lanarkshire, U.K. Appointed by Fracht UK, Collett was tasked with providing a transport solution to deliver the […]
Wind Systems staff

Building Wind, Building a Workforce

The renewables industry must look in new places to fill growing skills gap.
By Mikkel Lund

Achieving net zero will require us to simultaneously clean up and dramatically scale up electricity generation to two and half times today’s levels by 2050, creating enormous demand for new skills. Achieving such a rapid scaling up of capacity will mean the number of jobs across the energy sector will have to increase significantly over […]

October 2022

Maximizing the Potential of High-Power Wind Turbines

With rigorous investment and innovation under way to make offshore wind turbines larger and more powerful, MV converter technology will play a key role as wind-turbine power increases.

Offshore wind, now globally recognized as a proven and reliable source of renewable energy, is likely to maintain a high growth rate in the coming decades. This is according to the Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition, who says that by 2050, 1,400 GW of offshore wind could power one-tenth of global electricity demand. An integral […]
Daniel Gerber

Case Study: Wind Turbine DFIG Generator Slip Ring Defect

This case study shows how, in time, detection of slip ring defects could result in fast and non-expensive repairs.

Doubly fed induction generators (DFIGs) are still the most popular generator configuration seen in the wind-energy sector. They offer higher efficiency in variable wind conditions, but an extra component is needed to accomplish this task: the slip ring assembly. This is one extra machine part that has its own maintenance issues, and, therefore, it has […]
Mike Hastings

September 2022

Tackling Tough Net-Zero Goals

Canada is once again experiencing renewables growth, but the country still has a lot of work to do to meet set emissions reduction targets.

Renewable energy grpwth in Canada started accelerating in 2021, and it’s expected to grow even more by the end of 2022. According to Robert Hornung, president and CEO of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA), Canada saw almost 1 GW of new capacity installed in 2021. That gigawatt broke down into about 700 MW of […]
Kenneth Carter

U.S. Offshore Ambitions Hinge on Supply Chain

With the proper planning and by incorporating some of the best experience from European models, the U.S. should be able to roll out robust offshore wind development.

Bold action comes from bold ambition, and ambitions don’t come much bolder than the United States’ plan to scale up offshore wind capacity from 42 MW to 30 GW by 2030. That goal will require wind farms across almost the entire coastline, yet today there are no commercial-scale offshore wind farms operational in the country. […]
Declan Slattery

Offshore wind opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico

Despite what is understood as the limited “wind to grid” capacity in the Gulf of Mexico, the footprint of the region has generated interest in using that relatively expansive geographic scope for various potential wind projects.

As the United States’ burgeoning offshore wind industry has dominated headlines and begun putting steel in the water along the Eastern seaboard, it has done so thanks in no small part to the equipment, know-how, and experience of the oil and gas services industries throughout the Gulf Coast. Just as the Cajun Mariners helped develop […]
Christopher Hannan, Joe Tirone

August 2022

Protecting equipment from harsh environments

An industrial-grade corrosion inhibitor and cleaner prevents rust and electrolysis while improving electrical function in wind-energy components.

Ensuring the long-term success of wind systems and the alternative energy sector will require protecting a wide variety of equipment from the elements in harsh outdoor settings while optimizing performance and minimizing required maintenance. For wind turbines of all sizes, critical components must be able to stand up to constant exposure to sun, rain, dew, […]
Del Williams

How drivetrain monitoring systems can pack a hidden punch

With their existing drivetrain monitoring systems, wind-farm owner-operators can now access insights on the health of turbine foundations.

Monitoring wind-turbine drivetrains is one of the most cost-effective tools operators have, enabling them to transform the way wind assets are run and slash operations and maintenance costs. When combined with real-world engineering knowledge and powerful predictive analytics, drivetrain data — specifically vibration — provides months of lead time for major component faults, making catastrophic […]
Ian Prowell, Ashley Crowther

July 2022

Increasing safety in the workplace

Proper safety measures and training are critical to the advancement of the wind- and renewable-energy industries.

It was about 4:45 a.m. in the summer of 1979. The sun was about to rise over the Atlantic Ocean. As a 17-year-old in my third year as a stern man working on a lobster boat, I thought I was indelible — burning the candle on both ends as my grandmother would remark. We loaded […]
Dan Erickson

UL 6141/UL 6142: Electrical standards for turbines in the U.S.

Retrofitting legacy wind turbines and maintaining current capacity with UL-listed products ensures that your systems comply with today’s safety standards regulating the North American market.

Wind turbines are built to last an average of 20 years or more before they are either repowered — which requires a major component overhaul — or decommissioned and no longer deemed a viable operating wind turbine. Not only are the exteriors exposed to environmental extremes, but the mechanical components have to withstand even more, […]
James Moorman

June 2022

Predicting the unpredictable

Operating wind turbines with a condition monitoring solution equipped with the latest technologies and software enables non-visible existing and emerging faults to be identified earlier in the failure curve.

While the demand for cleaner energy and falling prices has increased the supply of wind power, the growth rate for new wind capacity is falling short of what’s needed to meet the world’s climate targets. One strategy to help bolster capacity is to enhance the operations of existing wind farms by extending turbine lifespan, enhancing […]
Thomas Andersen

Adding Intelligence to Your Tool Boxes and Cribs

Talking tool boxes that alert you when a tool hasn’t been properly returned – tool boxes and cribs are doing this, and much more, all in an effort to reduce tool loss on wind farms.

Tool control comes in all shapes and sizes. While there is no one-size-fits-all, there are plenty of options available to wind farms when it comes to getting a better handle on their tool control. Lost or missing tools cost the renewable energy industry hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, not only in lost revenue, […]
Mark Edmunds

Keeping tabs on the transformer

A reliable condition monitoring system can ensure that the electrical bushings – which are at a high risk of exposure – and other key elements are closely watched to avoid the sudden failure of the transformer.

Of all the components in a utility-scale wind or solar project, the Main Step-Up Transformer is probably the most important. The good health of this asset is of the utmost importance as it transfers the power from the field of harvest to the grid. In the present supply climate, failure of the transformer spells doom […]
John Eastman

May 2022

Wind industry powers forward despite delays, disruptions

While disruptions and delays kept the U.S. wind market from meeting expectations, 2021 still neared records as federal and state leaders helped offshore wind to finally take off.

In 2021, disruptions from COVID-19 affected wind markets around the world. Increasing commodity prices and the meteoric rise in freight costs pressured manufacturing margins and weighed heavily on project economics. Further, supply-chain disruptions delayed projects worldwide but had an acute impact in the U.S., India, and Taiwan. In the U.S., wind-capacity installations were down compared […]
John Hensley

New construction methods for offshore foundations and towers

New wind farms 50 to 100 miles offshore will be supported by either semi-submersible or spar-buoy floating foundations. These foundations and towers, supporting the wind-turbine generator’s nacelle and blades, incorporate new construction methods and materials resulting in lifespans measured in millennia rather than decades or centuries.

Offshore wind farms are at the heart of the world’s new environmentally sustainable floating infrastructures. Their efficient energy output will attract other new floating industries looking for offshore real estate, including desalination and water storage, hydrogen production and storage, liquid-air manufacturing and storage, data-center computing, storage, cooling, and much more. The long-term success of these […]
Andy Filak

How weather-decision support improves safety and reduces risk

Understanding and managing the weather is the key to safe and successful offshore wind projects.

Offshore wind development is booming. Following a significant surge in demand for renewable energy and a growing wind-energy market, developers increasingly shift to offshore locations to capture stronger and faster winds. Several European countries already leverage the powerful offshore winds of the North Sea; China connected close to 17 GW of offshore wind capacity to […]
Anna Hilden

April 2022

Focusing on helideck safety

New offshore wind-farm technologies can ensure that helicopter crews get to and from a site safely.

Helicopters are an integral part of offshore wind operations. Whether transporting crew members, moving equipment, conducting rescue operations, aiding with turbine maintenance, or conducting inspections, helicopters have numerous applications that support a strong investment in efficiency, productivity, and safety. Without the right intelligence, changing weather can be a costly factor. In fact, just one helicopter […]
Mikko Nikkanen

Getting wind of an opportunity

Massachusetts Maritime Academy partners with Building Pathways South to introduce offshore wind to pre-apprentice participants.

With the passing of the historic infrastructure bill in August 2021, the backbone of the United States will undergo a transformation over the next several years. Workers will be needed in all facets of the construction industry, and Building Pathways South (BPS), a pre-apprenticeship program in Southeastern Massachusetts, is preparing young men and women for […]
Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA)

March 2022

Ecological noise aspects of wind turbines

When looking for a wind-turbine site, it’s important to make sure environmental factors such as noise are considered.

This article focuses on the ecological noise problem and economical aspects justifying wind turbine installations. The environmental issue such as physical limits, noise levels, tower-design constraints, disturbances of local ecological system, effects on radio communications and television signals, zoning restrictions, and impacts on bird life must be studied in detail prior to the selection of […]
Abhishek Choubey, Neha Choubey

Constructing a drag-based wind turbine

This article displays in detail the main stages needed to develop, manufacture, and install a Lenz vertical axis wind turbine.

Due to the current technological evolution trend, the use of renewable energies seems to be the best suited solution for environmental protection against pollution. This article aims to present the methodology used for the manufacturing and assembling processes of a drag-based, vertical-axis wind turbine, the steps for both processes being addressed broadly. The manufactured vertical-axis […]
I.O. Bucur, I. Malae, B. Duran, D. Preda

A safer way to look inside the blade

Internal wind-turbine blade inspection using an innovative drone technology can cut inspection time in half, allowing 40 percent more of the blade to be inspected.

Ørsted A/S (formerly DONG Energy) is a Danish multinational power company based in Fredericia, Denmark. It is the largest energy company in the country, and a global leader in promoting practices that are friendly to the environment and designed to help reduce climate change. Ørsted has investments in a variety of green energy solutions, including: […]
Zacc Dukowitz

February 2022

Swarming: Adding Value to Wind Assets

The key to unlocking the potential of existing and new wind assets is to connect the dots and ensure turbines are sharing and acting on crucial data streams to operate for the benefit of the entire wind farm.

The energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables is fully underway. Concerted action by industry leaders and investors is set to rapidly accelerate renewable energy growth. Although momentum is gaining, new approaches to asset optimization are needed to make best use of the influx of capital into projects. DNV’s “Energy Transition Outlook 2021” forecasts that […]
Ed Wagner

Increasing bearing capacity at onshore wind farms

While new wind-farm construction is vital for the transition to sustainable energy, the maintenance and upgrade of existing facilities will play an increasingly important role in renewable energy delivery.

2020 proved to be a pivotal year for the global wind industry, as it recorded its best 12 months with the installation of more than 93 GW of wind power. In Europe specifically, 14.7 GW of new wind capacity was reported; 80 percent of which was installed onshore. Wind turbines typically require preventative maintenance checks […]
Ronald Kleinjan

Avoiding Catastrophe

It’s important that operator-owners take fire risk assessments seriously in the global wind industry.

The aftermaths of most fires are difficult to contend with. Whether in the home, the workplace, in vehicles, or industrial machinery, when a fire is allowed to take hold, there can be overwhelming financial, legal, and life-threatening implications. It is no different when a wind turbine catches fire — and the impact is felt on […]
Angela Krcmar

January 2022

Investigating offshore methodology

A new approach for a short-term wind speed model could optimize the design of offshore wind turbines.

Wind turbines in clean-energy production are like giant pinwheels that convert wind energy into electricity. Some of the strongest and most constant winds are those found offshore, feeding the need for floating wind farms and further research to advance renewable energy technology and methodology. Dr. Shu Dai, a doctoral graduate from the Department of Ocean […]
Hannah Conrad

The wind at your back

It’s important to tackle turbine downtime and lost energy to counter wind resource volatility.

Critics of wind energy waste no time reminding us that wind farms only generate power when the wind blows. Of course, it is not possible to control the weather, and wind-asset owners understand this. But with advanced digital tools that enable new operations and maintenance (O&M) strategies, owners and operators are increasingly taking back control […]
Evgenia Golysheva

Taking on Industry 4.0

As the wind industry embraces the importance of Industry 4.0, it becomes more important that the available tools are capable of communicating across multiple platforms.

The next phase in the Industrial Revolution is here: Industry 4.0. Following on the heels of the last great revolution in industry — the introduction of computing and automation into the manufacturing processes — the concept of Industry 4.0 focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. “Industry 4.0 is a big move,” […]
RAD Torque Systems