Conversation with Chris Hardy

Director of Sales  |  Cv International


What is your role with Cv International?

I’m the director of Sales. My position involves interacting directly with customers, working with our team here at Cv International on advancing the technology of our current products, and working with our engineering department on new innovative products. I work with great companies such as Avangrid, Vestas, EDPR, and E.On to name a few.

What is the Wind Farm Nitrogen Service Suite?

The Wind Farm Nitrogen Service Suite is basically the entire high-pressure nitrogen servicing package — soup to nuts. From high pressure nitrogen generation or nitrogen storage to our high-pressure nitrogen Wind Kit point-of-use servicing equipment.

The majority of land-based wind farms will order their high-pressure nitrogen in bulk and have it delivered to their wind farm. Cv International will supply them with a nitrogen booster, which will pull the nitrogen out of the cylinders, utilizing almost all of the nitrogen that’s in those high-pressure storage cylinders. If they didn’t have our booster hooked up, they would end up leaving a good amount of nitrogen in the rented cylinders once the cylinders equalized. That would unfortunately, over time, become a substantial amount of wasted money.

The next piece is the Safety Fill Station. The Safety Fill Station is designed to help you safely fill our high-pressure nitrogen Wind Kits; you slide our lightweight carbon fiber cylinder in there; hook it up, close it, and turn on the booster. The booster pulls out the nitrogen from the storage tanks and fills it to 4,500 psi. Having the Safety Fill Station definitely gives you peace of mind when dealing with such high pressures.

At that point, you take the Wind Kits’ lightweight carbon-fiber cylinder out of the Safety Fill Station and carry it up into the nacelle of the wind turbine where you can use it for servicing accumulators and other high-pressure nitrogen needs. The Wind Kit is lightweight and ergonomically designed with the maintenance provider in mind. Use of the Wind Kit greatly cuts down on injuries and maintenance servicing time.

Why is this important for wind?

The way techs used to perform this service was with big steel cylinders that were roughly five feet tall and weighed about 250 pounds — obviously heavier than one person should typically lift.

They used to have to take those up into the nacelle and maneuver them around to fill the accumulators in order to service the turbines, which is not a very safe thing to be doing.
Our Wind Kits are lightweight and ergonomic — they’re just a lot easier for these techs to handle.

Our products help with reducing injuries and also help with time spent on servicing the accumulators.

The Wind Kit is lightweight and ergonomically designed with the maintenance provider in mind. (Courtesy: Cv International)

What else makes your products unique to wind?

I think our product’s inherent safety features, ease-of-use, and time saving abilities in helping to complete these specific tasks separates Cv International from the competition and helps make these products unique in this industry.

These products are specifically built for this type of work, and our equipment is designed to last for years. We stand behind our warranty.

As the wind industry has evolved, how has Cv International evolved with it?

It’s definitely becoming a bigger part of our program. We continue to see more and more interest all the time.

Wind-farm-maintaining companies continue to come to us to supply them with our high-pressure nitrogen systems. We are the standard in this industry when it comes to high-pressure nitrogen servicing equipment. We have a whole bank of engineers here to help with whatever challenges may come up.

At CvI, our tagline is, “Global challenges, innovative solutions”; that’s who we are and what we do. We believe that as industries evolve, we can evolve with them. We have that ability. We’ve done it before, and we will continue to do it. We see things on the horizon like the offshore wind farms that have come to the coasts of America. We are already having conversations here at CvI on what we can do differently to help mitigate the challenges associated with offshore farms. We’re open and willing to work with people in this industry to help them overcome their challenges.

How do you work with a customer when they come to you with a challenge?

When a customer comes to us, we download whatever information they have, and we take it to our team to see how we can best help with whatever challenge they may be facing.

Where do you see the growth of wind in the next decade, and how do you see your place in that future?

Whether it is land-based wind farms or offshore wind coming to the coasts of America, our Wind Kits will continue to be a big part of high-pressure nitrogen generation and servicing in this sector. You will have to ship or fly everything out to the offshore turbines. This will especially be an area where our products really make sense.

I especially see nitrogen generation as something that CvI will play a big part in. We have been supplying nitrogen generation for the U.S. military for over 30 years. We’re on military bases all around the world with our stationary and mobile nitrogen generation. This is something that is going to be needed for this growing sector. CvI can help wind-farm maintainers to save money by removing the logistical nightmare of delivering high-pressure nitrogen to these offshore sites while also trimming man hours and improving safety.

For us, our products just make sense for this sector. One of the reasons why we know it makes sense is because of how many customers continue to come to us for their high-pressure nitrogen needs.

We recently supplied Avangrid with our serving equipment at nearly every one of their sites. By doing a group buy such as that, we were able to provide them with a discount on the equipment, which saved them thousands of dollars. The group buy is a direction where we see a lot of our customers heading.

Whether it is calls from Vestas, Siemens, EDPR, Avangrid, or companies operating in Canada, we stand at the ready to help them get exactly what they need in this area of high-pressure nitrogen servicing.

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