Conversation with Chris Hardy

Director of Sales  |  Cv International


Remind our readers what Cv International means to the wind-energy industry.

We approach the wind industry with innovative products that are ergonomic and focused on safety. When there is an issue, we provide a solution. When it comes to the high-pressure nitrogen servicing side of the wind industry, we are the standard.

Specifically, Cvi offers a variety of safe products to generate, boost pressure, store, and deliver nitrogen. Cvi’s WindKit is the “go-to” nitrogen delivery system for wind-farm service technicians. The WindKit efficiently interfaces with, supplies, and controls high-pressure nitrogen gas to today’s wind-turbine generators.

Speaking of the WindKit that you’re referring to, what makes the WindKit important to the wind technician?

Technicians use the WindKit up in the nacelle to service the accumulators, and our WindKits are lightweight, as well as ergonomic and safe. When you’re dealing with pressure that high, there needs to be a focus on safety. For us, it was safety first and then the actual ease of use for the customer.

Anything else in particular about the WindKits that you’d like to elaborate on?

When you’re headed up to heights like that, you want to feel secure with your equipment and the tools that you’re using. It’s easy to get them up there, but they’re also easy to use, and they get the job done once you’re up there. That’s what our products provide.

Safety is always of the upmost importance to a technician who’s often hundreds of meters above the ground. How do Cvi’s products help with those safety issues?

It starts with the quality of the products and the quality program that Cvi has in our manufacturing department. There’s a lot of thought about which components go into making these products. It’s designed in a way where safety comes first.

Specifically, it’s safer when it’s compared to what used to be used and with our products now. Technicians used to have to take up these giant steel cylinders that were 5,000 psi that weighed hundreds of pounds. They would take these up into the nacelle and maneuver those around to service the accumulators. Whereas ours are much lighter and much easier to maneuver up in the nacelle. Our cylinders are similar to a Scuba diving cylinder. They’re carbon fiber wound over aluminum, which makes them lightweight, tough and very easy to handle. They are also 4,500 psi, which allows the user to get a lot out of that cylinder.

Ergonomics can often be pushed to the side, but it is an essential part of the technicians’ overall safety as well. What have Cvi products done to ensure a tech’s long-term physical care is addressed in terms of ergonomics? How does the product help with that?

I’d say, first off, the design is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It’s a pretty simple product.

Because it’s lightweight and compact, it allows technicians to maneuver more freely inside the nacelle while servicing the accumulators. It also allows them to maneuver the WindKits easily.

How do the needs of Cvi’s customers drive your innovation?

We make decisions and measure their success based on how well it serves our customers. Cv International is mission-focused on delivering innovative solutions to our governmental, public-, and private-sector customers worldwide. In doing so, we help to ensure a safe, effective, and efficient work environment for those technicians using our equipment.

With Cvi, we speak to the technicians on the ground all the time. We listen to them, and we try to adapt with their needs. If we have an issue, we take it to our engineering department, and they help come up with a solution.

Did you have any specific examples you can discuss?

The accumulators, for instance, are made by many different companies around the world, and that means there are different types of connectors on these accumulators. So, someone will come to us and say, “We need this certain type of connector,” so I’ll take it to my engineering department. My engineering department will then work on coming up with the proper interface to help these technicians get their job done.

There was another instance where the technicians were wanting a way to support the cylinders in the WindKits once they were in the nacelle working. Basically, what we came up with, was a harness and a carabiner that allowed the technicians to hang the WindKit in the nacelle while they’re working.

How does this factor into Cvi’s ability to work with its customers?

It’s our knowledge of the industry and our ability to maneuver with our products and come up with innovative designs. We have the WindKit, but we also have our high-pressure nitrogen booster, which helps them utilize all of their purchased nitrogen from their storage tanks and then feeds it to our Safety Fill Station. That’s actually what’s in the shop on the ground. So basically, a customer will end up buying a bank of high-pressure cylinders from a company such as Airgas, for example. When they do that, we then supply them with a Booster and a Safety Fill Station, which allows them to fill the cylinders to high pressures in a safe manner quickly and efficiently.

What about this situation makes Cvi unique to the wind-energy industry?

As far as I know, CVI is the only one that can deal with this level of safety and do it efficiently.

We also constantly push ourselves to be our best; we focus on solutions, and we arrive every day inspired to make an impact through our talents, passion, and hard work.