In 2001, I traveled to Southern California. While driving through Palm Springs near dusk, I was awestruck by the sight of hundreds of wind turbines silhouetted against the desert’s magenta sky.
I had never seen such a technological achievement before, and that image has stuck with me as one of the coolest things in recent memory.
Fast forward 15 years, and I find myself immersed in the world of wind, but this time I get to see it from the inside and the other side.
Despite having decades of editorial experience under my belt that includes a lot of writing on technology, the wind industry necessitated a bit of a learning curve when I became managing editor of Wind Systems.
Since then, I have thrown myself into a whirlwind of knowledge — every pun intended. I certainly never realized how much labor and technology across dozens of companies go into planning, building, and maintaining just a wind turbine alone. Then those turbines get multiplied and spread across a landscape forming the futuristic orchard that makes up a wind farm, and the intricacies of operating and creating electricity from wind multiplies exponentially.
Which brings me to the August edition of Wind Systems.
In this month’s issue, we focus on perhaps some of the unsung heroes of the wind industry: companies that deal with lubrication, filtration, and turbine foundations. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, or in this case, the squeaky bearing. If the inner workings of a turbine start to crumble, then that can eventually cascade into financial catastrophe.
That’s why the wind industry depends on companies that can supply lubricants and filtration systems to maintain turbines and stop problems before they happen. One need only to look at what C.C. Jensen has done for filtration systems to see how important this function is. This issue’s company profile looks at C.C. Jensen. It is a leader in filtration and lubrication for wind-turbine systems. It offers offline filtration systems that help keep wind turbines running smoothly and repair costs down.
On the subject of lubrication, Klüber offers up its expertise on when and where to use the right lubrication. The solution may be surprising.
Of course, keeping a turbine running is a moot point without a turbine foundation. RUTE Foundation Systems is developing new foundation technology that will cut the concrete used in foundation building by three-fourths. These companies and many more ensure the wind industry will spin on strongly into the future.
Yes, I’ve had to learn a lot in my first month at Wind Systems, but I’m not an expert — yet. So far, my learning curve seems to be bottomless. And because of that, I still find myself awestruck by how far the wind industry has come since I first set eyes on those shadowed, spinning towers on the West Coast.