Moventas Completes First-Ever Clipper Up-Tower Service


Moventas USA recently carried out the first Clipper Liberty intermediate assembly roller bearing replacements that has ever been made up-tower. Mastering this type of challenging repairs is another example of the innovative, highly skilled SkyServiceTM that Moventas offers in North America and Canada.

Moventas’ Big Spring SkyService team completed yet another first when they replaced all four upper intermediate assembly roller bearings up-tower in a Clipper Liberty turbine in Hamburg, New York for their customer First Wind.

Introduced in 2006, the 2.5 MW Liberty turbine was the largest wind turbine manufactured in the United States when it was first installed. Its field failure began to occur shortly after the first installs and spiked in 2011 before Clipper divested in 2012. Until now, the Clipper gearbox that is of a unique design has only been accessible for service at the factory and at considerable expense to the end user.

Moventas worked in close cooperation with First Wind to understand the failure modes and the limitations in addressing those failures up-tower. In July, the Big Spring SkyService team successfully completed the first repair in New York within four days, extending the life of the gearbox.   

“The challenge was to develop the special tools as well as lifting and holding devices to access the upper housing half and intermediate gear assemblies,” said Steve Casey, head of Moventas North Amerifan facilities. “Designing and fabricating special tooling for challenging repairs is something that our Big Spring team has a lot of experience with.”

Moventas service teams located in Portland, Oregon and Big Spring, Texas work together to serve a diverse customer base, including OEM’s, O&M service providers and end users. With multiple workshops and regionally based field service and sales teams, Moventas offers local service and real time support, added with gearbox expertise that only an OEM can offer. Moventas also operates three tailor-made Mobile Service Units across the USA and one in Canada, making up-tower service fast and cost efficient.

The success of the Clipper project extends Moventas’ ability to address gearbox failures on-site and provides Moventas with further opportunities to grow its SkyService business in North America. Addressing the growing demand of life-extending gearbox service, Moventas has decided to open a new workshop facility and field service homebase in St Paul, Minnesota in February 2015.