Upwind Blog

UpWind Solutions, Inc., North America’s most comprehensive independent operations and maintenance (O&M) service provider for wind energy, adds blade inspections using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to their services by partnering with SkySpecs. The partnership will revolutionize the way wind turbines are inspected, by delivering high quality images for reports, improving safety and reducing inspection costs.

A blade maintenance strategy is founded through compiling comprehensive site and blade health data, analysis of the data followed by a budget to enable a proactive program for the foreseeable future. What comes next is adapting an effective strategy of execution to the known issues and react to the unknown.

What is infrastructure reliability and redundancy? And why is it needed at your wind farm?

Infrastructure reliability and redundancy is one of the critical pieces of a project as it is the sites data bearing transport method and yet it is often over looked in the daily operations until it breaks.  Your infrastructure must be reliable to ensure data flow, and it also has to be redundant in the event of a failure within the infrastructure. Without both you may find your project not acquiring all of the needed data for operations. Without having full data acquisition, the site may not have the appropriate data for supplying reports to off-takers, utilities, regional authorities as well as internal financial staff for production sell.

At the 7th Annual Wind Energy Operations & Maintenance Summit in Dallas, TX last week, UpWind Solutions was nominated for and awarded the “Best Example of O&M Excellence” 2015. Wind Energy Update identified 6 categories for their inaugural O&M Excellence awards and we were thrilled to be recognized as a finalist, and then honored to win the ‘Excellence’ category. There are three reasons that this award means so much to me. First, O&M Excellence is a foundational initiative for UpWind, it runs through everything we do. Second, any recognition feels good because it validates what you are doing but peer recognition and votes mean even more. Third, being part of these important awards in a maturing industry, supporting them and representing the industry in the best way we can is a philosophical commitment of ours.

UpWind’s comprehensive O&M services now include two new options to optimize value and profitability throughout the project’s lifecycle.

San Diego - UpWind Solutions, Inc., North America’s most comprehensive independent operations and maintenance (O&M) service provider for wind energy, adds two new services to their portfolio to…

  • Optimize service value and asset profitability through the entire lifecycle of the project.
  • Help owners optimize the value of their OEM warranty and provide turbine protection options after the EOW period.

The new services, Warranty Optimizer and Turbine Protection, help wind farm owners increase production, lower operating costs, and extend asset life, ultimately maximizing profitability.

The question of what a project life cycle looks like seems relatively easy to answer, often being broken down into four phases; development, warranty, post-warranty and end-of-life. The more interesting question around the life cycle is when should Operations & Maintenance (O&M) start? The easy answer is …at the beginning. From project inception through to end of life, O&M strategy and execution must be considered, developed, tested, refined, and continuously improved.

Finalists for the 2015 Wind Energy Update O&M Excellence Awards Announced

The official shortlist for the upcoming Wind Energy Update (WEU) O&M Excellence Awards, sponsored by E.ON and Danish Wind Power Academy Americas (DWPAA), has now been released; the winner of each category will be announced on-site at the upcoming Wind Energy O&M Summit USA, Dallas on Tuesday 14th April. 

On 15 July 2013, the gearbox of an 11-year-old wind turbine failed while it was running.  The High Speed Shaft (HSS) bearings were determined to be the source of the problem – especially HSS‑B and ‑C which are its two downwind bearings, nearest the generator.  This blog briefly presents the history of the failed high speed bearings, correlates these data, and briefly discusses likely causes of this failure.  A more complete white paper is also available.  It includes oil particle analyses, borescope inspections, vibration analyses, SCADA data, and photographs of them which were taken after they were removed. 

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Industrial wind blades were not built to weather a 20 year life without maintenance as they inherently experience fatigue and normal wear and tear ultimately resulting in diminished AEP and increasing repair costs.  By adjusting the approach from reactive to proactive and staying ahead of the fatigue cycle, many of these costs can be avoided and in fact if approached appropriately can extend asset life.  Let’s examine what supports a proactive approach.