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.
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.
San Diego - UpWind Solutions, Inc., the wind industry’s most comprehensive operations and maintenance (O&M) service provider, has installed Vortex Generator (VG) technology at six of BP Wind Energy’s wholly-owned US wind farms: Titan 1, in South Dakota; Edom Hills in California, Flat Ridge 1 in Kansas; and Trinity Hills, Silver Star 1 and Sherbino 2 in Texas. When several hundred VGs are installed on wind turbine blades, they can improve aerodynamic efficiency and can increase the power generated by the turbines.
UpWind brings Josh Crayton on board to help lead and innovate the team’s blade operations and maintenance (O&M) services. Josh brings nine years of wind turbine blade O&M experience. He is the new Business Manager of Blade Services and will be helping wind farm owners extend the life of their assets and improve production through blade upgrades and reliability-centered maintenance for blades.
What is Reliability-Centered Maintenance?
“A reliability-centered maintenance program includes only those tasks which satisfy the criteria for both applicability and effectiveness. The applicability of a task is determined by the characteristics of the item, and its effectiveness is defined in terms of the consequences the task is designed to prevent.” (Source: Nowlan and Heap, 1978)