For the safety of our clients in the wind turbine industry, Annemoi is issuing an alert in regard to recently updated climb assist safety standards. In an industry where climbing safety is of central importance, it’s vital that we all follow the notices and standards issued by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). ANSI has raised a concern regarding the compatibility of climb assist systems and Climbing Ladder Fall Arrest Systems (CLFAS).
Compatibility concerns in wind turbine maintenance
ANSI stated its concerns as follows: “Because of possible compatibility concerns, the competent person should consult the manufacturer of both the climb assist system and CLFAS to determine if the systems are compatible. Considerations include connections to the user’s harness, spacing between systems on the climbing ladder, assist level setting, number of users and test records.”
In order for climb assist systems to comply with the ANSI recommendation, they need to go through a battery of tests in an ISO certified laboratory. These tests have to assess the system’s performance in all possible use and misuse scenarios. Unless these tests are all completed, workers who use the climb assist systems are at risk of injury or death due to potential incompatibilities.
Recommendations for wind turbine workers
For operators in the renewable energy industry, as well as their maintenance service providers, we recommend the following:
- Be aware of ANSI’s concern of the compatibility between climb assist systems and CLFASs.
- Insist upon compatibility testing for any systems you are considering using, or are already using.
- Avoid using climb assist systems if you are not sure of their compatibility, and wait until they have been tested.
Awareness of these concerns, as well as transparent communication between users and manufacturers, are key to bringing all climb assist systems in line with ANSI standards of compatibility and ensuring safety throughout our industry.
Anemoi provides a range of wind turbine services throughout the wind energy industry. Contact us for more information on wind turbine safety and maintenance.
In the wind turbine industry, as in most others, there are two related, but distinct forms of advanced maintenance that have taken the place of traditional, reactive repair methods. Predictive and prescriptive maintenance both help owners, operators and repair workers to stay on top of potential problems and keep turbines running with minimal downtime. What is the difference between the two, and which one is a better option for the wind energy industry?
Predictive maintenance uses condition-monitoring technology to continuously track the performance of wind turbines. As the monitoring tools follow the ongoing function of the turbines, they are able to detect possible faults and failures before they occur. Technicians are then alerted to the potential failure and are able to do preventive maintenance, replacements and repairs before the failure occurs. This helps to eliminate reactive maintenance, decrease downtime, and ensure continued running of turbines.
Whereas predictive maintenance spots potential failures, prescriptive maintenance goes one step further by not only predicting problems, but recommending actions to take that will prevent potential failure. So, the essential difference between the two methodologies is that, while predictive maintenance warns of impending breakdowns, leaving technicians to decide what action to take, prescriptive maintenance both predicts the problem and tells maintenance workers how to prevent it.
Anemoi makes use of both methodologies in our services to clients in the wind energy industry. These tools and technologies enable us to stay ahead of problems and keep the turbines running without interruption. Whether a turbine needs a gearbox oil change, a tower cleaning or yaw and pitch oil changes, or any of the range of services we provide, predictive and prescriptive maintenance routines help us to carry out these tasks timeously. Contact us for more information on our wind turbine maintenance services.
Offshore wind turbines may become the primary source of renewable energy for gulf-bordering states. Studies conducted by the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) indicate that wind energy may be the best renewable energy source for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Prospects of wind turbines: Analyzing offshore renewable energy sources
Researchers from the NREL were tasked with investigating technologies that could produce renewable energy. The studied options include offshore wind, wave, tidal, ocean current, ocean-based solar, and ocean thermal technologies. The prospect that showed the best potential is offshore wind because it is suitable for the scale of development required to power Gulf states. It is also the source that offers the most significant resource potential at around 508 gigawatts.
Economic feasibility of offshore wind technologies
In a second study by the NREL, researchers were tasked with determining the economic feasibility of developing offshore wind plants in Gulf states. The study showed that offshore wind was a feasible technology and identified six specific locations that were highly suitable for this type of development. Three locations, namely Port Isabel, Port Arthur, and Pensacola, were selected for further investigation to create a more detailed cost analysis for future offshore wind sites. Projected costs from the study show that some of these locations may reach the threshold of economic viability within the next ten years.
The study also provided positive numbers regarding the potential of job creation and gross domestic production that would be supported through construction as well as ongoing operations and maintenance. One of the offshore wind plants could account for 4470 construction jobs and over 150 permanent positions and could contribute $445 million in GDP during construction that would generate over $14 million in GDP annually.
NREL researcher and lead author Walt Musial has said that the oil and gas industries in the Gulf could capitalize on new energy opportunities by leveraging their ocean-based capabilities to expand business.
The Anemoi Energy Services team has serviced wind farms all over the United States, from coast to coast. We welcome the findings of the studies conducted by the NREL, and we’re proud to be a trusted name in the wind power industry. Our wind turbine maintenance technicians offer comprehensive wind turbine services from gearbox oil changes to scheduled maintenance and other services. We earned our stellar reputation by maintaining a safety record of zero incidents or environmental issues on any of our job sites.
For more information on wind turbines and our wind turbine services, contact us today.
Big data is playing a significant role in optimizing and regulating the wind energy industry, along with the broader renewable energy sector in general. Here is a breakdown of why big data is becoming such a game-changer.
What is big data?
Big data refers to enormous data sets that can be carefully analyzed using advanced technology to reveal various trends and patterns. These trends and patterns can then be used to tailor operations to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and optimize operations.
How is big data analysis benefiting the wind energy industry?
The main way that big data analysis is set to benefit the wind energy industry is by analyzing weather patterns through historical data. Owners of wind farms obviously rely on wind to generate energy. The more wind there is, the more power can be generated. Therefore, having a good general idea of when the wind will be readily available can help to increase wind energy production dramatically, all the while reducing production costs.
With the help of weather analysis through big data, wind farms will not need to spend money on improving wind farm infrastructure to increase wind energy production. This increase in production will be possible through merely optimizing how they use their already-existing wind turbines.
Besides uncovering weather patterns, it is predicted that big data will also be incorporated into streamlining wind turbine maintenance. In a few years’ time, it could work by analyzing when various aspects of maintenance should take place to maximize the lifespan and efficiency of the turbine and its parts. The data is also likely to be able to predict potential premature failures based on various conditions, making it possible for wind farm owners to take preventative action.
Here at Anemoi Energy Services, we specialize in wind turbine services and maintenance and play a part in ensuring the advancement and security of the wind energy industry. For more information about our areas of expertise, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
There is evidence that consistent wind turbine maintenance and modern manufacturing practices can help prevent wind turbine bearing failures. However, sometimes, despite regular maintenance and inspections, these failures still manage to take place and often long before the turbines are anywhere near their calculated lifespan. The question is, why? What causes them? And what can be done about it? We investigate below.
What causes wind turbine bearing failures?
Although it is not the only potential culprit behind bearing failures in wind turbines, the primary cause of these failures is overloading. However, did you know that underloading can also have negative effects on the bearings over time? When bearings are underloaded, they are especially vulnerable to surface damage in the event of sudden gusts of wind, grid faults, or braking. The destruction that takes place to the surface of the bearings can accelerate wear and tear significantly, ultimately leading to premature failure.
Other potential causes of wind turbine bearing failures include non-torque load sharing, insufficient maintenance, irregular inspections and changes of gearbox oil, axial cracks forming on the bearings, and carrier bearing clearance.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), over three-quarters of all wind turbine gearbox failures occur as a direct result of bearing failures.
How to prevent wind turbine bearing failures
It is recommended for one to invest in bearings made of premium steel, and to consider buying bearings that come with compressive residual stresses brought about by the previous loading. There are renewable energy experts who strongly believe that these types of bearings can effectively counteract the imposed higher stresses contributing to rolling contact fatigue, another common cause of failure.
Also, ensure that you turn to a professional to perform wind turbine maintenance at least once every year. Here at Anemoi Energy Services, we specialize in wind turbine services and maintenance and have the know-how necessary to keep your turbine bearings and gearboxes in tip-top condition.
Contact us today for more information.
According to statistics supplied by the American Wind Energy Association, wind turbines generated around 7.2% of the country’s electricity in 2019. That works out to the equivalent of powering 27.5 million homes! Wind energy is already a dominant force in the United States, and it is set to continue onwards and upwards in the coming years.
What the wind energy industry will look like in 25 – 30 years
Wind turbines play a significant role in the generation of renewable energy. Countries all over the world are starting to adopt wind energy as an alternative energy source. This is unsurprising considering how our planet is suffering as a result of fossil fuels and their impact on the earth’s atmosphere.
The great news is that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) hopes that this transition from fossil fuels to wind energy will continue to accelerate ever-faster over the next 25 – 30 years. In fact, IRENA estimates that wind energy could account for up to 35% of global energy requirements by the time 2050 rolls around. Having said that, plenty of change needs to happen for that feat to be possible. It means that the current capacity of wind energy would need to increase tenfold to 6,000 gigawatts, equating to an approximate 5,000 GW on land and an additional 1,000 GW offshore. A big ask – but entirely possible if the experts are to be believed.
Here at Anemoi Energy Services, we are proud to support the growth and development of the wind energy industry. We specialize in wind turbine services and wind turbine maintenance, including retrofits, gearbox oil changes/conversions, and annual/semi-annual maintenance. Get in touch today for details.