Category: Industry News


Key safety precautions for wind turbine workers

By marty-anemoi,

wind turbine maintenance

Falls, fire hazards, confined spaces, medical and first aid, machine guarding, lock/out electrical hazards, arc flash, and respiratory protection are just some of the many dangers that wind turbine workers face. To ensure maximum safety of wind turbine workers and to meet OSHA legislation, employers need to endeavor to exercise several essential wind turbine safety precautions and controls. Here are some safety tips for wind turbine workers.

First Aid personnel should always be on-site

At least one person qualified to administer first aid should be on-site whenever work on wind turbines is carried out. On construction sites, at least two people qualified and trained to administer first aid must be on-site when the installation, maintenance, or servicing of wind turbines is being conducted. It is also imperative that all workers performing any maintenance work must be trained in first aid.

Ongoing risk management and assessments 

Effective risk management is vital to ensuring wind turbine safety. Site managers and contractors should ensure that all wind turbine workers are correctly informed, educated, and knowledgeable about the risks and hazards that can occur during their duties, especially concerning electrical hazards and the risks of working with certain tools and materials.

Contractors and site managers should also endeavor to conduct ongoing task-specific risk assessments to uncover any hazards specific to their windfarm and implement appropriate control measures. Supervision is vital in monitoring operations and identifying areas for improvement and compliance.

Provision of personal protective equipment 

The provision of comprehensive personal protective equipment (PPE) is another crucial element of maintaining wind turbine health and safety. Any wind turbine worker exposed to a potential fall should be supported by a certified personal fall arrest system (PFAS), such as a full-body safety harness. PPE in the form of climbing helmets, safety glasses, head torches, arrest lanyards, positioning lanyards, overalls, safety vests, and safety footwear should also be provided to wind turbine workers.

Tool and equipment testing 

A qualified expert should be contracted to test all personal protective, safety, and rescue equipment, including fall arrest protection systems, ladders, elevators, electric hoists, pulleys, and cranes. A certified expert should also inspect all of the electrical tools used in the maintenance or servicing of wind turbines.

Active weather monitoring 

Severe weather conditions pose one of the most alarming threats to wind energy workers’ safety, especially as wind turbines are vulnerable to lightning strikes. Where technicians perform work on wind turbines during storms, strong winds, ice or snow, or bouts of lightning, the propensity for fires, falls, electrocution, and other potential accidents and injuries to occur significantly heightens.

Site managers should monitor weather forecasts and track wind, storm, lightning, and freezing reports. A proactive safety precaution can be to subscribe to mobile alerts regarding specific parameters set by the forecaster to reflect how weather conditions may affect the wind turbine’s location on your site.

By exercising these five key safety precautions, wind farm owners can make a conscious effort to protect the safety of wind turbine workers. ANEMOI offers comprehensive wind turbine services, from gearbox oil changes to scheduled maintenance and other services. For more information, contact us today.

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Global Wind Turbine and Maintenance Market to Reach $21 Billion by 2025

By marty-anemoi,

Wind turbine maintenance

The wind turbine and maintenance market will continue to grow at an exponential rate. This is according to a report which estimates an expected CAGR of around 8.54% in the sector until 2025. It should come as no surprise, as the benefits of this form of renewable energy have been poised to be undeniable in the years to come. Wind energy has continued to become cheaper and power generation in this form has also expanded to offshore projects, where even more wind can be captured and converted. But with a growing industry, comes maintenance. ANEMOI has compiled the perfect package of services we offer to our customers.

Scheduled maintenance 

Wind turbines need to be consistent, and we understand that. Our wind technicians lubricate moving parts on different components and check connections to ensure the proper operation of generators and other equipment. We offer this service two to three times per year to ensure that your systems operate optimally. 

Gearbox oil changes 

Our staff are highly analytical when changing gearbox oil, taking every care to ensure that your equipment is working at its peak performance. We have four temperature controlled segregated oil tanks for waste, flush, rinse, and filtered new oil.

Manpower augmentation 

We understand that wind energy projects are demanding, which is why we provide short and long term skilled and qualified staff to assist where you might need them. 

Retrofits

Yes, parts have a lifespan, but some components can be replaced or retrofitted to give your assets more time to be online.

The only guarantee to keep your wind turbines working when they need to, is to have them consistently maintained on a schedule. ANEMOI offers technical expertise and comprehensive wind turbine maintenance and servicing – get in touch with us today to discuss how we can assist you.

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An Overview of the Offshore Wind Energy Market in America

By marty-anemoi,

Offshore wind energy

The development of the U.S. offshore wind energy indicates that if we were to harness power generated from the wind alone, it could be enough to keep the entire country’s lights on, and then some. With copious natural resources on the East and West Coasts, as well as in the Great Lakes, all indications are that the U.S. will be putting more focus on developing and investing in offshore wind power.

Offshore wind energy projects in the U.S. 

It’s hard to imagine that the first offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm on Rhode Island, only came online in 2016. Fast forward just a few years to 2020, and there are now 15 active commercial leases to develop offshore wind projects in the U.S. The Department of Energy suggests that if stable policies were to be in place, the country could develop as much as 86 GW through offshore projects by 2050, recognising the potential benefits to be reaped from these undertakings. 

The first wind project in federal U.S. waters, the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, just recently installed two required turbines in June 2020, which will have a 12 MW generation capacity. While the project is still undergoing testing, it is expected to start operating commercially by the end of 2020.

The advantages of these projects do, of course, also come with their own ripple effect of driving economic growth in various other industries that will assist with the construction. The American Wind Energy Association reported early in 2020 that 83 000 jobs could be created by 2030 from the development of 30 000 MW offshore wind along the East Coast. Add to that, the AWEA estimates that it could also add $25 billion in annual economic output by that time.

For any commercial offshore wind energy questions or advice, the qualified team at ANEMOI are here to assist you. Our services include gearbox oil changes, scheduled maintenance, manpower augmentation, and retrofits. ANEMOI is here to assist you with all your offshore energy projects – get in touch today.

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The Biggest Renewable Energy Conferences in the US

By marty-anemoi,

Renewable Energy

With trends indicating that the production cost of renewable energy has continued to become cheaper over the last 10 years, it’s no surprise that the sector has gained all the hype it deserves. Wind and solar energy has not only become more affordable, but it also offers the appeal to businesses who want to leverage their reputation of being conscious of their social and environmental responsibility. Here are a few of the top renewable energy conferences in the US that should be making it onto your calendar.

Renewable Energy Markets/REM 

Considered to be one of the most important annual forums to discuss the usage of renewable electricity from state-wide to households, this conference boasts attendance from leaders of federal and state governments, to corporate purchasers and international marketers. 

Smart Energy Summit 

With topics ranging between “Smart Home” to “Impacting Consumer Behavior”, and “Adoption and Innovative Business Models”, the scope of this summit attracts thousands of attendees from various renewable energy sectors.

KPMG Global Energy Conference 

If you’re looking to attend a conference that will share new insights, tools and strategies to help confront challenges in the industry, join thousands of delegates from leading energy companies to attend this one.

Financing Wind 

The premier conference for wind energy brings hundreds of financiers to investors together each year. This is the perfect platform to network and expand your knowledge on how to improve your renewable energy projects.

North America Smart Energy Week 

This is one of the largest forums for renewable energy professionals in North America, where sector leaders get to network, share knowledge, and discuss the industry over four days.

ANEMOI offers an extensive maintenance checklist for any and all of your commercial wind farm needs. If you would like to discuss gearbox oil changes, scheduled maintenance, manpower augmentation, or retrofits, get in touch with our qualified team for help or advice on your renewable energy projects.

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Safety alert : wind turbine climb assist safety

By marty-anemoi,

wind turbine climb assist safety

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: 

  1. Be aware of ANSI’s concern of the compatibility between climb assist systems and CLFASs.
  2. Insist upon compatibility testing for any systems you are considering using, or are already using.
  3. 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

Wind turbine repair: predictive vs prescriptive

By marty-anemoi,

wind turbine repair

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

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.

Prescriptive maintenance

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. 

Advanced Wind Turbine Drivetrain Trends

By marty-anemoi,

wind turbine maintenance

As the demand for wind energy increases, there is a need for wind turbines to be more efficient, long-lived and productive than ever. Accordingly, a great deal of research and development is being put into improving the drivetrain assemblies on turbines. The drivetrain assembly is vital to the proper functioning of a turbine – it is here that the torque of the blades is converted into electricity. We anticipate the introduction of innovative new solutions in this regard soon, considering the latest trends and opportunities that are currently presenting themselves.

Gearbox vs direct drive

The standard in drivetrain technology since wind turbines were first developed has consisted of a gearbox connecting the rotor and the generator. The problem with gearboxes is that they contain a lot of moving parts, which makes them prone to wear and tear – and costly to maintain. Technology developers, under the auspices of the Department of Energy, are now seeking out new, more efficient and economical alternatives. Most of the solutions currently being researched involve variations on direct-drive technology.

Direct drive generators can produce electricity at much lower speeds and they do not require gearboxes – and thus have fewer moving parts. Initial designs were still costly, however, as they required permanent magnets, which involve the use of expensive rare earth metals such as neodymium and dysprosium. They also needed heavier generators than geared turbines. There are now projects underway to develop high-efficiency direct-drive turbines that do not require magnets and rare earths. These are referred to as superconducting drivetrains. In addition to reducing the number of moving parts and creating a system that runs much more smoothly than gearbox-driven ones, most superconductor designs are also much lighter, which reduces costs and loads that towers are expected to carry. 

Anemoi Energy Services is watching these research and development projects closely to see which design will emerge as the new standard. We expect significant improvements in the costs and operations of wind turbines. We assist the growing renewable energy industry by offering comprehensive, proactive wind turbine services. Contact us for more information on our wind turbine maintenance services

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Wind turbine repair: better efficiency and lifespan

By marty-anemoi,

wind turbine maintenance

The point of maintaining wind turbines is to both to improve their efficiency and extend their lifespan. How exactly do turbine maintenance technicians achieve this, so as to keep the production of wind energy from being interrupted? 

Ongoing wind turbine maintenance

The key to efficiency and longevity in wind turbines is regular maintenance. Much like a car that needs to be serviced on an annual basis, wind turbines need to undergo a specific maintenance routine to keep them running smoothly and to ensure that its components are all in good condition. 

Wind turbines are generally built for a 20-year lifespan. This projection is based on the condition that the turbines are properly maintained at regular intervals. With proper maintenance, carried out by a really good team, efficient operation can actually be extended for longer than two decades. In achieving this, maintenance teams focus on the upkeep of three main components: blades, gearboxes, shafts and electronics.

  • Blades: the quality of turbine blades has improved dramatically over the past few years and – when it comes to newer models, at least – these parts are usually of least concern to maintenance crews, with failure being quite rare.
  • Main shafts: these large structures have very few issues in the early part of their lives. However, after several years of service, they may start to experience failures in their main bearings. These are usually quite inexpensive to repair but can lead to considerable downtime while the maintenance work is being done.
  • Gearboxes: these can be the most temperamental and costly components of wind turbines. It’s important to use predictive or prescriptive maintenance methods to identify failures before they happen. In many cases, gearboxes won’t hold up for the entire lifespan of the turbine and will need to be replaced. However, regular maintenance, including oil changes, can help to extend the lives of gearboxes for as long as possible.

An annual maintenance plan carried out by Anemoi technicians will ensure that wind turbines reach and exceed their lifespans, while running at maximum efficiency – a vital requirement for the renewable energy industry. Contact Anemoi for more information.

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Bladefender: the wind turbine blade repair system

By marty-anemoi,

Renewable energy, wind energy, wind turbine maintenance

One of the more challenging things about operating and maintaining wind turbines is having to work your schedule around the weather. It’s a particular problem when there is repair work that desperately needs to be done on the blades, but technicians can’t access them because of rain or icy conditions. A new development from turbine blade experts Bladefence looks set to solve this problem.

Introducing Bladefender

Simply called Bladefender, the solution is a covered, environmentally-controlled habitat that attaches to the basket of the technician’s skylift. It allows full access to the blades while giving the technicians shelter. 

This isn’t simply a question of keeping the technicians warm and dry. It also helps the repair process itself. The materials that are commonly used to repair blades often don’t work at extreme temperatures. Epoxy resins, for example, will not set at temperatures below 15°C or above 25°C, or at humidity levels above 70%. The Bladefender enables technicians to control the environment around the blade to ensure that the repair work gets done properly and timeously.

With Bladefender, blade repairs can be done with minimal weather waiting hours and turbines can be brought back online more quickly. This reduction in downtime has the potential to create significant reductions in operations costs and keep turbines running all year round. It’s the kind of innovation that can be of enormous benefit to smooth running of the wind energy industry.

Wind energy can be costly and downtime is best avoided. With regularly scheduled maintenance – which can now take place at any time of year – carried out by a dedicated service partner, you can reduce costs and extend the lives of your turbines.

Anemoi Energy Services assists the growing renewable energy industry by offering comprehensive wind turbine services. Contact us for more information on our wind turbine maintenance services

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Wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico

By dylana-anemoi,

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.