The main objective of maintaining a wind farm is to ensure that the turbines are operating effectively and that the wind farm is safely producing electricity.
Like any machine, wind turbines need to be regularly maintained to ensure peak performance. Highly trained technicians are employed to monitor the wind farm performance and to undertake regular maintenance activities. A typical 100 megawatt wind farm will employ around 6 full time staff for operations and maintenance. Generally our skilled technicians live in communities near the wind farm projects they look after.
Each wind turbine is connected to a control centre which is staffed 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. The performance of every turbine is carefully monitored, and any changes to the operating conditions are tracked and communicated to trained staff.
Senvion’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System measures turbine operating data (including temperature and vibration), energy production and environmental conditions. The SCADA system can also be used to control the operation of the turbine remotely. If a turbine is close to functioning outside its design conditions it automatically shuts down.
A typical wind farm maintenance program will include:
- Checking the state of key components;
- Checking the operation of the electrical systems, such as the electrical cables, batteries and sensors;
- Checking the functionality of the mechanical systems, such as the brakes, gearbox and the systems that govern the pitch of the blades and the direction of the turbine;
- Lubrication systems and replacing oil if required.
Typically each wind turbine is serviced every 6-months.
Like any machine, wind turbine components can stop working properly, which can affect the operation of a wind farm.
Our skilled technicians constantly review the operation of each wind turbine to identify any service requirements. In addition, the sophisticated monitoring systems flag up any changes in key parameters so that issues can be identified early, and resolved quickly.