Wind Turbines

The extreme environmental and mechanical pressures wind turbines are exposed to can significantly affect equipment reliability making oil analysis a critical part of wind turbine maintenance.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, global wind energy capacity hit 70,000 megawatts in 2012. With just a single megawatt being enough to power 250 homes, it’s easy to see the value in an oil analysis program that can help sustain this clean, cost effective source of power generation.

Depending on weather conditions, load and speed variations can occur simultaneously throughout a gearbox making bearing failures a primary concern. The majority of these failures are directly related to improper lubrication and a lack of routine maintenance, making routine oil analysis an absolute necessity for longer bearing life.

Mechanical & Operational Concerns

  • Extreme Load & Speed Variations
  • Foaming
  • Air Retention
  • Contamination Control
  • Micro-Pitting
  • Accessibility for Maintenance

The amount of stress placed on a wind turbine’s internal components often results in shorter-than-expected gearbox life. Dirt and water ingression are the most common contaminants making oil analysis even more valuable in determining the remaining useful life of the lubricant and confirming that the correct lubricant is being used.

Additionally, wind turbine gearboxes are expensive, extremely heavy and often remotely located making replacement and repair exceptionally challenging. Installation and the associated downtime can be costly, which has a direct effect on the turbine’s return on investment.

Bottom line – wind turbine operators can rely on both preventive and predictive wind turbine oil analysis to maintain turbine health and reliability.

Recommended Wind Turbine Testing by Component