Wind Turbine Repair is a fast growth industry
Wind turbine repair is a fast growing industry due to the high number of existing wind turbines approaching an advanced age. As these wind turbines age, a better sense of the expected repair work will emerge. Wind turbine repair opportunities increase in relation to the number of wind farms and wind turbines. The American Wind Energy Association estimates there are more than 197,000 wind turbines currently operating in the world, 36,000 in the U.S. In addition to the existing turbines, governments around the world are pushing for increased reliance on renewable energy, which is causing a rapid growth in the industry. The numbers of wind turbines obviously will be growing rapidly and as more wind farms are developed, more repair opportunities will emerge.
The top of a wind turbine typically stands 300 feet high and getting repair equipment and personnel up there can be a real challange.
Wind turbine generator repair services can include anything from turbine blades repair to cleaning and painting and internal turbine mechanical repairs. Interestingly, there are two main methods or types, of crews who repair wind turbines. A turbine repair company may rely on machinery to lift repairmen up to the the areas in need of maintenance, another method is using aerial access afforded by helicopter to lower the repairman and any parts down from above, and another method would be to use certified rope climbers to reach the turbine blades and other areas. To reach the internal parts depends on the size of the turbine. Some are large and require the repairmen or or repair women to climb hundreds of feet of steps, while others actually use a lift system that’s part of the wind turbine. Using rope climbers is a smart way to perform a variety of repair tasks because it can reduce costs significantly. Since major equipment doesn’t need to tbe transported to the location of the wind turbines, the cost of owning and transporting all that machinery and vehicles is reduced. In many cases, a wind turbine may have very limited access to large vehicles, in which case some of these other methods are necessary.
Ropeworks Provides Wind Turbine Repair.
One company which repairs wind turbines across the United States is Ropeworks. Ropeworks specializes in inspection and maintenance of utility-scale wind turbine blades and towers using industry-leading rope access capabilities. Ropeworks rope access teams provide expedient and cost-effective service because they don’t rely upon lifts or cranes to complete most work. The work is completed safely, efficiently and economically with a focus on minimizing downtime of the asset. Ropeworks certified technicians are committed to professionalism, quality and exceptional customer service. As wind generating power becomes more common in regional electricity systems, the need to keep wind turbines running efficiently is becoming much more important. Ropeworks is poised to take advantage.
A wind turbine repair job can take anywhere from a few days to months.
For Ropeworks, turbine repair projects will usually take two weeks. Wind turbines obviously have moving parts, which means they sustain normal wear and tear from regular operation. Beyond that, a turbine could be damaged by other outside forces. High winds generate debris which can cause damage. Turbines have blades which are made of fiberglass, these often need repair. Internal mechanical parts can wear out or break, which means they need to be repaired.
Aging Wind Turbines Require Repairs
As the existing Wind turbines age the repairs required will likely change too. Since so many turbines are only now getting to an age where major repair is expected, these may require repairs or replacement which haven’t really been encountered very often. Time will tell where the repair industry is taken. It’s well known that as turbine blades age, they may become more brittle or the fiber glass begins to deteriorate. This deterioration is due to many factors from UV light to heat and cold, wind, debris constantly battering on them. Turbine blades can begin separating and the bonding can begin coming apart.
Wind farms will continue to get larger and more reliable.
As the demand for wind energy grows, so does the demand for wind turbines and of course, wind turbine repair and maintenance. Major corporations including GE have made significant investments in manufacturing wind turbines and governments around the globe are increasingly encouraging renewable energy such as that generated by wind turbine generators. The repair demand is going to explode and repair companies will grow with that demand. Wind turbine repair is still a small industry, but it’s poised to grow rapidly. Although manufacturing improvements and engineering improvements will make wind turbine generators more reliable, there will be huge opportunity for growth in the repair and maintenance fields of this industry.