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The Market for Second-Hand Spare Parts

Dieter Fries Fig 1A Way to Optimise Maintenance Costs
A growing number of wind turbines are operating in the second or third decade of their lifetime. As an owner of 20-year-old Micon turbines in Germany I would like to describe the possibilities and solutions for operating these wind turbines cost-effectively with the current low market prices for electricity supplied by wind turbines in Northern Europe.
 
By Dieter Fries, Ingenieurbüro Fries, and Dirk Nielsen, Wind Nielsen, Germany

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Powering Wind Turbine Smart Sensors

Ilika ORE Figure1Using Solid State Batteries and Vibration Energy Harvester
As energy companies continue to look for more renewable and clean sources of energy, wind energy offers an ideal solution. However, this brings concern about the potentially high maintenance costs primarily due to difficulty accessing the blades. Fortunately, with developments in the internet of things leading to improved condition monitoring tools, sensors can be placed on the blades to provide real-time data of their health at any time. This in turn can enable essential maintenance to be carried out before failure due to common issues such as delamination, cracks, impact or ice. Powering these sensors is key to success – if the sensors themselves power down, then so too does the benefit of having a condition monitoring system.
 
By Denis Pasero, Product Commercialisation Manager, Ilika Technologies, UK

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Next Generation Wake Models

Designing High Performance Wind Farms
The relative importance of accurately modelling wake losses increases for large offshore wind farms, closely spaced wind farms, and wind farms in non-neutral atmospheric conditions. Wind farm wake losses of 20%, and uncertainties in excess of 5% in a pre-construction assessment, can make or break a wind farm project. High performance layouts significantly reduce wake losses and the associated uncertainties. A new generation of three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics wake models, designed to meet this challenge, has been developed and is now available to project developers.
WakeBlaster Figure1
 
By Wolfgang Schlez, Managing Director, ProPlanEn, UK

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Rotor Blades Recycling Solution

Turn Retired Blades and Production Waste Into Energy
An increasing number of rotor blades will come to the end of their design life cycle in the coming years. Figure 1 gives an estimate of the volume to be expected based on the assumption that 50% of all blades installed will be operational for the calculated lifetime of 20 years and 50% need to be replaced prematurely. Additionally, the production of the blades generates a significant amount of composite waste. It can be assumed that approximately 200,000 tons of composite materials need to be processed annually from 2020, with a doubling by 2030Minds Connected Figure 1 CompositeWaste
 
By Moreno Ciotti, Heiko Müller and Crystal Zhang

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How to Extend the Lifetime of Wind Turbines

Tuv Sud fig 1Evaluating Ageing Turbines for Safe Operation Beyond Their Design Lives
An increasing number of wind turbines are approaching the end of their service lives. As a result, operators are being confronted with the crucial business decision of whether to decommission, repower or continue to operate their assets. One of the key factors affecting these decisions is the evaluation of the physical condition of the turbine considered for continued operation. In this article, TÜV SÜD describes the methods, requirements and results of a lifetime extension assessment.
 
By Christian Schumacher and Florian Weber, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service, Germany

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Enhanced Performance at Lower Blade Cost

Covestro Fig1New Polyurethane Resin for Wind Turbine Blades Outperforms Epoxy Resin
A new polyurethane (PU) resin developed by Covestro, a supplier of high-tech polymer materials, enhances wind blade production through faster infusion and curing speeds. More efficient production of rotor blades in turn lowers production costs. Moreover, this new resin enables the production of lighter, longer and stronger blades with a higher energy output. WINDnovation, a designer of rotor blades, recently carried out a study in China. The study revealed that Covestro’s PU resin meets all performance requirements and actually outperforms the commonly used epoxy resin. In other words, this newly developed PU resin meets the challenge the industry faces of enabling the long-term expansion of wind energy through reducing the cost of this renewable power.
 
By Yongming Gu, Head of Composite Application Development of PUR APAC, Covestro Shanghai Polymer R&D Center, China

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Main Bearing Solutions for Wind Turbines

Schaeffler Figure 1Optimisation of Spherical Roller Bearings
What began as mere windmills in the 1970s, barely able to generate 0.05MW of power, have matured into today’s modern wind turbines that are capable of producing more than 7.0MW each, with offshore prototypes attaining an output of as much as 12MW. Inside these high-performance machines, the rotor shaft bearing support is a vital component where the locating bearing is subjected to particularly high loads. These unique application conditions, combined with stringent reliability requirements and increasing incidents of failed bearings in the field, provided the impetus for an engineering project whereby Schaeffler set out to optimise the spherical roller bearings that are used as wind turbine main shaft bearings.
 
By Antonio Silverio and Anant Bhat, Schaeffler Group USA Inc.

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