As wind turbines are installed and erected over a number of years, this modern industry requires engineers to continually identify issues with the original design which can affect the reliability and performance of the original installation.
At RTS, our specialist engineers are used to working with and understanding the problems on-site with a turbine or specific elements of a turbine installation. This experience and understanding allows us to continually develop methods to overcome particular causes of a problem and consider potential solutions.
RTS is dedicated to working with our partners to develop innovative solutions and technologies to improve the performance and efficiencies for the renewable wind market. Our engineering team will work with clients to design products which can be retro-fitted and installed as part of a roll-out programme.
Examples of just some of the solutions we've developed include:
On location, we identified where the initial manufacture of a casing element had resulted in water being trapped. This had caused rust damage and a lack of movement to vital parts, with blades not able to turn efficiently, resulting in poor performance. The RTS design team identified a concept which would overcome the issue and ultimately improve overall performance.
Prototypes were developed and shared with the client, following on-site testing procedures the solution was approved and installed. This specialist product has now been successfully rolled out across many wind turbines to prevent similar failures occurring due to rusty parts.
A plastic housing to protect chains
An oil bund to collect waste and prevent environmental issues
A specialist access platform designed to accommodate safe ladder systems for working at height
Another example of a new technology currently being developed by RTS in conjunction with The Welding Institute (TWI) helps to provide significant cost effective maintenance soilution through a process of noise monitoring.
Noise is an early indicator of defects in equipment and addressing these early warning signs results in improved turbine efficiency and performance. Engineers at RTS understand that noise provides an initial indication of structural defects or wear and tear around the turbine. This in turn can cause further problems as the vibration from the noise and acoustic sound can also cause failure of equipment from excessive or uneven wear, which if not addressed can lead to failure of the gear box, generator or main shaft of the drive train. RTS and TWI are currently launching a joint industry project known as CMDRIVE to develop a solution to the problem of noise output from onshore wind turbine machinery. CMDRIVE will focus on the use of a non-contact microphone array to monitor the condition and structural health of rotating machinery in the nacelles of wind turbines.
CMDRIVE is currently in development, but any wind turbine owner or manufacturer interested in this project should contact us for further details.