Increasing Wind Farm Profitability by Reducing Gearbox Maintenance Costs with Condition-Based Maintenance

As much as 25%-30% of wind farm operating and maintenance costs are associated with gearbox maintenance alone. Reducing these costs can help wind farms stay more profitable, efficient, and competitive, bringing clean energy wind farms to the forefront. GE Energy's Condition-Based Maintenance Solution, including GE Energy's Bently NevadaTM ADAPTTM.wind Software, reduces gearbox maintenance costs and provides wind farms with a greater competitive edge in the energy market.

A Bently Nevada integrated condition monitoring system enables operators to understand the gearbox condition remotely. Dependable knowledge of the gearbox condition enables continued operation and revenue generation when a defect is not significant, while mitigating the risk of run to failure, an unplanned outage, or catastrophic event.

Proactive condition monitoring across the fleet also helps operators plan efficiently for and coordinate maintenance outages. Consolidating maintenance into one outage, and scheduling one crane, can save hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year in lost revenue, depending on the size of the wind farm.

GE Energy's patented Planetary Cumulative Impulse Detection algorithm is a set of measurements that detect and trend the passage of particulates through the planetary stage of a wind turbine gearbox. This provides greater insight into gearbox condition and helps pinpoint problem areas. GE Energy's Dynamic Energy Index (DEI) algorithm is specifically designed for variable speed machines. DEI spreads the variation over five bands of operation for more accurate spectral energy calculations and earlier fault detection.

GE Energy's Wind Turbine Condition Monitoring Solution is part of ADAPTTM.wind, the standard condition monitoring solution on GE's wind turbine units that can be readily deployed on most manufacturers' ~1.5 MW-class turbines. Turbine owners can expect to see cost savings through several venues including reducing unplanned crane services and optimizing maintenance. The incredible value and benefit in implementing this solution has been acknowledged as many companies are adopting condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies to decrease down time, reduce cost, and improve reliability. This solution already has over 700 units in the order and installation process.

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