We are proud to announce the tremendous success of our Second Annual Technical Symposium that took place this September in Breckenridge, Colorado doubling the 2016 symposium attendance. More than 40 individuals from 20 companies joined to share their experiences with managing wind projects. The three-day format consisted of hands on vibration analysis training, round table discussions and presentations by both guest speakers and InSight engineers. Feedback from attendees was uniformly positive:
"Great scenario for engineers and operators to share technical knowledge and field experiences"
Jose Nuno, Fleet Engineer, E.ON
"Not only was the symposium very informative it was also a good networking opportunity"
Donald Crane, Site Manager, Record Hill Wind
"Interesting to see that there was not any marketing speeches or presentations"
Dushyant Tank, Reliability Engineering Manager, Pattern Energy
Second Annual Technical Symposium Attendees grab some fresh air by one of the ski lifts at Breckenridge Ski Area
The symposium broadly covered:
- Wind turbine drivetrain technology
- Pitch and yaw bearing technology and root cause analysis
- Lubricant testing and analysis
- Condition based maintenance
- Machine learning
- Turbine repowering
- Life extension
This year’s round table discussions added a lot of value to attendees with sharing of experiences:
Repowering: A survey of just three companies at one round table revealed over 1000 wind turbines scheduled for repowering. This is having a big impact on the US market. One financial pressure is keeping turbines running at the lowest possible cost until the repowering is complete – why spend additional money on maintenance if you will be taking the nacelles down in 1-3 years? This means using second hand gearboxes from other repowering activities is attractive, without any refurbishing. It only has to last 2 years right? …. but these cost savings can result in unplanned failures as one attendee recounted experience of a sudden gearbox failure. A thorough inspection/vibration assessment before moving the gearbox is a good mitigation strategy, low cost but effective. Or otherwise make sure the gearbox is taken back to a factory for a teardown inspection and at least a partial refurbishment.
Attendees sharing experiences at the round table sessions
The round table session for up tower gearbox repairs was a heated one! Many folks agreed with the economics of up tower repairs however were frustrated by the level of quality they experienced during repairs. A few even complained of repaired gearboxes failing bearings or leaking shortly after repair. In contrast, some owners had worked through quality issues and now are generally receptive to up tower parallel stage bearing and gear replacements. The discussion soon turned to best practices for performing QAQC of up tower repairs with the owners of larger fleets providing guidance to less experienced operators. Everyone agreed that taking the time to understand the current condition of the gearbox with a borescope inspection and vibration health assessment is critical before making the decision to repair up tower or replace the entire gearbox.
InSight’s Condition Monitoring Engineering Manager guides Symposium attendees on a test drive of FleetMonitorTM
Drawing on the success of this year’s event, we are already planning the 2018 Technical Symposium. If you would like to attend in September 2018, please click on the link bellow and we will contact you next spring with more details: