Meridian Energy Ltd. proved that retrofitting their turbines before end-of-warranty was well worth the investment.
Meridian Energy wanted to ensure viable renewable energy production and protect their assets from costly breakdown and therefore decided to retrofit their four-year-old wind farm with TCM®.
Retrofitting the turbines with a TCM® (Turbine Condition Monitoring) solution, Meridian Energy was able to maximize the wind turbines’ uptime by early failure detection of costly components such as gearboxes, main bearings and generators
Increasing vibration levels were seen at five turbines, which correlated with IMS bearing damage to the inner race. The visual inspections confirmed the findings and showed the early stage of failure. As a result, we were able to keep the turbines running until new bearings arrived. The downtime was scheduled and the bearings were replaced in-situ under warranty. Similarly, TCM® indicated an inner race fault on three HSS bearings. Visual inspections were carried out, but due to restricted access, no damage was found. We continued to run the turbines but ordered three replacement HSS bearings. When we replaced the three bearings, we visually inspected the removed inner raceways. On one inner race, two hairline cracks could be seen. The other two bearings are undergoing crack testing at present.
The TCM® identifies bearing damage before it becomes significant enough to cause secondary damage in the gearboxes. By doing so the client can order bearings and plan turbine downtime to change out the bearings on-site. Having warning of failures is crucial in maintaining turbine availability and avoiding high replacement costs associated with complete gearbox failure.
The bottom line: In eight months, Meridian was able to save five gearboxes with TCM® Retrofit, amounting to a total cost savings of USD 2,690,000!
Building on more than 35 years of experience, KK Wind Solutions is a leading partner in electro-mechanical systems for wind turbines. Our offshore and onshore solutions range from development of state-of-the-art systems and lean manufacturing to installation, operations and maintenance. We help our customers bring down costs and optimise turbine performance.