6 Essential Wind Turbine Maintenance Tips

Do you or are you considering using wind turbines on your property to improve energy use? Are you looking for the best way to keep them running for as long as possible?

If so, then you need to know how to maximize wind turbine maintenance for the best performance. The goal is to keep all components operating regularly and keep a constant eye on turbines for any potential issues.

With our knowledge of manufacturing, your farm will get clean energy from your turbines for years to come.

Here are six essential wind turbine maintenance tips.

1. Stabilization

Maintaining wind turbines requires keeping the foundation and source of connection for parts stable. Issues that can increase the chances of your turbines falling apart over time include cracks in cement, loose bolts, and rusty spots.

You can deal with cracks by applying a cement sealing as soon as you notice them. With a reel for industrial wire, you will have a durable cable, keeping everything attached.

2. Lubrication

When it comes to how to maintain wind turbines, you need to keep moving parts in shape for consistent performance. Lubrication comes in handy for this situation, especially if you have an older wind turbine.

Check the oil and grease in your gearboxes and other parts for any metallic pieces. This will help you figure out which parts need lubrication and which ones need a replacement.

3. Electrical Components

Some aspects of wind turbine repair require extra care for the turbine’s operation and your safety. One example is checking on the electrical components, which requires locking the turbine from rotating and turning the external voltage source off before you begin.

Make sure that the cable is secure, and the controller unit isn’t damaged or running at high temperatures to prevent fires. You should also look at the ground connections so that they maintain their conductivity.

4. Bolts

Some components require more attention when maintaining a wind turbine due to their purpose and influence from the outside world. Bolts, for instance, are needed to hold the turbine together and may face challenges from the weather.

During your maintenance, look at the bolts to see which ones need re-torquing and remove debris that can hinder their function with rust. Give the bolts on the tower the same attention, and save bolt replacements for every few years.

5. Blades

Another part of the turbine that has to deal with weather and debris is the collection of blades. High winds, hail, bugs, and birds flying by can cause cracks, erosion, and lose connections over time.

Check your blades for signs of damage so that you know which ones need to be replaced. Smaller loads of damage can be corrected with custom skins for protection.

6. Remote Monitoring Systems

If you want to be extra safe about your wind turbine maintenance, then it may help to have a 24/7 remote monitoring system. You can keep an eye on your turbines at any time of the day for unexpected issues.

This system can come in handy for colder or wetter times of the year when you can’t work on the turbine in person. Your system should also have access to different parts of the turbine.

Our Take on Wind Turbine Maintenance

Wind turbine maintenance requires knowing what problems each of your components faces. With our tips, you can keep your turbines running for years.

For more of our manufacturing expertise, check out our guides today to keep your equipment in top shape.

Making the Switch to Green: Pros and Cons of Wind Energy

In a world that’s quickly running out of natural resources, it’s only logical that we start looking at other options. Many green movements exist to limit pollution, save energy, and most importantly, find ways of creating renewable green energy. 

However, there’s much debate between green energy movements. Some even suggest they’re a bad idea. 

For example, there are both pros and cons of wind energy. Let’s take a look and them, and you can decide where you stand.

Pros and Cons of Wind Energy

The pros and cons of wind energy vary greatly depending on who you ask. We’re going to give you a non-biased look at both sides of the debate.

Pros

Wind turbines are the definition of “green energy.” The wind is a free and non-depleting natural resource. Therefore, no matter how much energy we get from wind turbines, there’s always more right around the corner.

Wind turbines, unlike solar panels, can also run day and night. They also aren’t affected by cloudy and rainy days.

Wind turbines don’t use much land, nor do they use any fuel.

For landowners who decide to put turbines on their property, there are several advantages. First, there are significant tax benefits for those who allow wind turbines to be placed on their land. 

Additionally, wind turbines don’t take up much space. This allows ranchers and framers who opt to have them on their property the freedom to continue growing crops, raising livestock, etc.

Wind turbines produce carbon-free energy. Aside from the processes of being created and installed, wind turbines are entirely green. It takes roughly nine months of operation for the energy cost and generation to break even. Then, it’s all green energy.

Finally, wind turbines are incredibly efficient. Once installed, the average wind turbine created six million kilowatts in a year. For reference, that’s enough free energy to run, 1,500 typical households.

Cons

The pros and cons of wind energy wouldn’t be complete with the latter. There are understandable reasons why some people think wind energy isn’t worth it.

First, some don’t appreciate the appearance of wind turbines. While it may seem like a silly reason not to put forward the effort to save energy, it’s very important to some.

Additionally, some wind turbines are noisy and can cause vibration. Modern turbines are less noisy than those of the past, but for some people, it’s a deal-breaker.

In some places, wind turbines may also affect wildlife, primarily birds and bats. Continued research and monitoring systems are needed for each wind facility to determine the potential impact and ways to deal with it.

Finally, wind turbines operate off of the wind. If there’s no wind, there’s no power being generated. However, this is why most wind turbines are installed in notoriously and consistently windy locations.

Wind Options

Now that you know the pros and cons of wind energy, you can form your own opinion on wind turbines. 

For those who are on board or already operating wind turbines, consider us a solid resource for parts and pieces.

Catch Wind of the Hype: The Growth of the Wind Energy Industry

In 2015, 80% of the world’s energy came from fossil fuels. However, there are other safer, environmentally-friendly solutions all around us, and we’re finally beginning to utilize them.

The past decade has seen stunning growth in environmentally-conscious businesses and consumers, especially where wind energy is concerned.

But why the sudden interest? Aren’t there other renewable energy sources?

There are, but right now is the optimal time for wind. Find out why you should join the movement.

Why Is Wind a Promising Choice?

Wind energy has few disadvantages and a myriad of advantages.

Wind turbines work by letting the wind spin propellors. The propellors link to the main turbine shaft, which transmits the energy throughout the turbine and to the generator, where it’s transformed into power.

The sun’s warmth spurs the wind, so it is an abundant resource. Further, it’s cost effective and advantageous to farmers or individuals with many acres of land, who can make money in addition to using the turbine to power their home.

Finally, turbines are excellent for the economy and the Earth.

The Future of Wind Energy

Wind energy is the fastest growing sector of renewable energy. In 2016, 27% of all new energy capacity additions were from the wind industry.

Over 30% of Iowa’s and South Dakota’s electricity in 2015 was from wind.

But the demand isn’t the only thing growing. Wind energy doubled from 2011 to 2016, and job growth increased by 32% in the sector from 2015 to 2016.

Like the wind itself, the sector is spreading across the globe.

Why Is the Wind Industry Growing So Quickly?

Society is beginning to turn to wind energy for power needs as it recognizes the positive impacts it has. There are many reasons for the sector’s growth.

Technological Advances

Wind turbines today are larger and more efficient than their past models. Researchers are also studying materials that reduce costs and stand up to the elements.

The result is turbines that are cheaper and offer higher efficiency.

Most People Can Benefit

Over half of the population dwells within 50 miles of a coastline, making wind a promising source for a large proportion of the US. As a result, businesses and even landowners are taking advantage of the future opportunities this entails.  

Prices

The prices for wind energy are excellent. Wind energy is the cheapest source of renewable energy in the UK and US.

As demand grows, competition ensues. This drives prices down even more.

State Requirements

More states are demanding businesses behave in environmentally-friendly ways. Customers, too, place a high value on this trait.

As expectations and requirements increase regarding behavior, companies search for the least expensive way to satisfy their corporate needs, state regulations and customer wishes. Wind energy is a popular choice.

Tax Credits

Finally, current and past tax credits encourage individuals and companies to take advantage of wind energy.

The Production Tax Credit will go out of effect in 2020, meaning businesses and homeowners are building now to take advantage of discounted prices.

Maintain Your Turbine

Wind energy is beneficial, and it doesn’t look like it will disappear anytime soon. But maintaining a turbine is a different matter. It takes quality parts, routine care, and careful research.

Do you need braking systems for your turbine? If so, contact our representatives to discuss your needs. Regardless of how specific, our experts will find the parts you require.

Let the wind blow those electrical bills away.

The Basics of the Wind Turbine Brake System

The wind turbine brake system is one that is every bit as impressive as it is complicated. To work on something as powerful as a wind turbine, you can’t expect anything less.

Over the years the design has been modified to work at maximum efficiency and to help save on the general cost of materials. That being said, it can be a challenge to know everything that’s involved with making the brakes work.

This article will describe the basics of the brake system, so you’ll have an idea of how they work if you ever need to handle them in the future.

The Basics of the Wind Turbine Brake System

The turbine brake system is made to slow down and halt the movement of the wind turbine itself. It takes more than just a couple of simple brake pads to bring it to a halt.

There’s a lot of kinetic energy generated by the wind turbines, and to disperse it properly, you have to turn that kinetic energy into heat energy. Depending on the type of wind turbine, you can do this in several ways.

Low-Speed Braking

If your wind turbine runs off of lower speed mechanics, you don’t need to have the powerful brakes that high-speed turbines use. In this case, you could get away with installing a large disc brake instead.

Disc brakes are the same brakes found on many motor vehicles. We don’t tend to think of our cars as low-speed or low-power, but compared to a high-power wind turbine they don’t generate nearly as much kinetic energy.

One thing to keep in mind is that the disc brakes rely on torque to do their job, so make sure you pick the right brakes to last you a long while.

High-Speed Braking

When you have a bigger wind turbine or one that generates a lot of power, you need more than disc breaks to stop it. That’s where high-speed brakes come into play.

High-speed brakes work by engaging with the generator so they can directly affect the movement of the turbine. The ratio of the turbine’s gearboxes results in a significant reduction in output torque, something to factor into your selection.

Two of the main things you need to factor in are the diameter of the brakes and the number of teeth the brakes have on them. The higher the number these variables are, the better and faster the brakes will perform.

If you want to be on the safe side (and if your turbine allows it), you could get both brake types. Doing this ends up being cost-effective in the long run, so if you have the money to buy both now, you should do so.

All of the Products You Need

When it comes to accessing the right products, you should know we’ve got you covered. You can buy an industrial wind turbine brake system, as well as clutch accessories, torque limiters, and much more.

Reach out to us to find out what we can do to help you. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

What You Need to Know to Keep Your Wind Turbine Running Smoothly

Want to lower your electricity bill by 100%?

You can use the green energy of your very own wind turbine to reduce energy costs in your own home. But it depends on a few factors.

Are you comfortable working with AC and DC wiring? Can you safely connect a battery? Are you comfortable pouring cement and renting heavy equipment such as a lift? Then you may be up for the project of installing your own micro wind turbine!

As someone who is already confident maintaining and fixing your own equipment, you might want to consider adding a wind turbine to your skill set. Below we’ve created a guide to wind turbines, to help you take advantage of the power of the wind!

How Wind Turbines Work

Giant wind turbines catch energy from either moving liquid or gas, as they spin around. They rotate because of the shape of their blades, which have a slight curve to them. This is similar to how wind lifts an airplane due to the shape of its wings. Except, in this case, the wind pushes the turbines or giant rotor blades.

The length of the rotor blade determines how much energy the turbine produces. They are usually about 230 feet long. It will also depend on the speed of the wind, which causes the turbines to spin faster.

If the wind blows twice as quickly, your turbines will produce eight times more energy. This is because wind energy is your turbine’s speed cubed.

Wind Power: Pros & Cons

The generator is the part of the wind turbine that takes the kinetic energy created by the wind turning the turbines and converts it into electrical energy. This can then be used to light a home or other building.

One nice aspect of wind turbine energy is that it doesn’t produce greenhouse gas emissions or pollution. However, there are some disadvantages to wind turbines, the most obvious being that they don’t generate as much energy as coal, gas or a nuclear plant. You would need about 1000 2MW wind turbines to keep up with a coal plant.

Plus wind power is dependent on, well, wind. Which as you know isn’t consistent. Lastly, it takes up a lot of space because each wind turbine must be a significant distance apart.

This is because as the wind passes through the turbines, it slows down.

Harness the Power of the Wind

If you’d like to take advantage of wind energy in your own home, you can install your own micro wind turbine. Small windmill generators can be a great way to save on electricity bills and also help the environment. But location is everything when it comes to turbines.

You will need to live in an area with very few obstructions from things like buildings or trees. These can block wind and prevent your turbines from generating energy. You will also need to speak with your town to make sure tall towers are allowed in your neighborhood.

The tower must be installed 30 feet above any obstruction in the area. Once you’ve determined that your location will work, consider finding ways to make your home more energy efficient. This will not only instantly reduce the cost of your energy bills but will also allow you to purchase a smaller renewable energy system.

There are plenty of energy saving tips to help you get started. When choosing a wind turbine, you will need to consult a professional manufacturer who will provide a total cost for all the parts you need as well as the labor. If you are unable to connect your wind turbine to a grid, you need a standalone battery.

Deep-cycle batteries are best for wind turbines since they can discharge and recharge 80% of their energy 100 times! Automotive batteries aren’t recommended.

You can learn more about setting up your own micro wind turbine through resources such as the Clean Energy States Alliance.

Wind Turbine Maintenance

Building your own small wind turbine might be the start of some major savings for you and your family!

If you’re ready to get started and are searching for specific parts, we’ve got an inventory you can’t miss!

How Do Wind Turbines Work?

The United States has over 52 thousand wind turbines that are used to create renewable energy. Renewable energy has become increasingly more important due to the negative impact of non-renewable energy sources such as oil and coal.

Wind turbines are a great alternative that prevents adding further damage to the earth and its finite resources. But how do wind turbines work?

It’s essential to have a general understanding of how we use this incredible renewable energy source to fuel our everyday needs.

Learning about wind turbines allows us to continue to grow the wind energy industry throughout the country.

How Do Wind Turbines Work?

The future of the environment is in danger, and it’s time to put more resources into renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. Here are the basic principals of how wind turbines work and why it’s an excellent source of natural energy.

The Basic Anatomy of a Wind Turbine

Wind turbines stand tall, generally at over 320 feet, so they can collect more wind than they would closer to the ground.

Wind turbines consist of two or three propeller-like blades that rotate around a rotor. The wind blowing against the propellers is what allows the turbines to collect energy.

The anatomy of the blades on a wind turbine is vital in the creating of energy. The blades are curved so that when the wind blows against them, they are lifted in an upward motion, leading to a rotation.

The main turbine shaft connects the blades to everything else in the turbine so the energy can move through the turbine.

Wind turbines have a gearbox inside of them that makes the blades turn faster than they usually would without the gearbox, which produces more energy.

The rotor that is spinning is connected to a generator in the main shaft. The generator is the crucial part of a wind turbine because it’s what transforms the power.

When the rotor spins, it powers the generator which produces mechanical energy.

How Wind Turbines Transform Energy

When wind hits the turbine blades, kinetic energy is pulled from the wind and put into the turbine. The larger the blades are, the more kinetic energy it will pull from the wind.

Wind provides kinetic energy that can be converted into mechanical power through the wind turbine.

The faster the wind is blowing, the more kinetic energy it’s carrying. This means that stronger winds produce more energy. The turbines can collect more kinetic energy which transforms into more mechanical energy through the generator.

An electric current is then created from the energy produced by the wind and the generator. This electric current travels through a cable inside of the turbine and down into the transformer.

The transformer increases the voltage of the mechanical energy and sends it off to either a power grid or local communities.

For More Information

Wind turbines are an excellent option for producing renewable energy that does not lead to harmful greenhouse gas emissions that damage the environment.

If you have any more questions related to “how do wind turbines work?” Please contact us today for more information.

A Guide to Wind Turbine Components

Renewable energy is the future of the energy industry, and wind energy is an essential part of that.

But how do wind turbines and components of wind turbines work?

Read on for details about wind turbines.

The Importance of Wind Energy

The wind has been harnessed and utilized as a source of energy since ancient times when Egyptians used it to propel their boats down the Nile River.

Windmills have been used for farming and other energy sources for over a thousand years.

Now, with non-renewable sources of energy dwindling, we’re starting to use wind energy on a large scale. Since 2000, wind energy has grown by 50 fold, from 6 billion kilowatt-hours to nearly 300 kWh.

How Does a Wind Turbine Work?

A wind turbine has many essential parts, most of which aren’t noticeable from outside of the turbine.

The nose and the blades are the most significant and most visible parts of the wind turbine. The nose, along with the rotor, holds the blades which catch the wind and begin to spin when wind speeds are fast enough.

The main turbine shaft is what connects the blades to everything inside the turbine. This shaft spins at the same speed as the blades and is essential for transferring the wind into energy.

The high-speed turbine shaft, as its name implies, spins at a much higher speed than the main turbine shaft. This is accomplished by the gearbox, which connects the two turbine shafts, and increases rotational speeds through a series of gears, much like how a bicycle increases its rotational speed through the gears attached to the back wheel.

The high-speed turbine shaft is what spins the turbine generator, the essential part of the wind turbine. This generator is what transfers the wind energy into electrical energy.

The inner workings of a turbine generator are complex. Here is a link for details on the inner workings of turbine generators.

There are also several parts of the wind turbine that help optimize the wind capturing process.

The anemometer measures wind speed and works alongside the controller to maximize the efficiency of the wind turbine. These devices can activate the brake to slow down the blades during excessive wind speeds. It can also be used to assist with starting up the blades when wind speeds are too low to activate the blades on their own.

What’s Next?

Now that you can answer the question of “how does a wind turbine work,” you might be curious about other large industrial machines. From oil rigs to overhead cranes, to railroad parts, our blog is an excellent source of information for any energy industry you might be interested in.

wind turbines in Oiz eolic park at sunset

Why You Need Good Wind Turbine Brakes

Much of the focus in the wind energy industry is invested in keeping things spinning, preferably faster, more efficiently, and for longer periods. That is, of course, important and central to the purpose of wind turbines, but wind turbine brakes, while of equal importance, are often overlooked.

In this article, we’ll discuss different types of wind turbine brakes, their purposes, and why they are important. Interested? Read on!

What Are Wind Turbine Brakes For?

Wind turbine brakes are important for maintenance, for emergencies, or even for something as simple as managing risk and protecting investment in the case of high wind speeds.

Wind turbine brakes reside within the body of the turbine, just underneath the low-speed shaft. For more information on the body and inner workings of wind turbines, check out this link, or for more background on windmills, see our page here.

Different Kinds of Brakes and Their Purposes

There are two major different types of wind turbine brakes: electrical and mechanical.

Electrical Wind Turbine Brakes

Electrical wind turbine brakes work better for small wind turbines. They take energy from the generator and put it in the resistor bank. This turns the kinetic energy of the rotating turbine into thermal.

This method of braking works well when used in a cyclical fashion. By braking in this way, the blades slow down, keeping the turbine rotating at a safe speed even in fast winds without expelling too much energy to the brake system.

Electrical wind turbine brakes are not usually used in larger wind turbines that are grid-connected.

Mechanical Wind Turbine Brakes

There are two types of mechanical wind turbine brakes: drum brakes and disk brakes.

Mechanical wind turbine brakes have two main uses.

They are applied as a backup method of holding the turbine in place for maintenance or repairs, in the case of a failure of the primary rotor lock system, or in the case of emergency situations, such as extreme gusts of the wind or too much speed.

For these safety reasons, it is important to have a good mechanical brake.

Mechanical wind turbine brakes should only be applied after the turbine speed has been reduced to one or two rotor RPM because using this method to bring a stop from full speed can cause a fire in the nacelle.

To slow the turbine to this speed, blade furling or an electrical brake can be used. Aside from the energy reasons mentioned earlier, this is another important reason to have a good electrical wind turbine brake.

Other Wind Turbine Brakes

There are also hydraulic brakes, but these are used less often, and more in the case of emergencies. For modern trends in wind turbine brakes including reliability, noise reduction, and ease of repair, look here.

If you’re looking for more information on choosing a heavy industry brake, clutch and friction system, you can check out our page here.

Any remaining comments, questions, or concerns on this article or an order you might like to place? Feel free to contact us!

How to Pick the Best Wind Turbine Brake

Do you need to choose a wind turbine brake for you or a client?

Wind turbines are often used as a major part of a home or businesses electric power production. This means that a wind turbine brake and other parts must be functioning properly.

But as you consider your options, how can you pick the best wind turbine brakes?

Let’s take a closer look at how you can find the brakes that are best for your wind turbine system.

A Wind Turbine Brake is Different

Wind turbines often rise hundreds of feet into the sky. This means that these brakes must operate unmanned and need to function properly for longer periods of time.

After all, who wants to go up high in the sky to fix these more than they need to?

Another important difference between these brakes and those on other machines’ brakes is that a wind turbine brake may be exposed to extreme conditions. These include being in places with very hot and cold temperatures.

When you choose a wind turbine brake you have to keep these things in mind.

The Size of Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are tall because the higher up it is, the windier the conditions are.

With more wind comes more electricity, or the potential to create more of it.

In fact, the average height of industrial wind turbines is around 328 feet! When you are considering a wind turbine brake, consider the size of your turbine.

If you have a shorter turbine for home use, you will need a smaller brake for it than if you own a large industrial wind turbine.

Emergency Stops

There is no way around it. There will be times when you have to make an emergency stop of your wind turbine. For example, it may be necessary during severe inclement weather.

When you have to make an emergency stop of your wind turbine, it’s crucial that your rotor braking system has a friction liner. This is because of the short timeframe in which you have to stop your wind turbine brake.

When you attempt to stop anything quickly — your car, your machinery, your wind turbine, etc. — this creates friction. And with friction comes heat.

A sufficient size friction liner helps the heat created by that friction dissipate. This will help protect your wind turbine from damage.

Choosing a Wind Turbine Brake

Wind turbines are a great source of alternative energy for a home or business but choosing the right wind turbine brake is important.

This is because of the large size of wind turbines and the height at which these machines operate. You want to choose a reliable wind turbine brake that will minimize maintenance. You also want to consider the rarer situations when an emergency stop is required.

Because of the friction created by the need to stop wind turbines quickly, a rotor system’s liner should be large enough to prevent it from overheating and causing further damage.

Picking a wind turbine brake is an important decision for you and your business. Taking the time to learn about these will help you save time (and money) in the future.

Primer On Wind Turbine Energy From US Department of Energy

This video is entitled “Energy 101: Wind Turbines – 2014 Update” and is really informative. It comes to us via the U. S. Department of Energy.

The video starts out by explaining how creaky, old windmills on farms (used to mill grain or pump water or both) were the predecessors for new, modern wind turbines that generate electricity.

The same wind that used to pump water for cattle is now turning giant wind turbines to power cities and homes.

Wind Power Creates Electricity

The principle of today’s enormous wind turbines remains the same – that is to capture wind’s energy which is free and convert it to electricity. This electrical energy is used to power cities and homes.

A video animation shows how the wind turbine works in simple terms.

The blades of the wind turbine work similar to those of an airplane wing. Air waves pass along either side of the blade. It is the blade’s shape that causes the air pressure to be uneven. That pressure is higher on one side of the blade while lower on the other. This uneven pressure causes the blade to spin around the center of the turbine.

The wind turbine’s blades attach to a shaft which connects to a series of gears which increase the rotation. At a high enough speed this starts to produce energy.

A weather vane sits on the top of the wind turbine. The weather vane is connected to a computer which turns the turbine into the wind so it can capture the maximum amount of energy.

Why wind turbines are so tall.

That’s simple. The higher up the windier it gets. And more wind naturally means more electricity.

Larger turbines also can capture wind energy more efficiently. The long blades can sweep a circle in the sky.

Even small wind farms are capable of generating enough electricity to power thousands of homes. Larger farms provide much more clean energy for our businesses and homes.

Another source of wind power lies in our oceans and the Great Lakes. The U.S. Energy Department supports innovative offshore wind projects. This will help build offshore wind turbines in U.S. waters.

Over 50% of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coastline. Thus capturing wind power off of America’s shores can provide energy to countless homes and businesses.

Learn more about Wind Power at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Kor-Pak Corp. helps the renewable energy industry by providing wind turbine brakes, pads and accessories. Learn more by visiting on Wind Power page.

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