Wind power can supply large amounts of clean electricity at a sensible cost.
However, there remains an acute need to iron out the hurdles the industry still faces. Downtime and unplanned maintenance is expensive, time-consuming and prevents efficient wind power production. Few turbines reach the end of their life cycle without repairs, as such, operators need to anticipate problems to minimise costs. One way of preventing such problems arising is to use turbine components that are reliable, efficient and cost effective.
Small components, such as seals, are often overlooked to an OEM’s detriment. Ineffective seals in wind turbines fail to adequately protect the bearing. Lubricant leakages not only cause blade staining and cleaning to be required, but leakages inside the turbine can cause components to fail. Inadequate seals allowing the ingress of particles into the bearing compromises performance and accelerates equipment failure.
Above all, a compromised seal is costly to replace. Not only is there the cost of a replacement seal to consider, but the question of labour costs and how to fit the new seal, and the loss of revenue for the period when the turbine is inoperative.
Seal manufacturing specialists have developed designs to provide solutions to the problem. James Walker has a number of on-site joining solutions, such as the Walkersele® OSJ-2, that offer the same integrity, life and performance as the seal fitted during manufacture by an OEM. Effective on-site joined sealing technology can be used on many of the bearings on a wind turbine and timely seal replacement reduces lubricant loss whilst maintaining low friction to extend component life and improve reliability.
James Walker engineers have a wealth of experience in on-site servicing and can replace a variety of seals on-site, with the minimum of disassembly to minimise the loss of energy production.
“As a global sealing supplier we aim to deliver high value to customers by providing reliable products with an extended life expectancy that remove the problems faced by the industry”, comments Barry Deeley, wind industry marketing manager for James Walker. “The on-site joined technologies reduce maintenance costs and downtime that in turn increases the ability to generate electricity and lower lifetime costs for customers.”
Source: James Walker