The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Miscellaneous / Climate Change


Subject:  Re: Lifespan of wind farms Date:  2/10/2013  10:26 PM
Author:  waterfell Number:  40801 of 84133

If the mechanics of the turbines are wearing out, or lubrication or bearings are failing, those are issues that can be addressed.
We need the rest of the story.


Here is an article that addresses the O&M costs associated with wind turbines.

There is a chart that shows the types and frequencies of the failure modes that can occur on the machines. (Delamination of the blades is not mentioned, nor is any problem associated with the blades.)

In terms of Incidents per 10 Machine Years, the following is the breakdown of the failure mechanisms listed:
Electrics- 5.51
Control Unit- 3.71
Sensors- 2.8
Hydraulics- 2.7
Yaw System- 2.5
Brakes- 2.0
Gearbox- 1.3
Generator- 1.3
Structure- 1.2
Drive Train- 1.0

As shown in the graphic, it is also important to consider the length of downtime for each failure. A gearbox failure, for instance, usually results in more downtime than an electrical component problem.

As time goes on, it would not surprise me if the wind turbines improve their performance. Failures are analyzed, and improvements are made in the next generation machine to reduce or eliminate the failures. This is how engineering is done. However, the machines still sit out in the open elements 365 days per year. Some failure modes might only be able to be controlled instead of eliminated completely.

- Pete
Copyright 1996-2018 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us