Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 2
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 time goes on, it would not surprise me if the wind turbines improve their performance. ...
This is how engineering is done.

Some of these, once the failure rate is known are easy to fix. For example, the sensors. The cheapest solution might be to just install an alternate backup set of sensors, then only shutdown and repair when two like ones have gone out. Of course maybe the sensors can be improved, but we'd need to know why they are failing. It can be as simple as dust and dirt covers an optical sensor.

On the structural problems. Structures are very well known. But to be economical they are going to design right at the margin. They can make every structure 10% better and eliminate 95% of the problems...but then the initial costs go up.

All the same cost tradeoffs go into steam plants as well. Things like condensate pumps fail. So they have pre-installed backups...probably sometimes with autostart features when they sense low pressure output.

It seems that, by design, wind farms already have pre-installed backups. Dozens or hundreds of other wind turbines, each one operating independently. The only "critical" components are where all the power is switched into the grid. So it is a big cost tradeoff of cost vs reliability and longevity.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.