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The Application: Pitch Drive Amplifier in GE 1.5 ESS Wind Turbines Editor’s Note: This Blog is Part One in a Five-Part Series about the Most Failure-Prone Electrical Systems in Wind Turbines That PSI Repair Most Frequently Services If you read our recent article about electrical failures in wind turbines published in North American Clean Energy, you’ll know that electrical system failures are responsible for 50% of all Wind Turbine (WT) downtime according to Reliawind report data. What’s surprising is that the system reported to have the single highest failure rate isn’t the power converter – and, even more surprising, it isn’t even technically considered an “electrical” system by their classification and therefore isn’t included in that 50% mark (making that figure an underestimation). The Pitch System – which is located in the turbine hub and is designed to regulate rotor blade angles in order to maximize wind power production –…
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It’s hard to overstate the importance of Wind Turbine performance on the future of the Wind Energy industry and, in many respects, the future of power generation and clean energy in the United States. If the Department of Energy is right, wind farms will generate 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030 and 35% by 2050 (up from just 5% today). This shift would spell massive change around the world, starting with American shoreline views and extending to the stability of OPEC economies. But there’s one key variable that will define whether the 35%-by-2015 scenario becomes reality or remains a pipedream. Everything hinges on Wind Turbine (WT) Reliability, a measurement of the availability, performance, and output of turbines. Recent research puts WT O&M costs between $9.8 to $21 per megawatt-hour, with the average GE 1.5 MW turbine producing about 3,285,000 kWh (or 3,285 mWh) of wind power output annually. This is consistent with…
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