Go Back   This Blue Marble, a Global Current Events Discussion Forum > Main Floor > Science Center > Power Station

Power Station A wing of the Science Center dedicated to the discussion of energy issues. This includes both technical and political discussions of current and future conventional and renewable energy issues.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-06-2008, 08:24 AM   #1
Renegade
Certified Southern Moderator
 
Renegade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 7,665
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Survey Says 60% of US Wind Turbines May Be Behind in Maintenance

September 5, 2008

California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com]

Frontier Pro Services has released the results of an informal survey of approximately 75 wind farm operators in the United States. Designed to assess the specific operation and maintenance service needs of wind energy operators, the survey reveals what could be serious threats to wind farms largely because of the industry-wide shortage of qualified turbine technicians, Frontier said.

According to the findings, many wind farm operations and maintenance teams are so resource constrained that they are barely able to keep up with the unscheduled maintenance repairs their wind turbines require to continue generating electricity. Even regular, scheduled preventative-maintenance like oil changes and gearbox lubrication (services that are often still under warranty) are falling behind as manufacturers face similar resource struggles related to the shortage of qualified technicians.

Gearbox failures account for the largest amount of downtime, maintenance, and lose of power production. These costly failures can total 15-20% of the price of the turbine itself, making wind turbine and gearbox maintenance a high priority.

“Most gearbox failures are preventable,” said Jack Wallace, lead technical advisor for Frontier Pro Services. “Most gearboxes fail as a direct result of improper lubrication and lack of routine maintenance. With so many turbines behind on inspections and regular service, there is real cause for concern here,” Mr. Wallace continued.

If oil is not properly monitored and replaced as needed, bearing and gear wear will lead to more serious and costly damage to the drive train. According to Frontier, when a US $1,500 bearing fails unnoticed, it can lead to production loss and revenue loss including an unscheduled replacement of a US $100,000 dollar gearbox and a unscheduled crane cost of up to US $70,000 to access the failed components.

The Frontier Pro Services Operations & Maintenance survey was conducted through a combination of informal phone interviews and in-person meetings with operations and maintenance technicians, wind farm operators, and wind farm owners during the first six months of 2008.

For more information about the survey, click here.

The results of this survey come as earlier this year a 200-foot Vestas wind turbine near the city of Århus in Denmark disintegrated in high winds when a blade came loose and hit the central tower, causing the whole structure to collapse. Two days later a blade broke off of a turbine near Sidinge, Denmark.
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/...story?id=53502
Renegade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 05:05 PM   #2
Fiddlerdave
Not Active
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Typical for ALL our power infrastructure. Maintenance on coal, nuclear, and transmission lines was bad and heavily neglected 25 years ago, and everything I see says its much worse now.

Not to mention oil pipelines rotted through like the BP pipeline taken offline on an emergency basis a year or two ago. If I remembered correctly, they hadn't even looked at it in a decade.
Fiddlerdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
BuilderBob
Member Level 5
 
BuilderBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, UK
Posts: 781
Thanks: 68
Thanked 106 Times in 76 Posts
Not just maintenance problems. Have a look at some Wind Turbine Accidents.
BuilderBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2008, 09:23 PM   #4
Fiddlerdave
Not Active
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuilderBob View Post
Not just maintenance problems. Have a look at some Wind Turbine Accidents.
That there wind stuff is sure some dangerous technology!

With a failure rate like that across the world, (10 cases or so), who could imagine it would really be able to supply power for us?
Fiddlerdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2008, 01:35 PM   #5
BuilderBob
Member Level 5
 
BuilderBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, UK
Posts: 781
Thanks: 68
Thanked 106 Times in 76 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlerdave View Post
That there wind stuff is sure some dangerous technology!

With a failure rate like that across the world, (10 cases or so), who could imagine it would really be able to supply power for us?
Does that post qualify as humor? I just offered the pictures. But if you want more windmill accidents see here.

For such new technology the accident rate seems high.
BuilderBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2008, 08:19 PM   #6
Fiddlerdave
Not Active
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuilderBob View Post
Does that post qualify as humor? I just offered the pictures. But if you want more windmill accidents see here.

For such new technology the accident rate seems high.
The accident rate is almost non-existant. 505 "accidents"??? (Most of them are simply mechanical failures). There are over 13,000 commercial power-generating wind turbines in my state of California ALONE. Texas has an enormous number and both states have more every day. World wide, there are many hundreds of thousands of large commercial turbines. .01% aint bad.

I initially thought your posting of this trivial number of "accidents" as a joke. As for "new technology", there's nothing new about them, except for constantly bigger and more advanced versions.

And to compare, for 10 years I worked mostly on coal generating power plants. There were at least 10 plants we did weeks or months of emergency repairs when the operators blew them up by too much injection of startup natural gas (many other kinds of accidents happen, including huge fires). Some operators were injured. Others can be simply outright killed by leaking steam (operating at huge pressures, the tiniest pinhole leak in the hundred's of miles of pressure tubing produces an invisible laser knife of super-heated steam that pretty much cuts you in half if you walk into it). While bulding large plants, on the "safe" better managed projects, an average of one man a month died during the construction, more were seriously injured and permanently disabled. Men die every year at fossil fuel plants now.

There's the price of fossil fuel plant operation (not even counting their construction). Its good to consider now and then when looking at technologies that eliminate them (like wind that requires no fuel at all), since these fossil-fuel-caused HUGE COSTS and LARGE NUMBER OF DEATHS are all old news and does not make the news:
http://www.citact.org/newsite/module...rder=0&thold=0
Quote:
Indiana relies heavily on coal-fired power plants for electricity. Approximately 96% of our electric energy comes from coal plants. Our reliance on coal-fired power has grim consequences for the public health. Documented health impacts include asthma, heart attacks, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, stroke, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The following is a synopsis of “Dirty Air, Dirty Power”, Written by Conrad G. Schneider. Maria Padian, Ed. Clear the Air: June 2004.

A number of separate and independent studies have linked power plant emissions with a host of serious health problems in the U.S. that can result in serious and costly illnesses or premature death. These include asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Emissions originating from coal-fired power plants have been found to be the most serious. This has had grim consequences in Indiana, where we rely on coal for 96% of our electricity.

Nationally, it is estimated that the following are linked to power plant emissions:

23,600 deaths each year
21,850 hospital admissions each year
26,000 emergency room visits for asthma
38,200 heart attacks
16,200 chronic bronchitis
554,000 asthma attacks
3,186,000 lost work days

Power Plant Emissions 101:

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) is formed in gases when coal is burned. It reacts in the air to form sulfuric acid, sulfates, and acidic particles. Sulfate particles, predominantly formed from coal-fired power plants’ sulfur dioxide emissions, are more strongly associated with human mortality than other components of particulate matter.
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) are formed when coal is burned. It can convert in the atmosphere to nitrates and form fine acidic particles. It reacts in the sunlight to form ozone smog.
Mercury is released when coal is burned. It is linked to developmental effects in babies of mothers who ate contaminated fish while pregnant.
Carbon Dioxide is formed when coal is burned. Indirect health effects may be associated with climate change.

Fine particles are a mixture of harmful pollutants that originate from combustion sources such as power plants, diesel trucks, buses, and cars. They can also be formed in the atmosphere from power plant sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide emissions. Fine particles bypass the natural defense mechanisms of the lung, becoming deeply lodged in the lung where they can cause respiratory damage and cardiac effects, including increased risk of heart attack. They have also been linked with fatal heart attack, lung cancer, stroke, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Key findings from this report show that:

Fine particle pollution from U.S. Power Plants cuts short the lives of nearly 24,000 people each year.
The average number of life years lost by individuals dying prematurely from exposure to particulate matter is 14 years.
Hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and lost work days are attributed to exposure to fine particles from power plants, including 38,200 non-fatal heart attacks each year nationally.
The total national health costs of power plant pollution, including emergency room and hospital treatment, as well as lost work days, is estimated to be $167.3 billion each year.
The EPA estimates that attainment of more protective health standards for fine particles alone could save 15,000 lives per year.

About 90% of deaths due to particle pollution could be avoided by capping power plant sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution at levels consistent with the installation of today’s best available emissions controls.

Health Effects of Coal-burning Power Plants

Evidence suggests that emissions originating from coal-fired plants are the most dangerous.

Sulfate particles are more strongly linked to human mortality than any other component of particulate matter. 68% of sulfate-forming sulfur-dioxide comes from power plants, while 90% of sulfur dioxide emitted by all power plants comes from coal-burning power plants.
States with large populations in proximity to many coal-fired power plants are estimated to have the largest health impact resulting from power plant emissions.
Smaller metropolitan areas around coal country experience the largest per-capita impacts.

Dirty Power in Indiana

Indiana depends on coal for 96% (check) our electricity.
Indiana's power plants place it among the nation's top-five polluting states in the country.
Indiana has the second highest emissions of nitrogen oxides, the third highest emissions of sulfur dioxide (which is most strongly linked to human mortality), and the fourth highest emissions of both carbon dioxide and mercury.
Indiana is ranked fifth in the nation for mortality and per-capita deaths related to power plant emissions, while Indianapolis is the 15th ranked metro area in the nation for deaths related to power plant emissions.
Terre Haute is ranked 12th nationally for per-capita deaths related to power plant emissions.
Health Impacts in Indiana

Each of the following is estimated to be linked to power plant pollution in Indiana:

887 deaths per year
1,491 heart attacks per year
114 lung cancer deaths per year
21,532 asthma attacks per year
845 hospital admissions per year
618 cases of chronic bronchitis per year
1,274 asthma ER visits per year

It is estimated that a significant portion of premature deaths and health problems could be avoided by capping power plant emissions at levels consistent with the installation of today’s best available emissions controls. Additionally, this would save the public billions of dollars in health-related expenses each year.
Fiddlerdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2008, 08:26 PM   #7
dyrt
. . .
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,869
Blog Entries: 3
Thanks: 30
Thanked 371 Times in 263 Posts
I doubt the wind-gen accident rate is anywhere near that of oil fields.
dyrt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
60%, maintenance, survey, turbines, wind

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright © Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.