Featured in this issue:      Wind Turbine Maintenance/Monitor  |  Fiber Optics Solutions for Wind Turbines  |  Worm Gear Replacement — 2X More Torque  |  Composite Moulding Materials for Turbine Blades  |  Slip Ring Solutions for Wind Turbines  |  Turbine Blade Inspection with a 3D Scanner  |  Rotary Unions for Wind Turbine Pitch Control  |  UEA Slip Rings
 
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Breakthrough or Hype?
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Breakthrough or Hype?
 
Is the Sheerwind Invelox a breakthrough technology or not? The unusual design of the Invelox has attracted government and commercial interest, but some question the validity of its claims. Does the design really generate 6x the energy of a comparable standard turbine? In one published test, the Invelox sourced wind at a height of 59 ft, nearly double the wind energy available to the control turbine's height of 33 ft. According to Clean Technica, the numbers just don't add up.
 
 
 
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Fiber Optics Solutions for Wind Turbines
 
Fiber Optics Solutions for Wind Turbines
Avago Technologies
 
Plastic optical fiber or POF, is often specified in cost-effective solutions such as frequency conversion, power electronics control and industrial field buses. HCS is typically used for higher data rates and link length. At Avago, our range of connector schemes include connectorless, ST, SMA and versatile link options.
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FORCEing Cost Savings
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FORCEing Cost Savings
 
Offshore wind is expensive — it costs 50% more to generate a kilowatt at sea than on land. Unfortunately, the benefits of offshore wind — strength and consistency — make it hard to ignore despite its higher construction and deployment costs. Responding to this need, DNV-GL has created Project Force, a collaboration focusing on integrated design, enhanced control, advanced blade materials, and other cost-reduction solutions.
 
 
 
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Composite Moulding Materials for Turbine Blades
 
Composite Moulding Materials for Turbine Blades
Saint-Gobain Plastic Films and Tapes
 
These composite moulding materials are used worldwide by virtually every major composite fabricator. Recent developments have led to multiple use, self-adhesive PTFE sheet products marketed under the CHEMLAM® brand that are unique in construction and give blade manufacturers numerous advantages over conventional mould linings. Available from Saint-Gobain.
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Slip Ring Solutions for Wind Turbines
 
Slip Ring Solutions for Wind Turbines
Moog Components Group
 
Wind turbines require reliable transmission of power and data signals from the nacelle to the control system for the rotary blades. Moog's slip rings provide the performance and quality needed in demanding environments. Costly downtime is eliminated by using fiber brushes and robust mechanical components in the slip ring design.
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Taller Turbine Towers
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Taller Turbine Towers
 
Taller towers mean more wind, but they are harder to transport and assemble. A new method using on-site spiral wound sheeting could make towers practical even in places with poor access, like mountain tops. Engineering360 reports that the new towers are 40% lighter than standard towers, saving even more on transportation costs.
 
 
 
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Rotary Unions for Wind Turbine Pitch Control
 
Rotary Unions for Wind Turbine Pitch Control
Rotary Systems, Inc.
 
Rotary Systems is recognized for our innovative design and manufacturing capabilities in rotary unions and electrical slip rings. From our skilled engineers to our state-of-the-art facility to our incredible depth of knowledge, you can trust Rotary Systems to always deliver rotating unions and slip ring solutions designed and built to the highest standards possible.
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UEA Slip Rings
 
UEA Slip Rings
United Equipment Accessories, Inc.
 
United Equipment Accessories' wind turbine slip rings are engineered to perform up to 75 million revolutions. UEA slip rings offer design versatility and a wide selection of circuitry. Our engineers will work with you on your specific wind turbine application to provide the highest performing quality slip ring available!
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Bearing the Load
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Bearing the Load
 
Many wind turbine designs use a single bearing to carry the main shaft. A configuration using a spherical roller bearing backed up by torque arms is commonly used, but this places tremendous loads on the bearing assembly. Renewable Energy World explains how and why these particular assemblies fail, along with several ways to mitigate the problem.
 
 
 
Software Support for Siting Decisions
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Software Support for Siting Decisions
 
New software from the U.S. National Renewal Energy Laboratory (NREL) could be a wind farm planner's best friend. Called SOWFA — Simulator for Wind Farm Applications — the open-source tool combines terrain, temperature, wake effect, and other factors affecting wind farm airflow into a single cohesive model. NREL expects the tool to reduce the risk inherent in siting decisions, saving operators time and money.
 
 
 
Prototype Turbine Sets New Record
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Prototype Turbine Sets New Record
 
Almost 200,000 kilowatt hours in one 24-hour period. That's the new world record set by a Vestas 8 MW prototype at the company test site in Osterild, Denmark. For comparison purposes, it's roughly the same energy output as 104 metric tons of coal, and enough juice to power 13,500 households.
 
 
 
2030 — Wind Power in Control?
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2030 — Wind Power in Control?
 
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) just released its predictions for the next two decades. The most surprising is an estimate that wind could provide 20% of global electrical power by 2030. The GWEC attributes much of this to renewed interest and recognition of the effects of climate change, but sees several equally massive obstacles in the way of a wind-powered revolution.
 
 
 
Compressed Air — The Other Energy Storage
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Compressed Air — The Other Energy Storage
 
The larger the grid, the easier it is to incorporate wind energy. For smaller grids, wind's irregularity demands effective energy storage solutions like batteries, pumped water, or a more esoteric solution like compressed air. A recent paper from the Offshore Energy and Storage Symposium suggests that seafloor balloons may be the way to go.

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