Troubleshooting a Small Wind Turbine
Do you have a wind turbine that needs repair or troubleshooting, be it a small wind turbine or an industrial type? The operation of a small turbine may seem easy but the construction and design is quite complex. It can be quite a challenge to maintain and troubleshoot such devices. But don't fret, below you will learn how to troubleshoot a small wind turbine. In order to effectively troubleshoot it, you will need to understand the parts of a small wind turbine. Thus, when you see that your wind turbine doesn't seem to be how it should look like, you'll know which part needs maintenance or repair.
Wind Turbine Blades
A wind turbine can have 2 or 3 large blades. It depends on the design of the wind turbine that you have. The most common lengths of wind turbines range from 22 to 90 meters. They rotate in slow speeds, depending on the speed and force of the wind. When you look at your wind turbine's blades, you should notice that the blades are connected to a high-speed output generator through a hub or gear drive. It works under high-gear ratio such as 50 to 1, enabling it to convert the rotor's low speed and high torque to high speed and low torque of the generator.
You should keep in mind that small wind turbines require regular maintenance. For one, lubricating it every so often will keep it in great condition. Aside from that, hydraulic oil is a must when operating the blade pitch and rotor brakes. For the generator bearings, grease is required. If you think you haven't done any of these maintenance services, then there's a big chance that the problem is any of these three. Check the parts and see if they are well lubricated. Perhaps you will only need to buy grease or oil and lubricate the parts mentioned above.
Gear Box Problems
One of the biggest problems with wind turbine operations is the gear box. It has been quite a challenge with various brands and manufacturers. Newer models are coming up with improvements with regards to gear tooth finish, technology, oil cleanliness requirements, compatibility, seal effectiveness, elimination of sludge, contamination control, and even lubricants used. These improvements have greatly improved and lessened issues with the wind turbine's gear box.
Wind Turbine Lubrication
Most of the wind turbine manufacturers have developed high lubricant requirements for gear boxes and bearings. This means that it is a requirement that you keep your gear box and bearings well lubricated. It has become a standard in order to prevent premature bearing failures.
Sludge in Gears and Bearings
When you check your gears and bearings and you see sludge, then you have found the problem. Sludge can be caused by various factors. Among those are high-operating temperature, air bubbles in the lubricant, solid contaminant, bacterial growth, and water and oil emulsions. Try to clean it out first, clean the oils and lubricants and refill oils according to manufacturer's requirements. Then try to test it out if it will work.