How often are wind turbines serviced?

Wind turbines need to work properly at all times and be safe for people working around them. How they are serviced and kept in a good condition depends mostly on the wind plant owner – some decide to spend every penny on regular service and repairs to prevent any damage, others stick to repairing only the things that get broken. Obviously, being able to keep up with regular repairs and prevent some damages is more beneficial – it makes the wind plant work smoothly at all times and helps avoid long periods of complete shutdown while its being repaired. How often are wind turbines serviced and what can be done to extend their longevity?

All depends on location

The frequency of necessary turbine repairs is hugely dependant on the location and the conditions it has to endure every day. If the turbines are located in dusty, sandy environment with strong winds, they will produce more energy but also may require more attention and frequent servicing. The thing that will require most touch-ups is the steel coating that covers all exposed steel parts of the turbine and protects it against harsh weather conditions, moisture, corrosion, UV and any other factors that may weaken the structure.

In order to make sure that twice-a-year service and repairs will be enough for wind turbine, every factor that can affect its endurance should be properly assessed and taken into consideration. For wind turbines working off-shore, the changing weather conditions and harsh environment will be much more damaging and demanding than for wind turbines working in a rather calm, moderately windy area.

The paint coatings that protect both the blades and the turbine tower from corrosion, surface damage and other risk factors should be chosen with all conditions in mind, although they will still require frequent check-ups if you want to prevent any costly damage.

Wind turbine next to the woods

Wind turbine parts that require frequent check-ups and service

At some point, every wind turbine will require some repairs and restoration work, which is why it’s important to be aware of which parts might get damaged the quickest and provide them with proper service and regular inspections to prevent as much damage as possible.

Regular inspections for blades and wind turbine towers is recommended around 2-3 times a year, depending on the environment that the turbine is working in. If there are any damages in blades or the wind turbine tower, they should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage, even if the wind turbine itself is working properly with the existing damage. As far as the towers go, one thing that will be repaired most frequently is the anti-corrosion layer of paint that should be put up by an experienced team of technicians.

With their experience and supplies, repairs can be done quickly and properly, sometimes without having to stop the wind turbine for longer periods of time. Technicians can work both on and off-shore, using rope access, which gives them that much more flexibility and access to some rather unreachable parts.