Turbine nacelle
Renewable energy

Engineering to meet the challenges of the wind industry ‑ reducing costs

Commodity products at the lowest possible price no longer provide a cost effective solution for key sealing challenges in the wind sector.

04 August 2022

For an increasing number of applications, purchasing standard commodity products at the lowest possible price no longer provides a cost effective solution for key sealing challenges in the wind sector.

Extending and enhancing performance
Within an expected lifespan of 25 years and the potential to extend beyond that for a further 10 years, many components such as seals will potentially need to be replaced a number of times. Minimising the cost and downtime involved in such activities will have a significant impact on the total cost of ownership of each turbine. In these cases there are three routes to minimising costs of ownership; Firstly by increasing reliability and extending the life of components; secondly, by enhancing performance of components when in operation to make the turbine more efficient and finally by making replacement of the component a simpler, faster and cheaper operation.

Simplifying maintenance
Walkersele OSJ-D is an excellent example of a product specifically designed to help reduce total cost of turbine ownership by delivering performance benefits and cost reductions. Main bearing and slew ring bearing replacement on a turbine is a potentially huge maintenance task - particularly with the increasing size of modern equipment. OSJ-D allows major shaft and bearing seals to be replaced in-situ without the need for major disassembly. The replacement seal is joined on site yet delivers a sealing performance and longevity that will match the original component fitted by the OEM. The innovative joining method is easily and quickly carried out by James Walker engineers and trained OEM Service technicians, or suitably trained personnel from the wind farm operator or MRO provider, minimising downtime and lost generation.

Off-the-shelf commodity products may physically fit the housing and initially seal the shaft or bearing as required but as they have not been designed to cope with the specific demands of modern turbines, performance and longevity will rapidly degrade. The importance of seal performance and its effect on turbine reliability, generating efficiency and long term running costs, should not be underestimated. As James Walker partners in the wind sector have discovered, working hand in hand with your seal provider to engineer solutions together can offer significant benefits.

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Contributors

Geoff teesdale
Geoff Teasdale Product Manager United Kingdom
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