Maintaining wind turbines in remote and wild locations can be dangerous, as well as time consuming. To address these challenges, a number of leading wind farms are rolling out smart, remote turbine inspection solutions that boost maintenance efficiency, while also dramatically improving safety for maintenance teams.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), wind power represents more than 16% of all renewable energy. It’s also one of the world’s fastest-growing energy sources, with production increasing by a factor of 75 in the last 20 years, from 7.5 gigawatts in 1997 to 564 gigawatts in 2018.
The challenges of wind-farm maintenance
To harvest the most energy possible, wind farms are often located in remote areas such as windy coastal regions, or high up in the mountains where wind is constant. This is great for keeping the turbines spinning, but it also creates significant maintenance challenges for on-site teams.
For example, maintenance staff often scale each wind turbine at least once a month in order to inspect them manually. As well as being a slow and time-intensive process, this is potentially very dangerous, especially where temperatures are sub-freezing, or when gusty winds increase the risk of accidents.
Making things better with smart, remote turbine inspection
The good news is that manual maintenance is no longer necessary. With the latest-generation smart video solutions, your teams can inspect turbines remotely from a central control center, reducing workloads and improving health and safety.
This kind of solution also helps you improve your preventative maintenance capabilities based on early warning alerts for abnormal turbine operation. This means your crews can resolve issues before they impact your production, minimizing downtime and ensuring continuity for your operations.
Putting the theory into practice at Chaka Wind Farm
Chaka Wind Farm in the mountainous Qinghai Province of China has achieved all these benefits and more with an intelligent wind farm operation and maintenance system from Hikvision.
The solution, which includes intelligent visual inspection equipment, personnel safety management, and real-time communication equipment, has reduced manual inspection requirements by 60%, boosting operational efficiency and minimizing risk for the maintenance team.
To find out how Hikvision solutions for remote turbine inspection could help you achieve similar results, read the full case study here.