Support for maintenance activities across wind turbine estates

SKF’s Windlub centralized lubrication system for wind turbines is supporting Italy’s leading wind energy operator (among the top ten wind energy operators in Europe) to roll out a fully automated lubrication programme on more than one hundred wind turbines across seven countries. A recent survey demonstrated that 80% of lubrication points installed are still manually lubricated. Lubrication is a vital maintenance task for wind turbine operators and can be particularly onerous and expensive, especially if manual methods are employed across remote and difficult-to-access sites.
Now SKF is supporting ERG with a planned maintenance service. As well as existing SKF lubrication systems, new automated lubrication solutions are included, specifically SKF’s Windlub centralised, automated lubrication upgrade system, which is purpose designed for the wind power generation sector. The program is split into three specific areas: service carried out on existing generator lubrication pump units; installation of automatic lubrication systems for those generators not already fitted with such systems; and finally the installation of automatic lubrication systems for turbine pitch bearings.
SKF provided all necessary tools for the maintenance system upgrade, such as manual and battery operated filling pumps, assortment case boxes, fittings and pipes, the refurbishment of existing pump units and delivery of special after-market kits, each designed in accordance with the original OEM’s specifications. Over time, it is expected that automated lubrication systems will be rolled out across ERG’s huge wind turbine estate to optimise bearing service life, increase turbine uptime and reduce manpower costs – all of which will combine to help make the company’s wind farms more profitable in the long term. Also, thanks to the expertise of SKF’s Solution Factory in Italy, ERG can be assured of the highest levels of installation service standards. Automatic lubrication systems deliver the exact quantity of the appropriate lubricant to the right place at the right time. Customized solutions, as well as complete kits, are available for pitch, yaw, main and generator bearings, as well as open gear applications. Automatic lubrication systems provide a quick return on investment by increasing turbine system availability, extending maintenance intervals and preventing failures of major components. Additional savings can be achieved through proper lubricant handling and consumption, thanks to the inherent precision in pump control unit settings.