PARAT on the move with the wind turbine technicians

CLEAN ENERGY THANKS TO SOPHISTICATED TECHNOLOGY

Energy turnaround is in full swing: with nearly 40% of net electricity production, renewable energies are rapidly gaining substantial share in terms of power generation in Germany. Free of charge and available in unlimited supply, wind power is ranked first in the segment energy mix in power generation with a market share of 18% and has become indispensable on today’s power supply.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the huge plants have a potential service life of 20 – 25 year. To achieve this lifespan, regular maintenance and checkups are mandatory. Each wind power plant is reviewed at least twice a year, critical components such as generator, gear mechanisms, brakes and main bearings have to be repaired and replaced every 6 years at the latest.

Source: Fraunhofer-Institut

TROUBLE-FREE MAINTENANCE?

Regular routine maintenance work has to be carried out strictly by the book. State-of-the-art technology allows easy remote servicing even via the internet. Unlike software details, which in most of the cases have remote access for fine-tuning, micromechanical parts are exposed to unpredictable environmental influences. Strong winds for instance can damage the plants and even set them completely out of operation. These defects need to be repaired and fixed directly on site. Speed takes top priority in order to maintain power supply. Especially in the fall months with a high level of energy utilization, damage caused by environmental influences accumulates. But who takes on these tasks?

THE SPECIALISTS

On-site operation is carried out by specially trained experts. Olaf and Dirk from the North Rhine-Westfalia maintenance crew, are two of them. The specialists have vast technical and mechanical know-how and expertise and are the solution to all local issues and problems there. In addition to the regular maintenance work, they have to fix all acute failures. They were just on their way to a quite normal field operation when they got a message that one of the wind power plants nearby had been damaged by a heavy storm the night before. As the computer systems stopped responding, they don’t get a detailed error analysis that time and just received the information that the plant had been switched off to avoid further damage.

IMPROVISING ON SITE

While still on their way to the wind turbine, they discuss potential causes for the failure and try to make a prognosis in advance. When arrived at the scene, they get going straight away. One-banana problems can be fixed according to the standard protocol, errors in the computer system can also be eliminated directly on the spot using a notebook. But in this case, the standard procedure will be of no help. The problem cannot be solved from the ground, they need to climb up the turbine house, right to the rotor of the plant.

They are standing in front of the large ladder – danger increases with each meter. With a height of 125 meters and a rotor diameter of more than 100 meters, they climb on one of the largest plants in the region. When they got to the top, they are in their ‘zone’.

BLIND TRUST AT A HEIGHT OF 100 METERS

Quickly checking the rotor – this is not the problem now. For the specialists, this means: going outside and climb to the defective rotor blade, 100 meters above the ground, secured by a full-body harness – daily routine for Olaf and Dirk. The team operates perfectly like clockwork and knows how to deal with the life-threatening situation. Safety first: communication with one another is kind of elementary because even the smallest mistake can have fatal consequences. The focus is 100% on their job, always keeping at the back of their mind the responsibility that a longer standstill may cause huge revenue shortfalls and that the components they handle are extremely expensive.

THE EQUIPMENT FOR EXTREMELY HARD JOBS

Not only reliance on your colleague is key here – your equipment is at least as important: professionals trust in highest quality to reduce the risk to a minimum.

In order to be prepared to work quickly and in a structured manner in such situations, your tools have to be ready to hand at all times.

Olaf and Dirk opt for the PARABELT belt bag L. Simply fastened around the waist, they always carry the most important tools with them. At a height of more than 100 meters, they can concentrate fully on their job – the belt bag guarantees permanent order where it is needed. This way, their focus is 100% on curing the defect.

 

STORAGE SOLUTIONS WITHOUT COMPROMISE

PARAT understands how important order is, and this is also guaranteed in extreme situations. As a reliable partner, we support professionals with our smart storage systems. We’ve designed a perfect storage solution for tools so that Olaf and Dirk won’t have to worry about safety and order.

Whether portable belt bag or tool case – PARAT offers smart and reliable aids so that experts such as the North Rhine-Westfalia maintenance team can continue to maintain production of renewable energy.

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