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Wind turbine drive rejuvenated with Brevini repair service

Wind turbine drive rejuvenated with Brevini repair service
When a gearbox on a Vestas wind turbine at a large wind farm in the north of England recently needed servicing due to wear, Brevini Power Transmission was able to provide a full refurbishment and repair service.

The main drive gearboxes of wind turbines are well known to suffer in-service performance issues. The relatively rapid growth of this market, and the ever increasing demand for higher energy generating capacity, has meant that as fast as existing designs have been improved upon, newer, larger gearboxes with potentially new issues have entered the market. The result is a large number of main drive gearboxes that are in need of periodic repair and refurbishment.

Due to the costs of replacing gearboxes that have failed with new large drives, it is cost effective to keep a well managed maintenance and service schedule for existing systems. By taking the main drive out of service in a planned maintenance schedule, the unit can be refurbished and returned to full operational condition far more cost effectively. 

This was the case at a wind farm located in the north of England when a Lohmann & Stolterfoht drive needed to be serviced after several years of operation. The drive comprised of a single planetary low speed input, a helical intermediate stage and helical high speed output.

Having contacted a number of national industrial repair service providers, the maintenance manager opted to use Brevini Power Transmission to inspect and service the drive. Brevini has a vast experience of refurbishing all models and makes of gearboxes; as a gearbox manufacturer it is able to draw on its many resources, from technical expertise to commercial purchasing power to ensure that it delivers a first class service at competitive rates.

Dave Brown, Brevini UK Sales Manager, comments: "Within the UK we offer a range of services including repair, refurbishment and replacement for all types and manufacturers on units up to 15 tonnes. This includes a removal and reinstallation service and any re-design and up-rating that may be required. All work is carried out by trained service engineers in accordance with our ISO9001:2008 quality system."

The pre-strip-down inspection of the drive revealed that a number of the drives components had worn beyond acceptable limits. Areas affected included corroded and worn disc brakes, cracked seals on the brake callipers, split oil cooler hoses and corrosion on the intermediate shaft.

Brevini Power Transmission UK recommended that all critical components were NDT crack tested and a number of parts were replaced. A full set of bearings, replacement intermediate hollow shaft and planet section sun pinion transfer shaft were recommended, along with a number of ancillary parts including the oil filter, hoses, brake pads and seals. All replacement parts were sourced from the OEM and the drive was returned to its original specification. 

A spokesperson for the wind farm said: "Brevini's knowledge of power transmission equipment made it the ideal maintenance provider for the wind turbine drive. The service engineer was able to diagnose the boxes faults and recommend the quickest and most cost effective solution to return it to its original spec. The service and support that we received throughout the whole process was superb, we would definitely use Brevini for future gearbox maintenance."
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