Wind Turbines

The challenges in the Wind Turbine market
More and more emphasis is put in reducing the lifetime operational costs of Wind Turbines to improve their economics.
Wind turbines are subject to fluctuating winds, and hence fluctuating forces. This is particularly the case if they are located in a very turbulent wind climate.
Components which are subject to repeated bending, such as rotor blades, may eventually develop cracks which ultimately may make the component break. A historical example is the huge German Growian machine (100 m rotor diameter) which had to be taken out of service after less than three weeks of operation. Metal fatigue is a well known problem in many industries.
Benefits of UIT
UIT extends the fatigue life of welded details, not only for new manufactured structures but also for existing structures in service having a certain amount of fatigue damage. This means that, for the given situation having no or shallow fatigue cracks, the fatigue resistance of the strengthened detail has been restored to the original one.

Furthermore significant materials saving between 20 40% can be achieved by treating the welds with UIT. This will save on the relatively high material costs and reduction of transportation and installation cost because of the reduced weight.
Typical applications
UIT can be used to enhance the fatigue life and reduce weight in many different Wind Turbine components, such as:
  • Shaft of the Turbine
  • Interface Pylon - Turbine
  • Pylon
  • Foundation
  • Tripot

Click here for a report of the TU Delft regarding Improving fatigue resistance for monopiles using Ultrasonic Impact Treatment (UIT)