Duke Energy to Use Innovative Technology to Make Wind Turbine Repair Faster and Cleaner

28 Jul 2020

Duke Energy Renewables is making wind turbine repair and maintenance a breeze by offering a first-of-its-kind service option to wind energy producers around the U.S. An alternative lifting service is now available through Duke Energy Renewable Services, an industry-leading operator and maintenance provider for third-party wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities in the U.S.

Traditional wind turbine maintenance requires many cranes, a massive construction zone and precise scheduling of multiple contractors and equipment. The alignment of multiple resources inserts an element of risk to completing wind turbine projects on time and on budget. Duke Energy Renewables' alternative lifting service makes that process more efficient.  

"Streamlining the wind turbine maintenance process to one call, one truck, one team and in as little as one day is a new service, we're thrilled to offer our commercial wind energy customers," said Jeff Wehner, vice president of Duke Energy Renewables. "U.S. wind power has more than tripled over the past decade. As wind energy resources continue to grow, utilizing more efficient maintenance services will help to optimize wind energy resources so that they produce the greatest amount of renewable energy possible."

The service is the first U.S. commercial offering that leverages the GenHook LT all-in-one crane package from KenzFigee – a well-established global specialist supplier and service provider of tailor-made cranes and equipment for the marine, offshore and wind energy industries. 

"KenzFigee is proud to deliver a product that reflects Duke Energy's commitment to sustainability and service excellence," said Jan-Pieter Klaver, CEO of KenzFigee. 

"The complexity and coordination of so many people and pieces of equipment often results in costly project delays," added Wehner. "We knew there had to be a better way, and working closely with KenzFigee, we found it."

A better option for wind turbine maintenance

Some key benefits now available to commercial wind site operators who choose an alternative lifting solution include:

  • Easy transport – Mobilization requires just a standard 40-foot shipping container, eliminating the need for oversized or overweight road permits as well as the typical caravan of heavy trucks emitting fossil-fuel exhaust. 
  • Quick setup – Mobile cranes often require an entire day for setup before work can begin and another day for equipment removal. 
  • Safety and precision – Engineered to eliminate ground stability issues and operate in wind speeds up to about 40 miles per hour (18 meters per second), the service enables wind turbine repair and replacement up to 100 meters in the air with fewer unexpected delays. 
  • Reduced risk – One contractor versus many and a smaller construction zone result in a more easily coordinated project that keeps workers safe, while projects are kept on schedule and on budget. 
  • Environmentally friendly – Powered by a wind turbine's back-feed circuit, the new up-tower crane is fully electrical and produces zero greenhouse emissions as compared to traditional cranes that run on fossil fuels. The reduced project footprint also minimizes damage to local terrain and wildlife.

Follow this link for an animated video demonstrating the alternative lifting service. 

Large Corrective Services 

Duke Energy Renewable Services offers a variety of preventive and corrective services to commercial wind sites within the U.S. 

The Large Corrective Team services and replaces major components in wind turbines in excess of 100 meters tall. The massive turbine blades can sweep a vertical airspace of about an acre and the blades contribute to a total wind turbine height exceeding 400 feet.

The Large Corrective Team is ISO 9001:2015 certified and boasts an industry-leading safety record and offers experienced technicians, specialized tooling, dedicated project management, scheduling, crane management and lift planning to help keep U.S. wind turbines spinning. 

"Wind power is already a top clean energy source," said Tony Morelli, who manages the Large Corrective Team. "We're proud to deploy this state-of-the-art, zero-emission crane to make it even cleaner."

Duke Energy | http://www.duke-energy.com