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RenewDevon - YouGen

17 May 2010 02:05:43

How to service your wind turbine

Small wind turbines are designed to have a long life with very little maintenance. The actual servicing required will depend on the brand of turbine installed. Some are designed to have a 15 year service-free life. Most require a simple inspection service each year.

You will need access to the turbine to do the service, and this needs to be considered when installing it. A 6kW turbine is often installed on a pivoting tower. The tower can be raised and lowered using a winch and ginpole arrangement. There needs to be an anchor block and sufficient space to lower the turbine into. Consider future development before you install the turbine, as the space cannot be built on or even have sheds or similar structures erected.

Once the turbine is lowered, the service needs will vary but will typically involve no more than a visual inspection of the blades and mountings, checking the torque of key bolts and on some turbines applying lubrication.

Many turbine owners will carry out this maintenance themselves and it will take two to three hours. If a specialist contractor is used, the costs will vary. The key factor is how far do they need to travel to complete the work. Costs are typically in the region of £250 for a simple annual service on a small turbine. If specialist access equipment is needed this will increase the costs.

First published on http://www.yougen.co.uk/. About the author: Graham Eastwick is a director of Encraft, and manages renewable energy installations for home owners, community organisations and small businesses across the UK.

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