Wind turbines, like any machines, benefit from regular maintenance. Homemade wind turbines need to be maintained at regular intervals to ensure uninterrupted, optimized, clean energy, and a sound investment.
Tips on maintaining your homemade wind turbines:
Check the gearbox regularly
The gearbox is the heart of the wind turbine system. It keeps the turbine running smoothly to generate efficient and clean electricity. If a gearbox becomes problematic, the whole wind energy system will not operate correctly. Like other gearbox, it contains gears that need to be freshly-oiled and lubricated regularly to keep the gears from grinding and wearing, check the gearbox for dirt, debris, and other elements that may prevent it from working efficiently. Schedule a regular oil and oil filter change.
Wind turbines are one of the systems that require demanding gearbox applications due to extremely difficult loads to predict. Replacement components can also be expensive, which is why regular upkeep is recommended.
Keep the blades clean and damage free
Like a normal fan, the blades of homemade wind turbines need to be cleaned regularly. Dirt can cause damage to the blades and prevent it from running at its maximum potential. Wind turbine blades also need to be balanced or risk gearbox and shaft problems, causing more damage and stopping the system’s operations altogether.
Auto-sensors actually help
Most people look at auto-sensors as an additional cost and are not essential in wind energy systems. The truth is that auto-sensors optimize the turbine’s operation. These sensors automatically detect the direction of the wind and then shift the turbine to the best direction to be able to generate more energy. Solar energy panels also use auto-sensors that adjust the panels to the direction of the sun, thus harvesting more sunlight.
Check bolt and screw torques
Turbine bolts need to be re-torqued regularly to ensure safe and efficient operation. Bolts and screws loosen because of the blade spinning vibration. Regularly check the bolts and tighten or change if needed. Loose bolts and screws do not only decrease the efficiency of wind turbines, they also pose great danger to nearby areas.
Regularly check brake pads
Wind turbine blades are installed with brake pads that help control the speed of the blades. Some people think brake pads lessen the energy generated by wind turbines. However, safety comes first. It is essential to keep the brake pads in top condition to be able to control and stop the rotors or propellers that are moving too quickly. Although most wind turbine brake pads automatically detects wind speed and stops the rotors accordingly, it’s always best to check it regularly.
Maintenance cost of wind turbines is generally low, especially newly installed and newer generations of turbines. However, it is expected that as the turbines age, maintenance will also increase sporadically, as well as unscheduled repairs. Depending on the quality and weather conditions, wind turbines have a life expectancy of 20 years but with regular upkeep, you can be sure of a small probability of failure after two decades have elapsed.