Otis Wind Turbine
Posted in the Falmouth Forum
#1 Oct 26, 2012
Otis National Guard Air Base Wind Turbine
The wind industry is hiding a dirty little secret about gearbox failures. Gearboxes on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often out before even five years is up. The gearbox failures have led to catastrophic failure.
The taxpayers are paying for the failures
#2 Oct 27, 2012
The gear box of a commercial wind turbine has failed at Otis Air Force Base !
Owner/Operator: Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence
Host: Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence
Size: 1500 kW
Technology: 1 Furhlander 1.5 MW
Type: Customer Sited (100 kW+)
Commission Date: December 15, 2009
The Massachusetts Military Reservation (Otis Air Force Base) received and installed its 1.5-MW Fuhrlander turbine in late fall 2009. The turbine will partially power the Air Force's groundwater clean up efforts at the Base and is the first of a multi-phase wind development effort for the Reservation.
Project Content Last Updated: January 19, 2010
82 minutes into the video -Otis Wind Turbine Failure
Click on : Report on the mechanical condition of the Wind Turbine by Don Roberts of DA Roberts LLC
Portsmouth Town Council
Agenda Summary with Video Links
Town Administrator Remarks on the options before the Council.
Comments on the Time Line of Events by Acting Town Planner Gary Crosby
Report on the mechanical condition of the Wind Turbine by Don Roberts of DA Roberts LLC
Private Sector Alternatives
Actions by the Council
#3 Oct 28, 2012
The gear box replacement is $100 thousand for the crane and up to 200 thousand for the new gear box.
A German company called JAKE has made many of the 2008-2009 bad gear boxes !
#4 Oct 30, 2012
Renewable energy’s ‘dirty little secret’
The gear boxes only last three years !
London As a key failure point, gearbox reliability continues to dog the wind industry and as turbines become larger the push to improve performance becomes paramount. Alstom believes it has addressed the issue by ensuring that torque transmission is performed independently of rotor support. This improves the reliability of turbine drive train components, in particular the gearbox, which is better protected and subjected to lower loads. Jordi Puigcorbe and Alexis de-Beaumont explain.
One of the biggest concerns remaining in the wind industry is the reliability of the gearbox.'With our current wind turbine fleet currently going out of warranty period, we estimate that we are carrying a potential risk on gearboxes of about US$300 million. Failures are still relatively rare these days because our fleet is recent, but we expect this will change dramatically as our wind turbines approach their 5–7 years of operation. Our concern is such that we are even considering acquiring a company with gearbox servicing capabilities.'
This statement from a large US wind farm operator is far from being an isolated case in an industry that will see over 8000 MW of wind farm capacity go out of the warranty period every year in the US alone in the next few years.
Recently, Sandy Butterfield, a former chief wind turbine engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, was quoted as stating that the wind industry expects today's gearboxes to last 7–11 years. This markedly contrasts with the 20-year design lifetime of the wind turbines. And the implications for the industry are huge, since changing a gearbox is typically a lengthy and extremely costly exercise.
#5 Oct 31, 2012
Owners must pay for gearbox failures -- Competing retrofits on offer
Windpower Monthly Magazine, 01 July 2005, 12:00am
One owner said he had researched the ex-factory cost of a new gearbox and believed Vestas to be profiteering from correction of problems the turbines were delivered with. He asked why owners of turbines with JaKe PSC 1000 gearboxes were not offered the same free replacement of the failed component as provided in the 1990s to the owners of 1200 NEG Micon turbines equipped with gearboxes from Flender. Greth said the Flender problem was the result of a design failure in the gearbox. This is not the case with the Jahnel-Kestermann gearbox.
#6 Nov 3, 2012
Here is the gear box review done by DA Roberts LLC . The Otis Wind Turbine is just after 80 minutes:
Video of the Portsmouth Wind Turbine Meeting Oct 23, 2012 . The video says that the wind turbine at Otis AFB which is a Furlander with a gear box has failed .
Click on "Report on the mechanical condition of the Wind Turbine by Don Roberts of DA Roberts LLC" in the URL Look at 80 minutes into the video to see "Otis Wind Turbine Failure"
#7 Nov 15, 2012
The wind industry has told the owners of these megawatt commercial wind turbines with the bad gear boxes to turn down the speed of the turbines ,change the oil as much as you can and run them until they completely break down.
The Otis AFB turbine has a spare gear box waiting in the wings for replacement . The gear boxes from 2007 to 2010 only last three to five years .If they can keep them going for a few more months they'll save more money.
The ongoing problem is that the public has become aware that these gear boxes hold up to 220 gallons of oil that can catch fire when the gear box fails and over heats.
Whenever a wind turbine catches fire the wind industry calls for a review but no general cause is ever told to the public .
Sooner or later the public will put the gear box failures together with the wind turbine fires
Does the wind industry care if a firefighter gets hurt on the way to a turbine fire? Hey it's business !
#8 Nov 27, 2012
While I appreciate everyone's interest in the success of wind energy, I feel I must clear up the issues associated with the Otis Air National Guard Base wind turbine located at the MA Military Reservation. The owner/operator of the Otis ANG Base wind turbine is the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC). Our name changed from Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE) on 01 Oct 2012 after a reorganization. I am the project manager for the operation of our pump and treat systems, the plume cleanup, and the three 1.5 MW wind turbines installed by AFCEC/AFCEE at MMR. We have one 1.5 MW Fuhrlaender (FL-1577) wind turbine and two 1.5 MW GE wind turbines at MMR. We installed the wind turbines to offset the costs and environmental impact associated with our cleanup program.
The FL-1577 started operating on 02 Dec 2009. The GE turbines started opeating on 03 Nov 2011. Regarding the FL-1577 gearbox, it HAS NOT failed. We noticed some metal flakes in the gearbox oil this past January and had a borescope inspection done. The inspection showed pitting of the gear teeth caused by pressing the metal flakes between the teeth. The problem component in the gearbox appears to be a bearing. Based on Fuhrlaender's recommendation, we are continuing to run the wind turbine while we work on procuring a new gearbox that has a different/better bearing. We monitor the turbine continuously via remote monitoring for a variety of parameters and we have technicians who visit the turbine each weekday during rounds conducted for our treatment systems.
We expected the gearbox to last for 10 years and it still might but we are going to err on the side of caution and replace it given te results of the borescope inspection. I do not have replacement costs to report at this point as we are still developing the plan; but, I will be glad to provide this information when it is available.
As an engineer, I like to have facts and I like to see things work optimally. If they break, we determine why and we fix them. We don't waste our time on rumors. If anyone would like to get the facts on the wind turbines at MMR including how much they are saving the taxpayer and offsetting air emissions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
#9 Nov 30, 2012
Safety takes a back seat to the operation of the 1.5 MW Fuhrlaender (FL-1577) wind turbine at Otis Air Force Base and here is why:
1. Operation of a commercial wind turbine with a faulty gear box is a danger to the public. The gear box should not have metal shavings and bad bearings.The turbine should have been shut down as soon as the failure was detected.
2. Wind turbine fires start as a result of gear box failures in most cases of catastrophic failure. The gear box holds over 200 gallons of a type of mineral oil used in transmissions of all kinds of turbines.
3.The Portsmouth,Rhode Island High School wind turbine and the Princeton,Massachusetts turbines with the same type of gear box were shut down as soon as the metal was detected!
4.The 1.5 MW Fuhrlaender (FL-1577) wind turbine in one way or another was paid for with taxpayer dollars.The turbine was sold to last twenty years .Today we see a gear box company with 600 gear box failures world wide.The cost of replacement is 700 thousand dollars and thousands of dollars for a special crane which comes up to almost one million !
5. The wind industry wants operators to continue to operate the wind turbine until the gear box fails completely at which time the owners of the turbine have a spare gear box on hand .
6. The owners of these turbines operating the turbine with a faulty gear box are creating a liability to the public knowing that if the gear box heats up from the metal fragments has a large percentage of chance it will catch fire.
7. The Otis AFB gear box failure is documented and was talked about at a public meeting by Donald Roberts LLC in Portsmouth ,Rhode Island.
8. The repairs to the Otis wind turbine will be around one million dollars ! There is no way to say it ! The turbine is going to cost more to buy and maintain than if they just used commercial power.
Why Wind Turbines Explode
#10 Nov 30, 2012
How can you as a project manager say the turbine is not breakng down ! You have ordered a brand new gear box at around 650 thousand and a special crane for 150 thousand .The cost of the repairs to this wind turbine exceed the money made in the last three years .
The turbine is breaking down just like the Princeton ,Massachusetts and Portsmouth High School ,Rhode Island !
The turbine is having a catastrophic failure and you've got a federal agency hiding the truth about the wind industry dirty little secret about catastrophic gear box failures !
#11 Dec 1, 2012
The wind turbine at Otis was probably around 5 million or more.The 2009 commercial wind turbine may have made 300 t0 400 thousand in the past three years but the repairs to a gear box far exceed the profit from the turbine.
Rose,you've had since January of 2012 to find out how much a gear box costs for a turbine.Your telling the public as a project manager you have no knowledge of the cost of the most expensive part on a commercial wind turbine. FYI the cost could go as high as one million dollars.
The government is telling the news media that the turbine isn't broken but they ordering a new gear box for the turbine because there is metallic shavings from bearings in the gear box.
The project manager is misrepresenting the original cost of the turbine and up to one million in repairs every three years to keep the turbine in operation.
How can anyone look at the economics of this turbine and say its saving money ?
The company that made the gear box is facing over 500 failed gear boxes worldwide .
This is an economic nightmare in which the government is feeding the public baloney !
#12 Dec 1, 2012
Paul, the Portsmouth RI wind turbine was NOT shut down as soon as metal was detected. Instead, the maintenance company changed the sensors, denying there was a serious problem. The turbine was finally shut down months later after the gearbox was completely trashed. See the outrageous report given at the town council meeting on 7/9/12 at www.portsmouthrecord.com .
#13 Dec 2, 2012
The point here is these gear boxes are breaking costing millions of dollars in three year old wind turbines and the people who own them (Otis Air Force Base) are telling the public it's not broken !
People can't read English anymore ! This is the statement the representative from Otis AFB made:
"The problem component in the gearbox appears to be a bearing. Based on Fuhrlaender's recommendation, we are continuing to run the wind turbine while we work on procuring a new gearbox that has a different/better bearing."
The turbine has NO warranty and they have to replace the gear box ! It's broken there is NO other way to say it !
This is a million dollar repair ! The wind turbine is an economic fiasco and makes no sense to keep spending money on it !
#14 Dec 4, 2012
Massachusetts Gear Box Failures
December 3, 2012 Deval-ued Wind Power
Green-energy delusions inflict a heavy cost on a Massachusetts town.
By Kevin D. Williamson
Kevin D. Williamson
"Masschusetts governor Deval Patrick is as green-power mad as any up-and-coming Democrat, and he has set an ambitious goal for the commonwealth’s utilities: begin producing 2,000 megawatts of power from environmentally preferred sources by 2020. Patrick’s green dreams are way up in the air; on the ground, things look starkly different.
Last September in the tiny town of Princeton, Mass., the general manager of the local utility authority sent out an extraordinary little memo that is one part standard bureaucratic posterior-covering and one part cry for help, noting that a modest wind-energy project already has lost nearly $2 million — a whopping number for a community of only 3,413. For perspective, consider that those losses occurred despite all of the subsidies the utility received for its wind-energy work; when the cost of those credits is accounted for, the real losses are even higher, but of course subsidy expenses are not borne in full directly by Princeton residents. Nevertheless, customers of the Princeton Municipal Light Department now pay more than a third more for their electricity than does the average Massachusetts residential customer, adding some $774,000 to their power bills in 2011. The financial position of the PMLD has been weakened, and there is little hope for significant improvements under current conditions."
#15 Dec 7, 2012
Bill, The newspapers on Cape Cod are all Liberal newspapers .They'll only print one side of a story. The papers have owners that have a stake in the commercial wind turbine business.
One newspaper will print a story from Utah if it is a good a story about commercial wind turbines but if a wind turbine fell on a school you'll never see it in their newspaper.
The whole wind turbine thing is a bunco scheme and every news guy knows it. I've read some stories about the residents of a Cape Cod town called Falmouth .The people have complained ,moved from their homes and even threatened suicide -no one cares !
People want to read about lost dogs or some alcoholic parent leaving their child in a car . These Cape Cod newspapers are comic books from the front to the back page ! They are a joke and the editors of the papers know it !They get their check every week !
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