Technicians to Repair Malfunctioning Wind Turbine

There are 6 comments on the May 14, 2012, Patch.com story titled Technicians to Repair Malfunctioning Wind Turbine. In it, Patch.com reports that:

Town officials are working to undercover what broke last week on the Portsmouth wind turbine generator.A The turbine, located at Portsmouth High School , stopped spinning last week after an error message appeared.A "If all goes well, we should have the turbine back in operation this afternoon ," wrote Assistant Town Planner Gary Crosby in an ... (more)

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Sally Reynolds

Mattapoisett, MA

#1 May 14, 2012
http://portsmouth.patch.com/articles/turbines...

Turbine’s Technical Troubles Continue
Portsmouth High School
120 Education Ln, Portsmouth, RI

The town's turbine will hopefully spin again by the end of this week, according to town officials.

By Don Mosher ,Email | Start Following | Print | Share on Facebook |

While the town's wind turbine located at Portsmouth High School has been at a standstill for nearly a month now, town officials hope to have it spinning once again by the end of this week.

According to Gary Crosby, assistant town planner, one piece of equipment that needed to be replaced was the "up tower duplicate control panel's LED screen." It was inoperable and could not be read.

When technicians were working in the nacelle hundreds of feet in the air, they would have to climb down the tower to view the duplicate control panel at the base.

"It was next to impossible to troubleshoot," said Crosby.

On Dec. 7, the up tower control panel's LED screen was replaced and the turbine was ready to run again.

On that day however, the turbine's slip ring failed. A slip ring transfers electric power from the rotating generator located in the nacelle to the wiring running down the tower.

The nacelle is the main body on the top of the turbine. The nacelle can turn a full 360 degrees.

Thus a slip ring is used to transfer the power instead of hard wiring that can twist. If hard wiring were to be used, the nacelle eventually would need to turn and turn to untwist the wires.

Due to some winter weather issues in Europe, and later the storm in Portsmouth, the slip ring's delivery was delayed. Work started on Dec. 27 and on Dec. 28, the slip ring was completely installed.

Once again, the turbine was set to go back into operation.

At that point, according to Crosby, a module in the PLC or Programmable Logic Controller failed. The PLC is a digital computer and is the "brains" for the turbine.

The module was ordered and is being shipped from Austria.

"The module was due to arrive in Portsmouth on Wednesday," said Crosby.

But, as of Monday afternoon, its location was in Germany.

Crosby stated that last year the original manufacturer of the turbine AAER of Canada went bankrupt.

"This caused everything to stop. That included routine maintenance, emergency repairs and remote monitoring to be interrupted," he said.

The town scrambled and hired Lumus Construction of Woburn, MA, to take over all phases of operation that had been interrupted.

Around this time, Windtec, owed by American Superconductor Corp. with headquarters in Fort Devens, MA, had purchased the assets of AARE and agreed to fully train Lumus Construction.

Crosby stated, "The contract with Lumus is set to expire the end of 2011 and will be up for competitive bids at that time."

Regardless of when the module arrives, "Lumus Construction is standing by and is prepared to install it. It should be running by the end of the week," stated Crosby.

The turbine is a 1.5MW turbine and is equal to 1,500 kilowatts or 1,500,00 watts. At its pinnacle, with one of the blades pointed directly at the heavens, the height is 340 feet in the air.?
Sally Reynolds

Mattapoisett, MA

#2 May 14, 2012
Turbine’s Technical Troubles Continue
Portsmouth High School
120 Education Ln, Portsmouth, RI

The town's turbine will hopefully spin again by the end of this week, according to town officials.

By Don Mosher ,Email | Start Following | Print | Share on Facebook |
While the town's wind turbine located at Portsmouth High School has been at a standstill for nearly a month now, town officials hope to have it spinning once again by the end of this week.

According to Gary Crosby, assistant town planner, one piece of equipment that needed to be replaced was the "up tower duplicate control panel's LED screen." It was inoperable and could not be read.

When technicians were working in the nacelle hundreds of feet in the air, they would have to climb down the tower to view the duplicate control panel at the base.

"It was next to impossible to troubleshoot," said Crosby.

On Dec. 7, the up tower control panel's LED screen was replaced and the turbine was ready to run again.

On that day however, the turbine's slip ring failed. A slip ring transfers electric power from the rotating generator located in the nacelle to the wiring running down the tower.

The nacelle is the main body on the top of the turbine. The nacelle can turn a full 360 degrees.

Thus a slip ring is used to transfer the power instead of hard wiring that can twist. If hard wiring were to be used, the nacelle eventually would need to turn and turn to untwist the wires.

Due to some winter weather issues in Europe, and later the storm in Portsmouth, the slip ring's delivery was delayed. Work started on Dec. 27 and on Dec. 28, the slip ring was completely installed.

Once again, the turbine was set to go back into operation.

At that point, according to Crosby, a module in the PLC or Programmable Logic Controller failed. The PLC is a digital computer and is the "brains" for the turbine.

The module was ordered and is being shipped from Austria.

"The module was due to arrive in Portsmouth on Wednesday," said Crosby.

But, as of Monday afternoon, its location was in Germany.

Crosby stated that last year the original manufacturer of the turbine AAER of Canada went bankrupt.

"This caused everything to stop. That included routine maintenance, emergency repairs and remote monitoring to be interrupted," he said.

The town scrambled and hired Lumus Construction of Woburn, MA, to take over all phases of operation that had been interrupted.

Around this time, Windtec, owed by American Superconductor Corp. with headquarters in Fort Devens, MA, had purchased the assets of AARE and agreed to fully train Lumus Construction.

Crosby stated, "The contract with Lumus is set to expire the end of 2011 and will be up for competitive bids at that time."

Regardless of when the module arrives, "Lumus Construction is standing by and is prepared to install it. It should be running by the end of the week," stated Crosby.

The turbine is a 1.5MW turbine and is equal to 1,500 kilowatts or 1,500,00 watts. At its pinnacle, with one of the blades pointed directly at the heavens, the height is 340 feet in the air.?
Sally Reynolds

Mattapoisett, MA

#3 May 14, 2012
March 9th officials from Jamestown RI went to visit the turbine .It was broken down that day also !

This turbine has had issues since it first started !
Here is a story from the Providence Journal

Aug. 9--PROVIDENCE -- A company responsible for installing Portsmouth's much-celebrated new wind turbine owes subcontractors nearly $250,000, according to lawsuits filed in Superior Court.

The largest creditor is Hallamore, the heavy equipment operator, which in June filed suit, seeking $201,363.

HB Welding of Pawtucket also has filed to secure $38,296 it says it is owed.

Both companies say they have not received any money from the defendants, AAER Wind Energy of Canada, AAER USA, and Wind Smart LLC.
Sally Reynolds

Mattapoisett, MA

#4 May 20, 2012
http://www.pinwire.com/sci-tech/gear-oil-fail...

"Here are some photos of what happens when transmission failures occur in windturbines.

To date no gear oil has been invented to withstand the pressures produced within these transmissions."

http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/...

BAY CITY — Why isn't that wind turbine at the state Department of Environmental Quality office in Bay City spinning?

It's been months since the turbine has generated any electricity, and officials are unsure when it could start up again.

According to Kevin King, chief of field operations and facilities section for all DEQ offices across the state, the turbine may have a gear box failure.

http://globegazette.com/news/local/article_30...

"GARNER — Fire caused major damage to a wind turbine Wednesday morning at the Hancock County Wind Farm southwest of Garner.

The large compartment holding the gear box and electric components more than than 200 feet above the ground burned and two of the three 77-foot blades broke off, falling to the ground."

Read more: http://globegazette.com/news/local/article_30...
Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#5 Apr 28, 2013
The Town of Portsmouth RI has major problems over the bond and the vote taken to purchase the wind turbine.

'Rookie' mistakes by the Portsmouth Town could continue to cost Portsmouth a fortune rebuilding a broken wind turbine. The turbine cost 3 million and the town still owes a 2.3 million dollar bond debt and what now another bond for another 1 million and in three years it breaks down again and again ?

Any new construction of a newer bigger turbine will have to pass new state zoning guidelines for wind turbines. Safety and setbacks. What are the legal costs for the residents who file litigation against a new or rebuilt turbine ?

The East Bay Engery Consortium has failed big time because of the 38 Studios situation.Now the Town of Portsmouth wants to pull an end run at a public-private entity ?

The town residents are going to be told a story about how the new turbines have direct drive rather than a gear box . Do your homework ! The direct drive transmission is a new concept the wind industry had to come up ! It's another experiment the taxpayers of Portsmouth will pay for again.

Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#7 May 11, 2014
They need to take the turbine down !

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