Portsmouth Wind Turbine Gearbox / Tra...

Portsmouth Wind Turbine Gearbox / Transmission

Posted in the Portsmouth Forum

Bill Carson

Mattapoisett, MA

#1 Jun 23, 2012
Is the gearbox and/or transmission gone in the three year old wind turbine ?

In June 2010, AAER Wind Energy has been taken over by Pioneer Wind. Based in Quebec, Canada, Pioneer Wind has maintained the A-1650 in its portfolio, now as P-1650. The latter is an optimised version of the A-1500. The A-1500 (AAER) was purchased by Portsmouth.

Pioneer/AAER uses Fuhrlaender/Pfleiderer technologies and licenses among other.AAER Wind Energy partnered with Fuhrländer to manufacture the Fuhrländer 1.5 MW wind turbine on a license in Canada. The Town of Portsmouth ,Rhode Island placed the 1.5 MW AAER wind turbine at its high school,March 2009.AAER went bankrupt days after the Portsmouth installation.

Princeton Municipal Light Department, Massachusetts spent about $7,300,000 for two 1.5-MW Fuhrlander wind turbines

AAER and Fuhrlander are one in the same for Portsmouth, Rhode Island. AAER Wind Energy had partnered with Fuhrländer to manufacture the Fuhrländer 1.5 MW wind turbine on a license in Canada. The Portsmouth High School wind turbine is a 1.5 MW AAER.


"According to Mr. Schoeney, the light department is in debt for $600,000 for repairs to the gear box in one of the town's wind turbine transmission. It remains unclear about who will ultimately be responsible for the bill – the town or the company, Fuhrlander Wind Turbines of Germany.

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 individuals that believed the sales pitch on the wind turbine in their hearts really think this was the right thing for the environment and the town.

This is what happens when commercial projects get taken on by local town boards.

How do you ask taxpayers to spend hundreds of thousands more on a failing project?

Three years is a long time for a wind turbine, and new wind turbines prove it with major repairs such as gearbox-related problems. Gearboxes have been failing in wind turbines for the past five years. The bigger the turbine the bigger the gearbox failure. Gearbox replacement cost around $500,000.00

Turbine manufactures and design engineers understand gearbox reliability is a problem today. The gearbox bearings, housings and shafts prove to weak for the blades up to 7 tons each. The bed plates of the turbine flex where the gearbox is mounted which contributes to the problem of early gearbox failures.

The flexing of the bed plates of the Portsmouth wind turbine is causing the shut downs of the turbine resulting in the constant hand restart of the turbine .Each shut down cause more damage the turbine. A sample of significant metal particles in the oil indicate that wear has occurred in the gearbox.
Bill Carson

Mattapoisett, MA

#2 Jul 8, 2012
Who is the operation and maintenance Project Manager,


Plan, organize, and direct maintenance activities on balance of plant equipment and facilities including generator step up transformers, high voltage switchgear, SCADA systems, roads, buildings, etc.
- Ensure that project activities are performed in compliance with governmental rules and regulations, Company policies and procedures and accepted industry standards.
- Monitor equipment performance and generate production and other reports.
Profit and loss responsibility.
Cost and budget compliance with the individual project reporting and claim management.
Compliance with contractual deadlines.
Perform pertinent operational and departmental tasks as required.
Strong interpersonal, organizational, and intercultural skills.
Ability to operate, influence and counsel at the senior level within your function and with people at all levels including our business clients.
A basic knowledge and appreciation for the technical, commercial and political aspects driving the wind industry.
Superb communication and negotiation skills.
Highly motivated and business orientated.
Capable of working independently.

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