Maintenance on Wind Turbines

GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
It has been a bit over 6 months now that my 3 wind turbines have been in motion. The maintenance so far has probably been light considering what I've heard here.

Only a couple issues related to "Operator Errors" mainly.

1) First incident was the pitch of the home-made blades spun counter-clockwise and loosened/spun off the prop. Even with a lock-washer they came off. I had to really tighten them good to keep them on. Surprisingly, they didn't break, but left a couple dents in my pole barn. The next version of prop was clockwise.

2) The second incident, a nut fell off of the furling mechanism linkage. This one was simple to fix with a lock-nut. I must have all the luck.

3) The pole mounts were cracking. This was totally my fault since I bought the cheapest 2" EMT mounting supports out there & had bent them to fit around the conduit. Bad move. Vibration eventually cracked them. One morning I found the entire turbine and pole ripped from the barn and dangling on its lower mount !
The wires where the only thing hanging on to it and did not touch the ground. The tail section was damaged, but not Fubar. The prop was totally in one piece and still attached. This is when I decided to get thicker mounting supports. And this time I insulated with some thick layers of tar paper underneath the mounts.
I'm actually impressed by how the internals held up. Not a scratch and passed the test when re-mounted.

4) Once recently, the tail piece shattered in the wind. It wasn't uncommon for the thing to flop in a strong wind. Another operator error having used .100 thick plexiglass for a tail. My others where made with 1/4" press board or plywood and painted thoroughly to avoid water damage. Those work fine.

I guess I'll have to update my plans.
F.Y.I. for all you DIY'ers out there.
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Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Maintenance on Wind Turbines

    GPM,

    Yep, the old mechanical rules of thumb really do work... And Murphy's Law has a hand in most everything too.

    Happy to hear that little damage was done and nobody was hurt.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Re: Maintenance on Wind Turbines

    Seems like common sense doesn't come cheap these days.

    I roll my eyes every time something simple goes wrong. Nothing beats a real bench test though.

    The real testing is this winter, however, I have a feeling that ice & snow will be the least of my issues.

    I bought some thread locker for those stubborn nuts & bolts. The blue stuff that sticks but is not permanent.
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
    WWW.GreenAnything.Net    Ad free website.
    Lots of DIY Renewable Energy Projects on ETSY : Solar Panel builds, Wind Turbine builds, Rain Barrel build,etc.  
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