Windtech: Maintenance - Enercon tops service satisfaction survey

Turbine supplier Enercon has retained the top spot on German wind energy association Bundesverband WindEnergie's (BWE) annual wind turbine owner service-satisfaction survey. The company's score of 2.03 meant it was the only supplier to qualify as "good" in BWE's five-category ranking list, which highlighted miscommunication, inadequate spare parts and poor service from technicians as issues affecting German wind turbine owners.

Only 1.3% of Enercon owners and operators said they were willing to switch to independent service providers, while its competitors scored between 20% and 35%.

The 2009 survey involved 2,047 questionnaires sent to German owners and operators of wind farms and turbines registered with BWE. The response rate was 47%, covering 3,011 turbines. The survey evaluated the individual performances of both in-house and independent service providers.

Respondents were particularly satisfied with Enercon's PartnerKonzept (EPK). This full-service contract guarantees minimal 97% availability for a 12-year contract period with possible extension, and covers all costs for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. In return, the customer pays Enercon a yield-based remuneration. According to the company, more than 85 % of international customers and 90% of domestic customers sign an EPK agreement.

Long-term full-service contracts seem to be a wind industry trend. GE, for example, announced a total service solution for turbines at this year's European Wind Energy Conference. That includes all planned maintenance activities - such as remote monitoring and troubleshooting, routine services, preventative maintenance, on-site support and parts support - as well as unplanned maintenance, such as up-tower inspection.

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