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Germany

Germany

Winergy to offer up-tower planet carrier bearing replacement

GERMANY: The gearbox manufacturer has successfully trialled a removal and replacement of a planet carrier bearing in the nacelle of a turbine, reducing downtime from weeks to a matter of days.

To replace the planet carrier bearing, Winergy places the gearbox on specially designed sliders (brown components)
To replace the planet carrier bearing, Winergy places the gearbox on specially designed sliders (brown components)

Winergy, which is placing an increased focus on operations and maintenance, is hoping to try the process on further turbine models that use its gearboxes.

By removing the coupling shaft between the generator and gearbox, and placing the gearbox on specially designed sliders, Winergy created enough space to disconnect and remove the planet carrier bearing, replace it and return the turbine to working order.

"Our goal is to do it in five to six days," said a company spokesperson.

If there is a failure, the generator and gearbox will not have to be removed, potentially avoiding weeks or even months of downtime.

The process requires one or two Winergy technicians, and the company is already training engineers to do the work.

Which turbine models allow enough room to achieve this changeover in situ is not yet known, but Winergy will trial some more models if contacted by owners — should the models exist in sufficient quantity. The company claims to have gearboxes in one third of the world's wind turbines.

It is putting a bigger focus on operations and maintenance, largely because of the increasing number of turbines operating with its products, according to the spokesperson.

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