The company's John Armstrong stresses that the gear box problem is unconnected with the pitch linkage failure. "It concerns noise control rings which were introduced by our supplier into the Cold Northcott and Llangwyryfon machines. They are not working properly and we have decided to progressively get the gear boxes back to the supplier and have them fixed," he says. Each wind turbine will be out of operation for four to five weeks during this process.
The Cold Northcott wind farm, commissioned a year ago, also houses WEG's 400 kW prototype. This machine will be modified in the light of operating experience gained with the MS-3. The temporary pitch linkage fix on the MS-3 is progressing well, adds Armstrong. A more permanent fix will be carried out during the summer and all WEG MS-3 machines will be modified.
Armstrong points out that the speed with which the wind market took off in Britain meant WEG had to gain operational experience in record time. "We are on a steep learning curve which others have had years to climb up. We will come out of this better and fitter than many others who have not had our range of experience," he says.