Renewable energy sources (RES) are a key element in combating climate change and meeting the growing demand for electricity. However, to realise the full potential of RES, it is not enough just to install more photovoltaic (PV) panels and wind turbines. They also need to be properly operated and maintained.
Wind farm maintenance
Wind farms consist of a number of wind turbines that convert wind energy into electricity. Wind turbines are exposed to a variety of weather conditions, such as wind, rain, snow, hail, ice or dust. These factors can affect the performance and life of the turbines, so it is important to check and repair them regularly. Some of the most common problems faced by wind farms are:
- Blade damage: damaged blades can reduce the output of the turbines, increase noise and vibration and even pose a risk to people and the environment. Therefore, the condition of the blades should be checked regularly, appropriate protective coatings applied and repairs or replacements carried out as necessary.
- Generator failure: the generator is the part of wind turbines that converts the mechanical energy of the rotor into electrical energy. The generator can fail due to overheating, short-circuit, bearing damage, contamination or wear and tear. Failure of the generator can cause an interruption of the energy supply, damage to other components or a fire. Therefore, the generator’s operating parameters such as temperature, voltage, current and resistance should be monitored and appropriate preventive and corrective measures applied.
- Electrical and electronic faults: wind turbines are equipped with various electrical and electronic components. These components are susceptible to damage or failure due to surges, overloads, interference, moisture, corrosion or ageing. Electrical and electronic faults can cause grid instability, loss of power quality, loss of data or control and even explosions or fires. Therefore, it is important to regularly check the condition and function of electrical and electronic components, use appropriate protection and filtration, and carry out repairs or replacements as necessary.
Operation of photovoltaic farms
Photovoltaic (PV) farms are one of the most popular sources of renewable energy (RES) in the world. To ensure their high efficiency and reliability, regular and professional servicing of PV farms is necessary. The servicing of photovoltaic farms consists of a number of activities, such as:
- Checking the technical condition of PV modules, inverters, cables and electrical protection.
- Cleaning PV modules from dust, dirt, snow and other contaminants that can reduce their efficiency.
- Detecting and rectifying faults, failures and malfunctions that can cause power drops, fires or risks to people and the environment.
- Monitoring and optimising PV farm operating parameters such as voltage, current, power, temperature and humidity.
- Measuring and analysing the performance and quality of the energy produced by the PV farm.
- Complying with safety, environmental and grid standards and regulations.
Servicing PV farms requires the right equipment, knowledge and experience. It is therefore advisable to outsource these services to specialist companies with qualified personnel, certificates and insurance. This is the only way to ensure that RES equipment is serviced efficiently and that its many benefits are enjoyed.