Wind turbines are subject to great forces which can create a lot of wear and tear - and operate using moving parts, which inevitably degrade over time. In addition, wind turbines are as openly exposed to the weather as possible, and can catch a lot of dust and insects along the way too. Since keeping the blades turning freely is what gives your turbines their power, you'll want to ensure that your turbine's as clean and efficient as possible, and good maintenance and regular inspection will definitely help with this.
Maintenance contracts for wind turbines
In most cases, you won't be doing any maintenance yourself. In many cases, sales of turbines even include regular maintenance contracts lasting for the estimated life of the product, under which your supplier or a service agent visit your property to inspect your setup and perform necessary repairs.
If maintenance isn't offered in the sale price, make sure you find out how much it would be to add in. A professional maintenance contract will not only remove the burden of you having to access the top of the tower, but it may also be necessary to keep your warranty intact. Obviously it's worth keeping an eye on the state of your turbine even if you aren't maintaining it yourself.
What kind of maintenance is involved?
Maintenance on wind turbines normally involves simple tasks like regreasing the bearings in the rotor, tightening the bolts or changing the transmission oil. More extensive repairs might include blade changes and electrical rewiring, should any physical damage or corrosion have occurred as a result of a collision with a large, careless bird, or from a lightning strike.
The tower or pole should also be checked periodically for structural integrity. This is especially important in towers supported by guy wires since any change in tension can result in instability of the structure. This may not be immediately dangerous, but can become so if the wind picks up. Poles should be checked for any cracks if they are made of reinforced concrete and any metal fastenings should be examined for corrosion.