While a certain amount of attention should be put on a wind turbine installation’s conditions, continuous monitoring and maintenance is no more required than it would be for most household appliances. There is a small amount of scheduled maintenance to be followed, including lubricating bearings with grease, and occasional blade and tower inspection, and checking on the control unit for errors on a regular basis. The hydraulic design of the Orenda wind turbine towers allows all nacelle maintenance to be carried out on the ground, without any special equipment or working at heights. An annual inspection and Preventative Maintenance (PM) procedure can be carried out in less than one day by a field technician. The owner can check the control unit in just a few seconds visually, and a dealer can view the system status on-line using Iris in just a few minutes.
It doesn’t really matter if there’s global climate change or if you have any feel-good notions about saving the planet. In the end going with wind energy can be a purely financially beneficial proposition. The moderate investment required installing and commissioning a wind turbine system can be made back in as little as 5 years depending on local electricity costs and prevailing wind conditions. At the same time, thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions will be eliminated as a by-product of the installation, and there’s nothing wrong with removing excess CO2.
Certainly not every wind turbine. Everything that humans do has some level of impact, but let’s keep things in perspective. For every 10,000 birds killed by human activities each year, 10% are killed by house cats, 14% are killed by power lines, about 58% are killed by collisions with other structures, such as office buildings, house windows etc. Current research suggests that around .01% of birds are killed by wind turbine collisions – approximately 1-2 birds per turbine per year. To put this in raw numbers, in North America, about 500,000,000 birds die annually from building strikes, and 25,000 die from wind turbine strikes. It’s safe to say roughly one high-rise office building kills more birds than all of the wind turbines in North America put together.
One of the key driving principles in the Orenda design is mechanical simplicity, which in turn delivers greater reliability and ultimately, and crucially, maximum up-time throughout the lifetime of the turbine system. One of the most unreliable components in small scale wind turbines is the pitch control mechanism. It can often be the source of down-time and un-scheduled service calls, in much the same way as a gearbox. There is no doubt that in an ideal world pitch control (designed properly) will yield more energy from the wind, however, the most significant multiplier in any wind turbine’s long term output equation is up-time. For this reason we chose to deploy a fixed pitch rotor set in the Orenda Skye design to maximise up-time and thereby maximising output and financial returns for our customers.