What Caused the Blackouts? As power grids throughout America continue to recover from an extreme freezing event and planned outages subside, there is no shortage of people looking for something to blame for the cause of the grid failure. Everything from State-isolated grids, frozen turbines, curtailed gas production, and poor maintenance is being discussed. This […]
Wind turbines work in the winter. Of course they do! For some wind farms, the windiest time of the year is during the winter. Certified wind turbines can operate down to -40° without interruption. Turbines operate year-round in Northern regions because they have special design features. These features, (like small heaters for electronics, wind speed […]
There’s been a recent spike in the number of abandoned wind turbines across the United States. These turbines are referred to as orphaned turbines. Some wind farmers hit hard times with the COVID-19 pandemic and couldn’t pay for repairs, so these turbines were left still and quiet. Others are legacy turbines that haven’t generated power […]
With the emergence of advanced wind turbine technology, more individuals, farmers, and smaller entities are starting a distributed or small wind farm. After taking into consideration the time it takes to install a distributed wind turbine, the next logical question is “How do I get power when the wind isn’t blowing?” Similar to solar […]
People have harnessed the power of the wind for thousands of years, in places like Egypt, China, and Europe. Once used to crush grain and cut wood, wind power soon became integral to pumping water to the highlands so farmers could irrigate their crops. Then came the discovery that wind energy could efficiently generate electricity. […]
Prior to the mid-1990s — stall controlled wind turbines were the norm for regulating power on the rotor of a wind turbine. Then the turbines got bigger, with much more output capability, and stall control gave way to a blade pitch control actuators. Today, stall and pitch regulated wind turbines still both have their uses, […]
As much as we’d like to think that wind turbines are invincible, they’re not, and eventually both major and minor components reach the end of their designed lifespan. What happens next is crucial. Should you opt for wind turbine repairs, or is it easier to completely replace the faulty component? As you might expect, there’s […]
The very essence of wind energy production is building a sustainable future. If you’re struggling to maximize uptime with the pitch system in your wind turbine, it’s only right to invest in world-class aftermarket electronics services. Also known as electronics remanufacturing, these services keep your wind turbine components running better for longer. Keep reading to […]
Aging wind turbines are, quite literally, a big problem. But sometimes the small components within are the biggest source of waste and frustration. Maintenance of GE wind turbines is becoming a costly endeavor for many owner-operators. There’s been a growing demand for a lead acid battery replacement for wind turbines made by GE, but nobody […]
The state of the power grid didn’t mean much to wind energy 25 years ago, and vice versa. Today, wind power — including distributed wind — can help play a big role in solving one of power distribution’s most tricky problems. Islanding occurs when there is a blackout, but some part of the electrical grid […]
Wind energy developers and designers are continuously working toward the goal of improving wind turbine efficiency. It’s the only way forward for both profitability, sustainability, and meaningful global penetration of renewable energy. One of the major factors affecting turbine siting, availability to generate, and overall efficiency is bad weather — whether it’s a hurricane hitting […]
There’s a rising star in American clean-energy solutions. And it’s not offshore wind.
When most people think of wind energy production, they picture massive wind turbine farms spanning the horizon or coastline. But there are other, smaller, more local ways to take advantage of wind energy to produce electricity.
A leading global wind turbine OEM had been in the business for over 40 years. Its wind turbine fleet numbered in the 600s worldwide. Those turbines had churned out more than 15 million run time hours.
The United States’ distributed wind market is at the same infancy stage in 2019 as it was in 2000.
Despite offshore wind turbines coming much later, their basic design is nearly identical to onshore wind turbines. However, there are a few key differences in design, and most of them start from the ground up.
One of the biggest concerns of electronic manufacturing is the reliability of the components being used. Counterfeit electronic components have long been a thorn in the side of manufacturers, and the counterfeit industry continues to thrive by adapting new methods to mask part authenticity.
NOTE: This article was updated on September 16, 2019 to reflect recent information regarding tariffs. Two days after Independence Day 2018, President Donald Trump’s aggressive new tariffs went into effect, imposing an extra 25% tax on imported Chinese goods. This affected over $50 billion worth of “industrially significant technologies” used by U.S. electronics manufacturers and […]
It’s time to stop calling advanced wind turbines “windmills.”
Dating back to 2017, the electronic components supply shortage has become an increasingly challenging issue for companies that rely on the industry. A surge in use of components combined with a shortage of parts has snowballed into what’s become a highly constrained market.
Starting a wind farm is a massive project, one that requires careful research, planning, and negotiation.
Understanding the guts and inner workings of a wind turbine requires being up to speed on electronics, physics, and mechanics. Depending on how involved a wind farm owner is on day-to-day operations, it may be hard to keep up with the lingo when seeking repairs, components, or pitch systems from wind turbine parts manufacturers.
Converting wind into an energy source has proven to be a viable and profitable solution for sustainability. It’s also an inexpensive energy source — and prices keep going lower, thanks to emerging wind turbine technology. After topping out at 7 cents per kilowatt hour in 2009, the average levelized long-term price from wind power sales […]
An underappreciated part of your wind turbine system, the pitch actuator is mainly responsible for adjusting the wind turbine pitch angle. But when the pitch actuator faults (often through no fault of its own), the dynamic response of the pitch angle either slows down or fails altogether.
The wind energy industry is become more and more reliant on modern technology. As the technology and stakes continue to rise in wind turbine control systems, there’s a need for new strategies in diagnosing faults. Let’s examine the emerging ways the pitch control system plays a role in keeping up with modern technology and diagnosing […]
Matric Group was recently featured in a cover story for Made in PA magazine that showcased the efforts of its three facilities to drive growth and innovation. The article covers the growth of three Matric Group facilities: Matric, Dynamic Manufacturing, and Windurance. All are located in Pennsylvania. “I determined that business-friendly Pennsylvania made available Pennsylvania Industrial […]
In just about any kind of electronics, the goal is to always get smaller with each new version of a product. Windurance’s latest wind turbine pitch controller aimed to achieve just that in terms of physical size and power output.
When a wind turbine goes offline due to unplanned maintenance, the owner-operator can lose several thousand dollars each day. The most frequently cited culprit? At least one study has shown 23% of downtime is attributed to the pitch system. This is followed by the gearbox, frequency converter, and other culprits.
Want to drastically cut the time you spend on maintenance of your wind turbines? Look inside at the technology you’re using.
There was a time not long ago when wind turbine system condition monitoring consisted of someone driving around the towers, truck windows down, listening for sounds of trouble. Other operators might have someone open the doors to check a gauge or even had somebody go up-tower to grab a sample of gearbox oil. Historical monitoring […]
A wind farm is like a dairy farm. Each cow has to receive individual attention and care to keep the operation at peak efficiency and productivity. Farmers monitor their cows for every little problem that might muck up the entire operation — just like your wind turbine pitch system should be doing. Failure to catch […]
It’s too early to tell with certainty how U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods implemented in 2018 will truly affect U.S. electronics contract manufacturers. The signals from major players like Cisco Systems, Apple, and IBM so far are not happy ones.
High and low voltage ride through refers to situations where a wind turbine is able to overcome an event that would have otherwise shut it down because of a high or low (or nonexistent) power supply. A system that can preserve its ability to generate wind energy is one that continues to make its owners […]
Conflict minerals are both a vital component (no pun intended) of the electronics industry and at the same time one of its biggest headaches. Since 2010, U.S.-based electronics companies have been required to determine whether certain components in their products came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the world’s largest sources of […]
In the past few years, there has been an increase in wind energy demand all over the world. And with so many engineering systems operating long-term subsystems or sensors these days, some sort of failure is inevitable. Fault tolerant control guarantees the system is stable under specific performance indicators.
Many people in the wind energy industry use the term “pitch control system” in place of “pitch actuator system,” and vice versa. They’re not quite interchangeable, though.
For any pitch-regulated turbine, you need a pitch control system within the overall control setup. A pitch control system is a critical part of any successful wind turbine design — its absence would doom your project. Yet its definition is commonly misunderstood and misinterpreted.
In 2006, the European Union rolled out a directive restricting the use of certain hazardous chemicals. This directive, Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), would have a far-reaching impact on the electronics industry. Its restrictions on using lead would send manufacturers scrambling to revise their practices or adopt entirely new ones. Thanks to a follow-up directive […]
If your manufacturing projects involve electronics, you’re likely facing the challenge of extended electronic component lead times. Certain parts that used to take 12 weeks to come in are now taking upward of 30 weeks. Some parts even take a full year to arrive. It’s nice news for distributors, who can take advantage of this […]
Perhaps without realizing it, you use embedded systems and IoT every single day of your life. “I use what?” you might’ve just asked.
The most painful part of developing with electronics is knowing your success is fleeting. Eventually, all parts must die, or at least fade away into irrelevance. But there’s something you can do about it. Obsolescence management can guide you through this difficult process.
The booming electronics market is obviously great news for all those involved in the industry, but some drawbacks are beginning to take shape in the form of electronic component shortages worldwide.