Experts warn not to pay for weak wind farm warranties

23rd August 2016
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Experts warn not to pay for weak wind farm warranties

 

A warning to encourage energy businesses keep an eye on their wind farm warranties and schedule regular maintenance in order to avoid costly equipment failures is being sent out from hydraulics specialist MGR Fluid Power.

The warning comes at a time when a multibillion pound wind farm project off the Grimsby coast has just been given the green light. But according to the hydraulics specialist, any investment in turbines could be wasted if operators do not keep an eye on warranty information, and fail to commission regular maintenance.

Mike Retford, Managing Director at MGR Fluid Power explained the UK is really starting to invest in wind energy, but very few turbines are actually manufactured here. “The majority are produced overseas. The problem with this is that in the event of a hydraulic or mechanical failure, often the manufacturer and installer cannot be traced easily, or may have gone out of business.”

Retford continued, even if they are trading, by the time they address a failure, it can turn into an expensive repair job. “The best way to prolong the life of turbines is by having them regularly maintained, and there are businesses that can do this in the UK.”

MGR Fluid Power is one of these businesses, and will be exhibiting at this year’s RWM 2016 event, set to take place at Birmingham NEC from 13th-15th September, at stand C43, where the demonstration of its circular economy approach to hydraulic lifecycle services will take place.

Not only is the company capable of manufacturing complete hydraulic systems for renewable applications from its production facility in the UK, but it also provides maintenance services for existing hydraulic products out in the field, in addition to an overhaul and repair service. The manufacturer can also take existing products and reverse engineer new replacements from scratch.

Mike Retford said this circular economy approach is important when you consider the detailed warranties that come with wind turbines. A typical warranty will last only between two and ten years and rarely do manufacturers offer long term agreements. It’s also not uncommon for warranties to have a void clause in the event of an operator failing to carry out regular maintenance on the turbine, or attempting their own repairs, without using a specialist.

Retford concluded: “It’s a good idea to be aware under what circumstance the warranty becomes void, and stay on top of this. In most cases the best way to prolong the life of these turbines is through regular maintenance and attention. If a turbine is produced overseas, that doesn’t mean you have to go abroad for maintenance, there are businesses in the domestic market that can service this equipment to a very high standard.”


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