Solutions for Maintenance in the Wind Power Industry

Repair composites and protective coatings for the maintenance of wind farm assets

Solutions for Maintenance in the Wind Power Industry

    Harnessing Wind Power involves exposure to the elements, which can wreak havoc on the equipment and structures operating throughout the industry. Issues such as corrosion, erosion and environmental damage can lead to deterioration and costly implications accompanied with unwanted downtime.

    For both onshore and offshore environments, Belzona solutions for the Wind Power sector can help to repair and protect assets from these problems, whilst simultaneously making wind farm maintenance procedures more efficient and less time-consuming.


    Turbine Blades

    Blade restoration and leading edge protection (LEP):

    Leading edge damage is recognised as the single largest maintenance problem within the wind power industry. Evidence suggests that damage to the leading edge can lower the AEP (Annual Energy Production) of a wind turbine, with energy losses estimated at between 4% and 20% if the erosion damage is severe.

    Versus fillers, binders and tapes, Belzona reconstructive composite materials and protective coatings provide a superior solution. Belzona 1121 (Super XL-Metal) is ideally suited to rebuilding a smooth and hard-wearing blade surface. Easy to apply, this solution has an extended working life, making it suitable for working at heights and in situ. Moreover, Belzona's paste-grade systems demonstrate excellent adhesion to GRP substrates and can be installed in one application without the need for heat.

    For protection of the leading edge, Belzona's abrasion and erosion resistant systems provide long-term results. Belzona 1331 is an excellent example, suitable for dry and wet conditions. Meanwhile, Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide) provides outstanding LEP, especially for environments experiencing wet abrasion.

    Together, these solutions help to extend the application window available for wind turbine maintenance. Suitable for application at temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F), Belzona's turbine blade solutions make maintenance simple and efficient without the need for specialist tools or equipment. These cold-curing materials do not require the use of UV lamps or external heat sources and can rapidly return assets to service, avoiding costly downtime.


    Nacelle and Generating Components

    Rebuild solutions for mechanical components:

    Belzona provides a comprehensive range of solvent-free epoxy composite materials designed to repair and prevent the common failures associated with components in the nacelle. Belzona's cold-applied epoxy materials offer a rapid and reliable alternative to dismantling, welding and machining techniques which are required for conventional repairs.

    Using metal repair materials such as Belzona 1212 or Belzona 1131 (Bearing Metal), worn and damaged shafts can be repaired in situ, limiting the downtime and lost production costs which can be incurred. These easy-to-apply systems extend the lifetime of equipment and return assets to service in a fraction of the time. Moreover, they can be used to resurface distorted gearboxes and bearing houses, as well as providing superior erosion and corrosion resistance.

    Safety enhancements:

    Maintenance at height poses significant risks, especially in wet and windy conditions. Belzona offer a range of coatings which provide slip reduction properties and are available in a range of bright colours for safety enhancement. Coatings such as Belzona 4411 (Granogrip) improve safety by providing slip reduction in potentially dangerous areas (including ladder rungs, walkways, platforms and on the top of the nacelle itself).


    Turbine Base and Tower

    Repair composites for damaged concrete:

    As wind turbines and blades increase in size, ensuring the stable foundations of these structures is essential. Therefore, any defects in the concrete base must be quickly rectified using rapid-curing concrete repair composites.

    Belzona offers a wide variety of systems, including Belzona 4111 (Magma-Quartz), ideal for resurfacing damaged concrete, as well as Belzona 4154 (Bulkfill Resin), suitable for levelling large, uneven areas of concrete. Versus the typical curing time for like-for-like concrete repairs, Belzona's concrete repair solutions cure quickly and allow a fast return to service. In addition, they benefit from high mechanical and impact strength, whilst demonstrating resistance to environmental attack.

    Corrosion resistant encapsulation systems:

    Corrosion and water ingress can have a detrimental effect on the efficient operation of systems at the base of a turbine. Belzona offers a variety of encapsulating systems, which provide a flexible and durable barrier, specifically designed to protect assets from these issues. Using 'breathable', solvent-free coatings, such as Belzona 3111 (Flexible Membrane), water ingress and harmful corrosion can be eliminated at the base of the turbine, allowing any trapped moisture between the metal and concrete to escape easily. This can be brush applied and easily resealed following any necessary inspection.

    In addition, flanged joints or other equipment prone to crevice, galvanic and atmospheric corrosion, can be encapsulated using one of Belzona's flexible membranes. Belzona 3412, a two-part hybrid polymer coating, is designed to exclude moisture at the root cause of these issues. The system can be easily peeled back for inspection and resealed to reinstate long-term corrosion protection.

    Corrosion and erosion protection for splash zones:

    Accessing offshore turbines is typically achieved via boats, transporting maintenance and service crews to the mooring stage at the base. Whilst mooring (in particular during turbulent seas) boats can rub or impact the base of the structure, wearing away the protective coatings and exposing the metal to damage or environmental corrosion.

    Belzona's cold bonding materials are ideal adhesives for buffer pads or protective casings, helping to avoid excessive impact damage. Using surface-tolerant solutions, such as Belzona 1212, this can even be achieved on wet or underwater substrates whilst still demonstrating excellent levels of adhesion. However, for sealing or repairing the neoprene jackets on platform legs, Belzona's elastomeric systems offer a far more flexible solution. Belzona 2211 (MP Hi-Build Elastomer) bonds strongly to neoprene and metal substrates, whilst being a cold-curing alternative to hot work. In addition, Belzona's rubber repair systems offer outstanding elasticity and durability, making them excellent options for offshore repairs.

    Surface-tolerant solutions for transformer leaks:

    Transformer maintenance is crucial for the efficient operation of wind turbines and transporting captured energy to the grid. Aging equipment or environmental damage can result in potential oil leaks, affecting the surrounding environment. Therefore, any issues need to be solved quickly, to avoid further complications.

    Manually-prepared, oily and wet surfaces can prove difficult to adhere to when carrying out an application. However, Belzona's surface-tolerant solutions can stem and seal transformer leaks quickly and for the long term. Surface-tolerant systems, including Belzona 1161 (Super UW-Metal) and Belzona 1212 can be used as multi-purpose, durable repair options. Both are easy to mix and apply in situ, ideal for a fast return to service.

    For further protection against the effects of corrosion use Belzona 5831 (ST-Barrier). This barrier coating can be applied on to manually-prepared surfaces, even when moisture is present.

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