Reducing Costs with Borescopes
Invenergy Services is known for our efficiency and expertise. Our approach to site operations and maintenance is guided by our owner’s mindset, which, simply put, means we operate every customer’s project as if it were our own. Our two decades of experience inform every aspect of how we operate our plants, and we use the same knowledge and best practices to help our customers maximize productivity and prolong equipment life.
One example of the owner’s mindset at work is through proactive equipment maintenance, which reduces parts, labor, and mobilization costs on a large scale.
A key tool used to effectively perform proactive equipment maintenance is a borescope, a small camera at the end of a wire that gives technicians the ability to inspect hard-to-see locations like the inner workings of wind turbine bearings and gearboxes. Borescope inspections provide valuable insight into the health of major turbine equipment, allowing technicians to catch damage at its earliest stages. Invenergy Services performs borescope inspections at a third of each site’s wind turbines each year, providing Invenergy Services personnel and project owners with timely, actionable insights into the health of the equipment.
Borescope inspections have been especially important in anticipating potential gearbox failures, which are among the most expensive repairs on a wind turbine and one of the most difficult issues to predict. Gearbox replacements typically cost between $300,000 and$340,000, including crane rental, a replacement gearbox, and lost production, which can range from 20 to 30 days due to long lead times.
The information gained from borescope inspections provides engineering and site technicians sufficient time for gearbox maintenance planning, and often enables the team to coordinate back-to-back repairs of multiple turbines at the same site. The inspection can reduce overall downtime from several weeks to a mere 5 days per repair by catching damages early and modifying turbine operating parameters until repair teams can get to work.
In addition to borescope inspections, some turbines are outfitted with vibration monitors that notice minute anomalies and portable particle counters that track the iron deposits that can accumulate in oil. This equipment provides valuable data points, giving the team further insight into component health and another example of our owner’s mindset in practice.
After all, we have an owner’s mindset because we are owners. We’re excited to share what we’ve learned along the way and use our expertise to your advantage.
Interested in learning more? Invenergy Services can help. Contact Brad Purtell at firstname.lastname@example.org.