Coal, Emissions, Gas, Wind

York WindPower selects Swan Technology for predictive maintenance on Big Spring and Westex wind farms

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 28, 2002 — SWANTECH, LLC announced that its SWANview™ Portable System has been selected for use by wind farm operator, York WindPower on the Big Spring and Westex Wind Farms.

The SWANview Portable system is based upon SWANTECH’s patented Stress Wave Analysis (SWAN™) technology and is used for monitoring the operating health of wind turbine rotors, gearboxes and generators. The farms are adjacent to one another and located between Dallas, El Paso, Del Rio, and Amarillo, Texas.

Electric Power generated by the farms is purchased under contract by TXU Electric & Gas, and are part of TXU’s renewable energy program, called “TU Renew.” Phase I of the farm, Big Spring, generates approximately 117-million Kilowatt-hours of electric energy, enough to power 7300 homes.

Electric power generation is provided by 46 wind turbines, some of which are the largest wind turbines in the Western Hemisphere standing 371 feet tall with rotor blades of 216 feet in diameter. Phase II, Westex, includes an additional four wind turbines generating an additional 19.5 million Kilowat-hours of electric energy, enough to power 1300 homes. Both serve residents of Waco, Texas.

According to Junior Yanez, Operations and Maintenance Manager, the SWANview Portable system was selected as a predictive maintenance tool for monitoring the condition of wind turbines because it enables technicians to focus repair activities resulting in substantial cost savings.

“By using SWAN technology, we are able to monitor all turbines on the farm and determine which are beginning to experience problems. This allows us to address these problems well before catastrophic failure or secondary damage to the machinery occurs.” He added, “We can also isolate the source of damage to the component level and predict remaining useful life. This provides greater control over the maintenance process by allowing us to determine where and when to schedule repair.”

SWAN technology is based upon ultrasonic sound waves, which are detected and measured in terms of energy content and then analyzed to identify and trend the incidence of damage in a machine. The software analysis tools also pinpoint the source of damage and provide early warning in terms of the progression of damage. This information is used to schedule maintenance before severe damage to the machine, or equipment failure occurs.

Joseph E. Carpenter, Jr., President and CEO, reinforced the benefits of SWAN technology to the wind industry. “Many operators are learning about the usefulness of this technology for true predictive maintenance on wind farms. We are delighted to be working with York WindPower as a cost saving maintenance solution provider.”

SWANTECH is dedicated to the innovation, design and development of diagnostic tools that detect and measure even slight shock and friction events that occur between contact surfaces in operating machinery.

SWANTECH delivers the power of precise machine condition information with patented Stress Wave Analysis (SWAN™) technology. SWAN detects Stress Wave Energy and enables the separation of these high-frequency stress waves from the much lower frequency range of operating machinery vibration and audible noise.

This process detects flaws and problems well before other technologies in including vibration and lubrication analysis and provides prognostic condition monitoring solutions that enable users to intervene before secondary machine damage or catastrophic failure occurs. SWANTECH solutions contribute to a lower total cost of operation and a greater return on assets managed.

Source: SWANTECH