Wind energy is the most efficient technology to produce energy in a safe and environmentally sustainable way. In order to have a secure and sustainable future, wind turbines need to be running economically and require a reliable and durable operation.
With the development of hydraulic components and the growing size of the wind power generation, hydraulic technology has gradually been applied in wind energy.
The Hydraulic technology applications in wind turbine
The most important functions of hydraulics in wind turbines include pitch adjustment, yaw and rotor braking, cooling & lubrication, and power transfer.
Some of the important applications of wind turbines are discussed below.
1. HYDRAULIC PITCH CONTROL
Hydraulic pitch systems provide robust and reliable control of power and speed of modern wind turbines. The pitch control serves to optimise the efficiency and to protect the wind turbine against excessively high wind speeds. UFI Hydraulics complete filters and spare parts ensure optimum power output by keeping the pitch hydraulic system clean and efficient.
The gearbox is a critical component in a wind turbine that helps convert rotational energy into electrical power and is one of the most expensive components, accounting for 15% of the wind turbine’s total cost. Gearbox failures lead to the most significant downtime experienced as well as the most costly. For this reason it is critical to maintain lubrication and filtration system in good condition by using qualified and reliable UFI Hydraulics complete filters and spare parts in order to minimise failure rates and reduce costs.
3. HYDRAULIC BRAKE SYSTEM
The braking system ensures that the wind turbines yaw and main shaft remain reliable and in safe control. Effective braking prevents permanent damage to turbine’s structure in high wind speeds, and keeps the service team safe during maintenance. The hydraulic break system is based on a hydraulic system that allows controlled revolutions in all weather conditions. UFI Hydraulics product range include flexible and reliable solutions to protect wind turbine braking systems.
4. AZIMUTH DRIVE
The azimuth drive orients the nacelle towards the wind to ensure optimum turbine utilisation. Wind turbines must be aligned optimally to the wind in order to prevent extreme loads and allow cost-effective operation. UFI Hydraulics complete filters and spare parts ensure that the wind turbines yaw and main shaft remain reliable and in safe control.
As hydraulic systems represent a substantial part of each turbine, it is important to implement an effective filtration program, in order to reach the following goals:
- prevent the damage of sensitive, and usually expensive components
- extend maintenance intervals and reduce costs
- increase the reliability of pitch control and yaw systems
In the Wind Power Generation selecting the best supplier for the most critical hydraulic components is a matter of paramount importance.
UFI Filters Hydraulic Division has the necessary filtration technology and background to manufacture the hydraulic components to meet OE, OES and independent aftermarket requirements for wind power generation applications.