A wind power generator is an integral part of a wind turbine. It doesn’t operate like a typical generator though, and let’s not forget that it operates hundreds of miles up in the air. Companies are even starting to move wind turbines offshore to create wind farms at sea, making maintenance a little more complicated than ever. While wind power generators have a long life span, they also require a lot of inspection and the operators have to catch problems before they lead to catastrophic failure. For all of these reasons, inspection using an articulating borescope is a vital way to make the job a lot easier to access, a lot safer for the operator to work with, and it increases the accuracy of the inspection.
Understanding the Role of the Generator in a Wind Turbine
Wind energy or wind power is a kind of renewable energy process that uses the wind to generate mechanical power. It converts the kinetic energy that occurs in the wind into electric. The electrical power is used to for specific tasks, or harnessed and stored to support power grids.
Wind turbines work using an extremely basic design where the wind turns propellors, or blade, around a rotator. This rotator is connected to the main shaft that spins the generator to produce electricity as a byproduct. It works essentially in the opposite way that a fan does where it uses electricity to make wind — a wind power generator is powered by wind.
Inspection Needs of Wind Power Generators
Whether they are on land, or based offshore, the housing area for the internal components, like the generator, are really difficult to access. The geographical challenges are the first thing to consider, but most operators don’t have the time, money, or resources to tear down the systems to inspect each individual component. However, a visual inspection needs to be done at regular intervals to prevent future damage from worn parts. It’s also necessary to do visual inspections when there is a suspected issue that is causing a lack of efficiency and performance issues with the machinery. An articulating borescope lets you inspect these areas without coming face to face with the actual parts.
Steps for Operating an Articulating Borescope for Wind Power Generator Inspection
Using an articulating borescope to inspect the wind power generator and other wind turbine equipment is extremely simple, just use these steps:
Charge the Battery
Since most inspection jobs take hours at a time, working will a fully charged battery is essential to making sure you don’t have to stop the job for a recharge.
Extend and Insert the Tube
Fully extend the insertion probe to achieve full articulation. Slowly insider the probe into the entry point of the system you are inspecting.
During the Inspection
Go through the checkpoints on your inspection list. While the borescope is in the turbine, move it slowly for the sake of being thorough, and also for the sake of the equipment and components — moving the borescope in and out, or around the components can cause damage.
Slowly remove the borescope, and now you can review the video feedback from the handheld unit, or from a computer.