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Garrad Hassan (GH), a provider of products and services for the wind industry, and nine other industry and academic leaders have put together a proposal for European Union support for the new RELIAWIND project, with the aim of measuring and understanding historical reliability to create a new generation of more intelligent and reliable wind turbines.

The aim of RELIAWIND is to monitor component reliability and propose new designs, which are more reliable and less expensive to maintain and operate, thereby aiming to increase availability to 99%.

To achieve the project's aims, 10 suppliers of products and services to the wind energy industry have joined forces. They include turbine and component manufacturers, wind farm owners and operators, consultants and research institutions.

The three phases of the project will include:

- determination of a statistical basis for prioritizing improvements in component reliability, repair and maintenance strategies,

- evaluation of all plausible design failures and their consequences using techniques such as failure mode and effects analysis and fault tree analysis, and

- proposal of more robust designs and intelligent systems for monitoring component health and scheduling preventative maintenance.

GH will coordinate the collection and interpretation of historical data as well as compare and prioritize the component design effort.

"The project provides a fantastic opportunity to make a real and substantial step forward in the understanding of component and system reliability in the wind industry," says Mark Spring, GH project engineer for RELIAWIND.

The new technologies will be integrated in new generations of wind turbines, components and wind farms, aiming for compatibility between different manufacturers and clients to achieve maximum service guarantee.



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