Lowering major operating costs and streamlining operations has been a key goal for the maturing wind industry in the United States. Gearboxes and generators are among the most costly and disruptive failed parts in wind turbines currently. To improve this situation, E.ON Energy Services turned to Liftra to find a new solution to a growing problem.
Liftra has developed a new technology, the Liftra Crane, which will dramatically lower the total costs to change out gearboxes and generators for certain turbines. E.ON Energy Services has purchased this technology from Liftra and will offer it as part of a new service offering to customers in the North American market. The Liftra Crane replaces a traditional crane for gearbox and generator repairs, and has the potential to be a game changer in the wind turbine operations and maintenance space.
"The Liftra technology can help lower the total repair costs by 20 to 30 percent," E.ON Energy Services vice president Guy Dees said. "This technology replaces a traditional crane, has easier mobility, and can operate in harsher wind conditions. This has tremendous potential to lower costs and we are excited to offer this as a service to our growing customer base," Dees added.
"Doing business with E.ON was a natural fit for us," Liftra CEO Per Fenger said. "E.ON is an international player in the renewables business and working with them to bring this to customers in the North American market made sense for both companies."
The Liftra technology is currently applicable on the General Electric 1.5, the Vestas V82 and Siemens 2.3 platforms.
"E.ON believes in pushing the development of new technologies to increase safety, reduce operating costs and increase performance whenever possible. With our Owner's Eye approach, we intend to test the Liftra Crane on our own fleet initially and offer it to customers later this year," E.ON Energy Services president Keith Day said. "Once proven out, this could have wide reaching benefit to the industry especially sites in the most remote areas."