The wind energy sector is using several new technologies to generate more power and replace the conventional source of electricity. 

FREMONT, CA : In contrast with traditional energy, renewable electricity has been costly, making it dependent on incentives and subsidies. Wind and solar are becoming economically viable following technological advancements. Renewable projects are now beginning to compete with traditional power, indicating that they will replace conventional power in several countries.

Main technological advances of renewable energy sources

Repowering of old wind farms

Even before the end of the old turbines' lifespan, wind repowering is replacing older wind turbines with new wind turbines. The new turbines are much more effective and more powerful. They optimally utilize the wind and can offer better capacity factors for high yields.

Larger wind turbines are preferred

Higher towers for wind turbines and longer blades increase the power and electricity generated by each turbine. On a per megawatt (MW) basis, costs are also declining. Larger turbines are being produced with more technical competence, and more developers are choosing to build these turbines. The demand for offshore wind is increasing in the market. GE has recently developed the world's longest wind turbine blade with a 107 m blade and 220 m rotor, the Halidade-X 12 MW offshore turbine.

Longer wind turbine rotor blades

The longer a rotor blade, the more energy a turbine can harness and turn to the wind. Advanced structural models and the use of complex composite materials are involved in the development of longer blades.

Advanced wind farm O&M practices

In the operation and maintenance (O&M) practices of wind farms, new technical developments are being seen. Drones with HD cameras and thermal cameras are addressing a range of problems faced for years by wind equipment managers. Drones provide high-definition images and video footage of every wind turbine from the air to investigate the damage and thermal imaging to identify any internal irregularities.

Predictive maintenance comes into play

In recent years, predictive maintenance processes have become a standard practice in the wind O&M market. Predictive maintenance services focused on condition evaluation allow the O&M service providers to prepare to order parts and organize work and refurbishment activities. It also eliminates the need for regular plant visits conducted by a technical crew member. The method involves predictive visual inspection models, damage confirmation, creating an action plan, and evaluating how long equipment will work.

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