Activity in the service has been strong. The requirements of today’s renewable systems are getting more complex with electric and electronic components, not to mention that many issues are programming software.
The heart of a renewable system maintains to be the inverter that converts the battery power or wild electricity from solar, water or wind to usable line power. These units have many tasks so to troubleshoot, it can require many special meters. The output wave forms can differ as the models and manufacturers present products from square wave to sign wave, single phase to 2 phase 220 volt. Some units have chargers built in and transfer switches.
Although we want to help clients on site, our ability to repair on site is limited to fan, board and relay replacement. All other tests or repairing/refurbishing must be performed at a test bench at our facility or our inverter service outlet partners. The systems are getting bigger all the time and the stress on the charging system is increasing our service calls on transfer relays and charging transformers.
We have almost two decades of experience on generators. Our degree of service is all determined by the repair cost of a unit today versus the cost of replacement. Generators can be grouped into two categories. Single phase small up to 10kw and larger, 10kw standby diesel and PTO driven.
In most cases, we service smaller units that our customers use to charge batteries when required by manually starting during outages. These units are generally inexpensive and repairing or refurbishing presents cost constraints. We rebuild the gas or diesel engines. We replace brushes or diodes on the Generator. Rewinding of the coils is only performed if a unit justifies this cost. We do however recoat or epoxy windings during inspection if required.
We replace weak breakers, capacitors and bearings. The larger 10 kw generators present more opportunity of refurbishing. The units are specific sizes and voltages per application. In many cases, the same service performed on small units. We can repair automatic starting systems from battery sensing or the timer systems. Most units run every day from 3 to 10 hours and the owners have a good maintenance process in place to treat this lifeline as required. With so many operation hours, it is vital that vibration and temperature conditions are minimized to extend the life of the generator and components between rebuilds or service.
The stress of a battery is never understood until it does not perform. Although there is no battery that lasts forever, it is not unheard of to see over 10 years of service from batteries when performing good maintenance.
Wet flooded cells need extra care. The constant filling of deionized water and in some cases acid, is essential to get the longer battery life. We do battery bank performance load test per cell on site or discharge time test on the battery bank. Specifically, gravity of battery acid and corrosion protection of the battery case, connection plates and wires. We do replace cells on site with our mobile battery service tool kits. Cell transplants are a common practice; however, these are short term measures and usually show that the end of the battery bank is near. We recommend removing this battery bank from service so we can do cell repair and de-sulfate the plates to extend life. This does require off site work as it may need extensive power requirements for days and this is not possible on the remote power systems we serve.
We have full battery handling equipment to help in the aid of save moves and refurb of your bank. Industrial battery chargers are in house for 12, 24, 48 and 72 volt systems.
Wind Turbines Service
The component with the most demand on it of a renewable system is the wind charger. It sees the elements of our environment in rain storms, ice and snow. The careful selection of bearings and lubrication is essential.
Our turbine maintenance service is extensive with so many types on the market. We manufacture new components as wear and tear is showing. Our in house machine shop has all of the equipment to manufacture to OEM specifications and in some cases, upgrade to meet extreme operating conditions that even the original manufacture did not expect.
Our power train and transmission department has the experience to upgrade or refurbish your gearboxes for direct rotor driven or nacelle turning drive trains. Blade service and repair is covered in other areas at Farm Energy Inc as this is a special service and depending on the unit, is made from plastic composites, wood and fibreglass.
We have the hydraulic lowering cylinders for tilt down turbines up to 20kw or small guy wire fold down units on gin poles. Most turbine service is bearings on rotor, furling and tower adapter, brushes on the rotor or tower slip rings, blade replacement and top of tower lighting. Predictive maintenance of fasteners and hardware to hold systems together is a must for a piece of machinery of this nature and should not be left unattended and should be reviewed annually. Ground level inspection is important but does not eliminate the uptower review or fold down requirement. Other services include, armature coating, magnet replacement and generator rebuild.