Structural problems lead to costly downtime for Illinois wind turbine

It appears one wind turbine in Farmersville, Illinois, may have been doomed from the start, considering the internal mechanisms failed recently, leading to a complete shutdown of the energy generation system.

According to the State Journal-Register, the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) was forced to take the Gob Knob wind turbine, found just off Interstate 55, out of commission to make necessary repairs.

“The turbine’s main bearing started to overheat in mid-March, and will need replacement by the manufacturer,” RECC president and CEO David Stuva said in a statement.

Stuva added that before the repairs can be made, the European manufacturing company will need to ship the products from overseas – a process that has not yet begun. The breakdown comes only four years after the machine was first erected some 25 miles south of Springfield, in March 2009.

On average, wind turbines require preventative maintenance checkups about two to three times every year, which can be costly to both the energy companies making the repairs as well as the electricity consumers. To cut down on maintenance costs, boost asset uptime and increase overall productivity, wind turbine manufacturers can benefit from new testing methods and technology that ensure quality in the allotted testing time frame.