Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

The brainchild of Beluga Shipping and Sky Sails heads for success.MV "Beluga SkySails", a multipurpose heavy-lift project carrier new-build that was christened on December 15th, 2007, and recently enjoyed its maiden voyage, is the world's first modern merchant vessel to be co-powered by wind energy. {pagebreak}The 10,000-tdw carrier is owned, managed and operated by Beluga Shipping GmbH, a project and heavy lift carrier based in Bremen, Germany. Through the company's initial

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Stephan Golz is a representative of wind energy recruitment specialist of Stegmann Personal, an agency under the umbrella of the 7 (S)-Group, and one of the first companies of its kind to specialise in this sector. PES finds out what new demands the rapid growth of wind energy is placing on his firm, and how it keeps afloat in an increasingly competitive market.{pagebreak}PES: To begin, can you provide us with a brief overview of the services your company provides?Stephan Golz: As an employment agency, Stegmann Personal arranges and supervises work contracts and temporary placements for clients across Europe. With more than 160 subsidiaries, 7 (S)-Group has around 8000 employees - with more coming on board every day. Under a multibrand strategy, the group has seven areas of expertise, including wind energy, industry and technology, aviation, engineering, information technology, medical care and logistics.PES: What are staff levels like in the renewable energy industry?Stephan Golz: Currently, around 200 engineers and blue-collar workers have placements in the renewable energy sector, taking care of project development, operation and maintenance, specifically the repair and upkeep of rotor blades.PES: HR is an expense that some companies might choose to cut back on - what are the

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Taking wind turbines to new heights Wind turbines are highly engineered and sophisticated machinery which may operate in wide ambient operating temperatures and extreme environments such as offshore. As a vital asset, it makes good business sense to protect it and prolong its life. Correct lubrication is a critical factor that has been recognised by both component manufacturers and the wind turbine builders as a key success factor for trouble-free operations.{pagebreak}ExxonMobil continues to recognise the increased demands in this market with ongoing investment for research and development to ensure the correct balanced lubricants are available as the sector evolves. Backed by more than 40 years of experience in developing synthetic lubricants and more than 15 years expertise in lubrication of wind turbines, ExxonMobil doesn't just make wind turbines run. They make them fly. How? By helping get the most out of the equipment.Mobil SHC synthetic lubricants and greases Ã

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Wind industry ready to boom. European Wind Energy Association Chief Executive Christian Kjaer talks exclusively to PES about how the European Commission's ongoing efforts to tackle climate change are paving the way for "a massive expansion in wind power", but certain member states should be reaching to pull their socks up.{pagebreak}In January this year, the European Commission gathered in Brussels to propose a new energy and climate package for Europe, including realistic targets and a roadmap for achieving these targets. One general conclusion of discussions was that, if we are to achieve a renewable energy quota of 20% by 2020 across the 27 Member States, a great deal of time, effort and investment will need to be ploughed into the RES sectors.The EC has now proposed a stable and flexible EU framework in which Member States keep control of their renewable energy policies through successful national support systems. In addition, cross-border transfer of guarantees of origin can only take place where Member States have met or exceeded their interim targets.For the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), these two elements are crucial for maintaining investor confidence and encouraging substantial investments in green electricity. The EC has today provided a powerful response

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As the wind energy industry sees sturdy growth, businesses are gearing up for surging demand. Amid what is likely to be an increasingly competitive global market, manufacturers and suppliers will need to show consistently high levels of products, services and support in order to keep a strong client base. Kirsten Tschauder of Castrol Industrial Lubricants & Services explains why her company is well positioned to take on the challenge. {pagebreak}PES: How did Castrol Industrial Lubricants & Services get involved in wind energy? Kirsten Tschauder: Our involvement dates back to the 1980s, when we started working with OEMs supplying wind turbine manufacturers. They were looking for products to overcome some of the problems that were seen at that time, and micro pitting was a particular issue. This phenomenon is still one of the main concerns today in gearbox-driven units. Using experience we had gained in other industries, coupled with the special additive systems in our gear oils, we were able to improve gear life, leading to improved reliability and operating uptime. PES: How are you organised to serve the Wind Energy industry?

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Quality should be designed into your products.The rising demand for renewable energy means a greater demand for sophisticated technology. But it's not simply customer satisfaction that counts these days. Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, CEO and President of The Switch, explains how his firm is responding and contributing to the environmental revolution.{pagebreak}PES: Can you explain a little about your company and what you offer the renewable energy industry?Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen: We specialise in solutions to transform untapped energy into electricity and enable electricity to be used efficiently. This is achieved through innovative power electronics and drive train systems that we design and manufacture for leading OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and system integrators.PES: Your organisation feeds a number of industries - how do you manage to meet all their needs?JM: We serve the markets through four business areas by supplying electric drive trains for wind-power applications, industrial facilities, variable speed gensets, and solar and fuel cell installations. The entire organisation is geared towards customer satisfaction.PES: How will global warming affect your business?JM: The rising global interest in renewable energy will naturally push up the demand for electrical drive train components. Our solutions not only benefit our customers but also help to combat climate change and

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Unique system saves time and money for the wind power industry Swedish Actsafe is the company behind the world's first power ascender, a personal elevator that climbs a standard rope. The company is now the market leader within this growing segment of rope access and is continuously developing solutions for making working at height safe, efficient and easy.{pagebreak}"The wind power industry is a market with big growing potential for us. Rope access as an alternative, is gaining ground in many industries - partly thanks to the advantages of the power ascender - and work on wind turbines is one area where the technique has been proven extremely useful," say's Magnus Glans, Vice President of Actsafe.Advantages for the wind power industryPower ascender systems are a flexible and low-cost alternative to scaffolding, lifts and powered platforms. The system allows rapid installation and dismantling, hence there will be minimal interruption time. A power ascender system is a flexible alternative to manual climbing and less costly than standard lift equipment for lightweight jobs.The short set-up time result in minimal shutdown of the turbine. Repair and maintenance can be done in a manner that is quick, safe and less expensive than if performed with, for

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Dipl.-Ing. Kirsten Tschauder, Deutsche BP AG Unplanned wind turbine downtime can lead to high financial losses and wind energy market statistics indicate that the average turbine downtime due to unscheduled events is around 270 hours per year. Roughly one third of such losses can be minimised or avoided by considering the special ambient and application conditions that the turbine operates in and choosing the correct lubricant and application method.{pagebreak}In addition, the right choice of lubricants can improve turbine operating performance through extended lubricant life, increased component life, lower operating temperatures and lower noise levels.Rapid developments in gear box design sets new benchmarkTechnological developments in the wind turbine sector have significantly impacted the design of gear boxes over the last 10 years. This in turn has had a major influence on gear box lubrication and the required performance from gear oils. These now need to operate in more highly- loaded and demanding conditions for extended periods to maximise the operating availability of the wind turbine. Some of the main changes in gearbox design are listed below:

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