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Retrofits for wind turbines

Upgrade and increase the efficiency and operational reliability of your plant

Retrofitting: Retrofit wind turbines and benefit

In order to understand why retrofits for wind turbines are interesting, it is sufficient to take a look at the enormous further development of turbine technology in recent years as well as at the large number of wind turbines in Germany, which have now reached an age that makes a decision about their future necessary. Basically, there are three ways to deal with old wind turbines:

  1. After dismantling, they are sent for recycling
  2. They are offered for sale on the second-hand market
  3. The plant will continue to operate beyond the planned design lifetime of 20 years 

The former two options are usually considered as part of a repowering measure, but for a variety of reasons, this exchange of old wind turbines with new models is not always sensible, possible or desired by the operator – for example, because the turbine has now been paid off and you now make profits with it or give a larger wind turbine due to restrictions in terms of feed-in quantity or a height limit. In such a case, continued operation makes sense – provided that the condition of the system allows this.

Retrofit für Windkraftanlagen

Many suppliers from the field of service & maintenance have found ways and means to modernize wind turbines and optimize them as part of the retrofit, even several years before the end of the design life. Here, a retrofit of the old system of modern technology is retrofitted or components developed for the individual case are installed. The advantages of retrofitting: functionality, operational reliability and yield are improved – in the best case beyond 20 years. In addition, older plants that meet the grid requirements and thus the ancillary services (SDL) thanks to upgrade and modernization receive an increased kilowatt-hour feed-in tariff, the so-called SDL bonus.

What retrofit options are there?

The measures in the context of the retrofit for wind turbines can be of a wide variety of nature and range from program-side optimizations of the control parameters to comprehensive conversions and upgrades to the rotor blades. Some examples would be:

  • Software Updates
  • Subsequent installation of a passenger lift
  • Conversion of lighting to LED
  • Improve transmission speed
  • Installation of condition monitoring systems
  • Special attachments for rotor blades
  • Installation of optimized control electronics
  • Various sensors

Of course, this is only a part of the retrofit possibilities. Specialized vendors , however, find the ideal way for wind turbine operators to increase efficiency and reliability and reduce maintenance and repair costs.