Design News, January 2013

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ingly interested in improving the performance and efficiency of wind assets, since better planning and more efficient management of spare parts can improve output and generators' margins by cutting unplanned, unexpected downtime. We've previously reported on remote-controlled climbing robots developed to make wind tower maintenance easier, cheaper, and safer by doing it remotely. Although these have not yet been deployed in anything resembling huge numbers, their use could also bring maintenance costs down even more in the future. We also reported on a Stanford University study that calculated that there's enough wind near shore and over land combined to produce at least half the world's power demand by 2030, using what the researchers say is the most sophisticated climate model ever created. As the installed base of turbines has grown, manufacturers view operation and maintenance services as an increasingly important revenue stream. That's been especially true during the industry's current slowdown. One reason for the contract price drops has been better service performance of the turbines themselves. Another is more competitive bidding among turbine manufacturers for service contracts. It's interesting to note that the period covered by the analysis coincides approximately with the worldwide financial downturn, which put the brakes on growth in many industries and heated up competition. maintenance contracts in onshore wind farms between 2008 and 2012. For the report, which appeared in the first issue of the O&M Price Index, Bloomberg analysts examined confidential operation and maintenance contract data from 38 major wind power developers and service providers around the world. Service providers consisted of turbine manufacturers, primarily in Europe and the Americas. The price data included 104 confidential and undisclosed contracts in more than 24 markets. Typical contracts considered in the report included replacement costs of major components. Compared to the costs of gas-fired and coal-fired generation, the capital costs of wind power have already become —Ann R. Thryft, Senior Technical Editor, Materials & Assembly more competitive due to better turbine siting and wind farm management, as well as lower cost, more technically advanced turbines, said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of BloomFor More Information: berg New Energy Finance, in a press release. Study: Wind Could Power World Energy Needs: Wind project owners and investors are 6/30/10 7:31 AIR006_DashDemoAd_DN7x3.375ƒ:AIR006becoming increas- PM Page 1 Get your hands on our free demonstrator. Visit us at With no seals to wear out and no hydraulic fluid to leak out, the super responsive Airpot dashpot can soak up unwanted motion indefinitely. See for yourself. Visit and request our free Airpot demonstrator or call us at 800- 848-7681. We make what you make run smoother. ®Airpot is a registered trademark of Airpot Corporation, 35 Lois Street, Norwalk, CT 06851 Design News | jaNuary 2013 | www.d esign n –36–

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