Wind Energy: Why Maintenance of Slip Rings is Important

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Did you know that every wind turbine contains a very important component called a slip ring? Slip rings are responsible for transferring power to motors in turbine blades which then share the data back to a hub from sensors to optimize wind generation.

Wind turbines are subject to harsh conditions such as weather, temperature fluctuations, dust and blade rotation. Maintenance on this tiny component is crucial and should be inspected yearly. Typically dust removal is recommended for optimal performance which reduces the buildup of other future contaminants. If dust and dirt is not removed, it can result in loss of transmission or communication. While many Wind Techs have used canned air, vacuuming dust and dirt is the best solution because you are REMOVING the dust and not redistributing back into the air.  If the turbines have proper care, the slip rings will have less downtime which saves time and money.

How does vacuuming wind turbines work, you ask? Well, Wind Techs maintaining these wind turbines need a small, compact system that is easy to access while climbing. The Express Safety HEPA vacuum is used to clean many electronic components in wind turbines. Wind Techs are typically carrying a variety of hand tools and computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions. A compact Express Safety HEPA vacuum that can fit into the Wind Techs bucket/toolkit along with other hand tools and extra filters is essential.

G.E. an American, multinational company recommends using HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration which is 99.97% efficient at .3 microns or larger. Nordex and Next Era users of the Atrix Express Safety HEPA vacuum have discovered this vacuum is ideal for its weight and size.

Atrix, a family owned business, has been manufacturing this Express Safety HEPA vacuum, along with other USA manufactured vacuums in Burnsville, Minnesota, since 1981. Normal vacuums create a static charge that can damage electronic circuitry. This can cause failures and latent failures in electronic equipment.  As stated before, electronic equipment collects dust and dirt over time, and if you don’t keep equipment clean, it will increase risk of failures. Atrix carries ESD safe vacuums that are designed and manufactured to drain dangerous static charges to ground. These vacuums can also be used in and not limited to; maintenance of inverter cabinets, blades, data cards, transformers, high voltage circuit breakers and brake pad dust.

To learn more about Atrix Express Safety HEPA vacuum, please contact: [email protected].