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MACHINIST - Suzlon completes blade retrofit program for 1251 blades of the S88-V2 type

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Home arrow News arrow Business News arrow Suzlon completes blade retrofit program for 1251 blades of the S88-V2 type

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Suzlon completes blade retrofit program for 1251 blades of the S88-V2 type
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Written by James   
Thursday, 15 October 2009

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Bangalore: Suzlon Energy Limited (SEL) has announced the completion of its worldwide program to strengthen and reinforce all Suzlon blades of the V2 type on its S88 – 2.1 MW turbine fleet. The company has also introduced the next-generation S88-V3.

The blade retrofit program entailed a commitment of approximately USD 100 million, which was already provided in FY2008-09. There were no additional retrofit costs in FY2009-10.

Suzlon, responding to some instances of blade cracks during the operation of S88 wind turbines in late 2007, had launched a a detailed root cause analysis and identification process, followed by extensive testing of the solution and comprehensive retrofit operation to safeguard and enhance 1,251 (or 417 sets) S88-V2 blades around the world.

"We are happy to report the completion of the program in September, 2009. This project has been a priority effort for us, and our Technology and Project teams have worked hard to complete this project within the shortest possible time. After receiving the first report of cracks in the S88-V2 blades, we immediately undertook a root cause analysis to identify the problem, devise a solution, and resolve the issue in a timely and cost-effective manner," said Mr. Andy Cukurs, Chief Executive Officer of Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation.

During the Root Cause Analysis and Identification Suzlon engaged Navigant Consulting to conduct an extensive Root Cause Analysis (RCA) examining all primary and secondary contributing causes to the blade crack issue.  The RCA team concluded that the S88-V2 blade design, while designed and tested to industry standard certification guidelines, had a weakness in the transition area – about 6 meters (20 feet) from the root of the blade. The blades measure 43 meters (142 feet) long and weigh 7 tonnes (15,650 pounds). At the completion of the program, only 179 blades of the total fleet of 1,251 blades developed cracks. However, Suzlon upgraded the entire fleet in support of its customers.

To resolve the blade cracking issue, three additional plies of fiberglass were added to the S88-V2 blade’s exterior in the transverse direction. These plies extend over the entire blade surface in the transition area. One additional ply was added to the interior of the blade. The new reinforced S88-V2 blade has lower stress and strain level in the transition area, preventing cracks from forming.

Suzlon worked with Germany-based Germanischer Lloyd (GL), an internationally-recognized wind energy certification organization, to test and certify the V2 blades according to international standards.

Through this process Suzlon has developed a new level of blade testing for all it's blades by putting increased loads into the test process which exceed current industry standards, raising the bar in product design and testing for the industry as a whole.

"We are pleased that Suzlon has completed the replacement of the blades in our S-88 fleet and is addressing other product support requirements," said David A. Drescher, Vice President - John Deere Renewables, after the completion of the retrofit program.

"We believe we are the custodians of our customers’ investment and, in keeping with our commitment to our customers, decided to retrofit the entire S88 V2 fleet and replace the few cracked blades at our own cost to eliminate any possibility of further issues, no matter how small the chance," said Andy Cukurs.

Today Suzlon Energy Limited (SEL) also announced the completion and commissioning of a 19.5 MW wind farm project for the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) at the Maliya –Miyana site in Rajkot district of Gujarat. The project comprises 13 units of Suzlon’s S82 – 1.5 MW wind turbines and has been commissioned in record time, almost two months ahead of the contractual commissioning period.

 
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