Endurance E-Series Fixes & Upgrades
Since the liquidation of turbine manufacturer Endurance we have endeavoured to keep our client’s turbines generating. We have invested in over £1m of spares including generators, blade sets and gear boxes.
Our next step is to seek to improve weaknesses in the original Endurance designs and provide professionally engineered solutions to ensure the longevity of the machines across our entire fleet.
Bed plate repair and replacement
It has become apparent that some of the welds used in the original design of the Endurance E3120 bed plates are an area of weakness. Over time, normal operation of the wind turbine puts stress through the bed plate and cracks have appeared on some turbines, particularly those that are sited in high wind speed areas.
Working with specialist welding contractors we have designed a repair that is low cost and can be done up tower. For most instances of bed plate cracking this is the recommended solution for a medium term repair.
For the most severe cracks or a longer term solution, a redesigned, replacement bed plate has been developed for safe and reliable operation.
After in-depth market research considering all the bed plate upgrade options available, we felt the solutions provided by Gale Force Designs would best meet the needs of our customers and we are therefore proud to announce our partnership with the U.S. based company.
The Gale Force Designs bed plate is the result of 15 months of design, build and testing. It has been built to withstand even the most testing operational loads including prolonged high winds and extreme turbulence.
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) evaluation was used in the bed plates development and added material has been utilised in the design to minimise stress in the welds. The result of this is that critical stresses are reduced by nearly 4 times in comparison to the original bed plate design.
The final stage of development was to test the durability of the new design. Accelerated fatigue testing was used to monitor the stresses and load on the bed plate for a period representative of the equivalent of 20 years . Levels were monitored using strain gauges and at the end of the process the bed plate showed no signs of damage.
Main shaft Solution
Gale Force Designs have also redesigned the main shaft to strengthen critical stress areas which led to failures in a number of the original machines. The quality of steel used in its construction has also been improved. The new design is compatible with the existing rotor hub and gearbox.
The new design utilises 65% more material in the critical stress area. The keyway has also been removed to eliminate stress concentration in this area. The new design has 2.7 times higher load capacity in comparison with the original Endurance Wind Power design and an exponentially longer fatigue life than the original shaft.
It features a long life shaft using high grade steel, a new larger downwind pillow block bearing and housing, a new upwind pillow block bearing, a new tapered hub bushing and labyrinth seals and O-rings.
Service & Maintenance
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