SOLUTIONS FOR

Offshore wind turbines

Avoid corrosion and mould
in offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbines have to be reliable — revenue depends on it. But they have to operate in environments full of corrosive airborne moisture. This means manufacturers and operators face challenges that frequently include:

 

  • Moist, salt-laden air entering nacelles and towers
  • Condensation and corrosion giving rise to structural, mechanical and electronics problems
  • Operational glitches and high service costs due to the effects of humidity
  • Unhealthy and unsafe working environments resulting from bacterial growth and slippery surfaces

 

 Airborne moisture causes corrosion

Airborne moisture is one of the major sources of operating disruption, damage to equipment and structures, and costly practical problems inside the nacelles and towers of wind turbines — especially those offshore. To our knowledge, as much as 20–25% of all breakdowns in offshore wind turbines are caused — directly or indirectly — by moisture and corrosion.

Such airborne moisture combines with acidic salts in the air to cause corrosion and condensation inside the wind turbine, as well as giving rise to bacterial growth, mould problems and a risky working environment. Together, these result in a wide range of problems with mechanicals and electronics, as well as causing electrical glitches and expensive unscheduled downtime.

Preventing corrosion increases manufacturing costs

To counter all this and to be able to ensure their customers the necessary reliability metrics, manufactures of offshore wind turbines have to use materials, components and coatings featuring higher corrosion ratings and IP classifications – which are always more expensive

Filtration isn’t enough

Conventional filtration isn’t enough to remove corrosive salts from the air. In offshore operating environments, these salts are usually dissolved in moisture. This corrosive solution tends either to be sticky and clog up the filter, or pass right through in liquid form. The renowned low efficiency of such filtration systems means moisture laden with corrosive salts is spread throughout the insides of the nacelle and tower.

The hotter and more humid the wind turbine site, the bigger the problems with corrosion and filtration. As a rule of thumb, the rate of corrosion doubles with every 10°C temperature increase (at the same level of humidity). This makes any solutions just relying on filtering the air very risky in wind turbine installations in hot, humid climates.


Preventive advantage

The only really effective way to prevent humidity and corrosive salts getting inside the nacelles and towers of offshore wind turbines is by maintaining positive pressure inside them.

The patented Cotes Wind Overpressure System is a combined dehumidifier/desalter that creates a dry, salt-free environment inside nacelles and towers by maintaining such positive pressure, helping keep moist, salt-laden air from ever getting in. The system is equally effective almost everywhere in the world.

The Cotes WInd Overpressure System tackles the many problems caused by airborne, salt-laden moisture inside offshore wind turbines, by keeping both the humidity and salt content of the air under full control.

Lower production costs for wind turbines

Effective, reliable control of corrosion means wind turbine manufacturers are able to work with lower ISO 9223 classification requirements and lower IP classes — which means lower costs for wind turbine materials, coatings and components. Cotes technology and know-how enable you to roll back key manufacturing costs by as much as 10–30% because standard-spec coatings, parts and fittings are sufficient.

Protection during transport and storage

Cotes dehumidifiers also help keep nacelles and towers — and the expensive fixtures inside them — in ready-for-service condition while in storage and en route to the erection site. This provides big savings on commissioning as well as rolling back maintenance and service costs — and keeps up the in-service revenue stream.

Onshore protecting too

Cotes technology provides similar benefits for the many wind turbines installed on land – but still close to water. These are often faced with the same challenges stemming from airborne, salt-ladden moisture as offshore wind farms, and suffer from similar problems with mould growth inside the nacelle and towers.

Cotes systems keep this from happening

Preventing mould problems

Using Cotes dehumidifcation technology to ensure dry, salt free air inside wind turbines gives you an effective way to tackle the growing problems with mould inside nacelles and towers.

Preventing is better than dealing with this (expensively) once it’s happened

Safer working conditions

Positive pressure is also the ideal way to maintain a forced air change in offshore wind turbines, in order to get rid of gases (hydrogen sulphides, ozone, hydrogen, etc.) from below the ground and/or given off by machinery and battery packs.

This makes it safer for inspection, service and repair crews to work inside them.

Helps with cooling, too

Attached to heat exchangers or cooling coils, the Cotes Wind Overpressure System can also be included to boost the effectiveness of the cooling set-up inside wind turbines.


HOW YOU BENEFIT

  • Moist, salt-laden air prevented from entering nacelles and towers
  • Lower manufacturing costs
  • Minimal corrosion and greater revenue-earning uptime
  • Better statistics for operating reliability
  • Better statistics for maintenance and service costs
  • Lower cost of energy, as a result of less downtime and longer service life

 How Cotes solutions stand out

  • Patented technology that prevents problems from arising, rather than just trying to deal with the consequences
  • Multi-effect systems that help wind farms reduce the cost of energy
  • Humidity management, salt removal and cooling all available from one compact, lightweight unit
  • Work effectively in operating conditions almost everywhere in the world
  • Help ensure  a safer working environment
  • Tested and documented as significantly more effective than traditional salt filtration solutions

 

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For more about tackling humidity in offshore wind turbines,
please contact Mikael Zacho Jensen +45 5167 2903