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Changing rotor blade bearings at a height of 105m right in the heart of Europoort

Thursday, 11 June 2020 12:50

In May, Certion carried out a maintenance job on a Vestas V90-3.0MW right in the centre of Europoort near Rotterdam. The complexity of the five-day job lay mainly in its location; subject to constant heavy traffic and with limited space to manoeuvre a crane.

20200511 V90 30MW bladlager wisselThe rotor blade bearings of this turbine had to be replaced. Changing bearings at a height of 105 metres requires a 125m crane, the assembly and disassembly of which was also going to block the road completely. On behalf of the principal and in consultation with the municipality, the crane company produced a traffic plan to facilitate the operation.

Bearings measuring 2.2m and weighing 1,650kg

IMG 20200602 WA0036The changing of a turbine blade bearing takes a day and a half, which means that the dismantling and re-assembly of three blade bearings can easily take a full working week. In particular, the vulnerability of a 45m long composite blade such as those involved here demands extreme caution, and of course the lowering and hoisting of the bearings, each measuring 2.2m and weighing 1,650kg, requires great care.

Lowering and hoisting step by step

Three Certion engineers were in attendance in the machine room (nacelle) during this operation. They first dismounted the blade, so that the crane could lower it to the ground. Step 2 involved the disassembly of the rotor-blade bearing in preparation for lowering. After that, the new bearing could be hoisted up for assembly. As soon as the bearing had been fitted, the rotor blade was also hoisted up and mounted. This process was then repeated twice more.

Tight plan, clear communication

The job went off well, both from a technical and organisational perspective. The traffic plan and the deployment of traffic controllers constituted excellent preconditions, and there was no hitch whatsoever in the communication between Certion and the crane company; the principal was also satisfied. The wind turbine is now operating smoothly again and generating a massive amount of sustainable energy.

Changing rotor blade bearings at a height of 105m right in the heart of Europoort