Wind Energy Profile

Wind Energy Profile

After more than 25 years in the industry TCS and Boltstress Ultrasonics created a new force in bolting technology in January 2014.

The combined expertise, technology and service provide an un-paralleled offering to many industries but in particular to the wind energy sector.

The Benefits we will provide

  • Total Bolted Joint Reliability
  • Faster Assembly – typically 75% time saving
  • Lower Cost Maintenance
  • Non-intrusive maintenance
  • Extended Slew Bearing Life

The Wind Turbine Industry has many bolted joint applications and most are critical to safe and reliable operation, these include: -

  • Blade bolts
  • Generator to nose (??) coupling bolts
  • Slew Ring Bearing Bolts
  • Tower Section Flange Bolts
  • Foundation Bolts

Technology

  • Ultrasonic Verified Bolt Integrity
  • Australian Manufactured Bolts - Australian Steel
  • Fast Assembly Torque Tooling
  • Faster Assembly Process
  • On-going Bolt Relaxation Testing
  • On-going Bolt Crack Detection
  • Upgradeable to on line

Benefits we provide

Total Bolted Joint Reliability

Ultrasonic Bolt Tension Measurement provides real information; it is not subject to the variations that occur when using either torque wrenches or bolt tensioners. The process we employ ensures that the start up occurs with ALL bolts have precisely the tension required; furthermore the future testing is both quick and non-intrusive.

Faster Assembly – typically 75% time saving

We provide special tooling that is custom designed to suit wind turbine applications. Special reaction arms, reduced headroom, power and torque requirements are all considered before selecting the optimum tooling for the job.

Lower Cost Maintenance

During operation most existing procedures call for cumbersome, heavy tooling to be carried to each turbine and then manipulated inside the tower. The instruments we use are only 1kg in weight and can be easily carried around the turbine structure. Measurements take only 15 seconds per bolt.

Non-intrusive maintenance

The current methods are not only cumbersome but also require some application of torque or tension. This can disturb the joint

Extended Slew Bearing Life

High accuracy bolt tensions have proven to extend the life of slew bearings. The best example of this is Offshore Cranes in the North Sea Oil Rigs. Following extensive testing Lloyds of London have allowed operators to extend the statutory strip down inspections from every 6 years to every 11.

Technology

Ultrasonic Verified Bolt Integrity

The use of ultrasonic bolt stress measurement began with NASA during Apollo space Missions. Scientists discovered that the change in time of flight due to stress is a very accurate method of ensuring correct bolt tension.

We have been developing and using this technology since 1991, we have un-equaled experience and expertise in this field.

The 5 main advantages are:

  • All bolts have known exact bolt pre-load at commissioning
  • Re-measurements are quick and very accurate
  • The equipment is lightweight and easy to carry inside a tower
  • All results are stored in Excel and can be view to identify trends
  • Any cracks are found prior to any fracture occurring

Australian Manufactured Bolts - Australian Steel

We have relationships with Australian Bolt Manufacturers that allow us to ensure that the highest quality is maintained In some cases we store base line ultrasonic readings at the factory. The stored ultrasonic waveform can be compared to future readings, giving an alert to changes prior to failure.

Fast Assembly Torque Tooling

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Faster Assembly Process

We combine the optimum engineered tooling that is both the fastest and lightest that can generate adequate torque, with process improvements. These improvements utilize “real readings” to determine what is the most practical and time-saving tightening patterns and passes. In most cases we can remove several stages whilst still maintaining a much higher integrity.

On-going Bolt Relaxation Testing & Reporting

Existing procedures require that heavy cumbersome torque wrenches and pumps are painfully manipulated up and down towers and then are applied to each bolt and tested to see if they “move” at the original torque. This is extremely labour intensive and very inaccurate. Our technology stores every single reading ever taken. These can be compared to the original status and recorded into memory. Our reporting then uses electronic data and graphing software to depict any changes to the bolt tension.

On-going Bolt Crack Detection

Our ability to drill down to each individual reading not only allows us to see relaxation but also by comparing original waveform patterns with current ones we get an early warning of defects. This allows us to make timely, low impact changes that avoid catastrophic failures.

Upgradeable to on line

All of the ultrasonic technology can be up-graded to an on-line system that would allow remote condition monitoring.

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