Are Wind Turbine-Step-Up Transformers a weak link in Wind Energy Supply Chain?

In their rush to cash in on wind power, developers often trade low first costs for higher total cost of ownership that will be paid later by the owners and operators. In managing electricity infrastructure, all needs must be wise and with quality products. Then MGM Transformers can help to supply varying secondary voltages to externally connected loads. You can find quality electrical and lighting products at the MGM Transformer Company.

Converting wind power to electric power is the fastest-growing sector of the US energy industry. Wind energy accounts for less that 5% of US electricity generation today, and it is expected to increase to 20% by the future. New sites are needed to make this happen, despite the economic downturn.

With the help of federal stimulus money, we are experiencing a virtual land-rush. According to one industry leader: “If there is a site with a wind profile that is viable, has access to network connections, or access for the delivery of materials, we won’t develop it.”

The headlong rush to install more wind farms has outpaced the typical developmental learning curve. Here, new technologies mature over time through trial and errors, which results in equipment that is best suited to the job.

A highly competitive market today has become even more challenging due to the increased economic pressure. Many industry insiders believe this has caused equipment buyers to make decisions based on the lowest cost solution. They also don’t consider the total cost of ownership, network stability, and lost revenue due high maintenance. This is particularly evident with Wind Turbine Generator transformers.

Although the WTG Transformer function was traditionally handled by conventional, “off the shelf” distribution transformers, recent failures suggest that WTG transform designs need to be more robust. As a low-cost solution, it is foolish to use conventional distribution transformers. Site operators will sometimes have to keep extra transformers around in case of outages due to standard distribution transformers not being suitable.

This is where the Wind Turbine generator (WTG) transformer plays a critical role. It needs to be carefully considered and reevaluated.