Typically the Site Manager, an Assistant Site Manager, and a crew of technicians work on-site with responsibility for facility operations and maintenance. Site Managers oversee maintenance and the procurement of inventory and other materials, communicate with landowners and the local electric utility, and address any local and environmental issues. They verify on a regular basis that the wind farm is in good working condition and performing according to expectations. Physical inspections of the turbines and ancillary facilities are conducted on a regular basis. Site Managers are also responsible for ensuring sound safety practices at the site.
The number of technicians on site depends on the size of the project. A Lead Technician typically interfaces with the Site Manager and a crew of technicians. The Lead Technician is responsible for setting up maintenance schedules and inventory. There is typically a crew of two technicians per 30 to 50 turbines. Technicians perform preventative (planned) maintenance as well as unplanned maintenance and repair.
In addition to the on-site team, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) equipment allows electronic monitoring of the performance and condition of the turbines in the wind farm. The SCADA system monitors electrical output, and status of the turbines and the wind farm as a whole. For example, if a turbine is not producing power, the SCADA system can be used to diagnose the problem. The SCADA system also allows communication with the utility system operator and power purchaser.
Maintenance and repair
Preventive maintenance is performed on a regular basis. Control and safety devices and turbine components are inspected and tested. Any small defects are repaired, lubricants are replenished and filters are replaced. Gearbox oil samples are taken and analyzed for signs of degradation. Unplanned maintenance and repair occurs on an as-needed basis.
Insurance policies are put into place to cover risk of liability to third parties and damage to property,