The north turbine at the Princeton Municipal Light Department’s wind farm off Westminster Road is back line and fully operational as of April 18.
The north turbine went out of service on December 22 after PMLD crew members found a problem with the gearbox during a weekly inspection. There was a large tooth missing from the high speed synchro gear, and at the time crew members didn’t know if the tooth got ground up and did more damage in the turbine.
Last week, PMLD General Manager Brian Allen said that R.M. Wilson in Wheeling, West Virginia sent one of its employees and two of PMLD’s crew members assisted with the repair of the replacement gear. Representatives from R.M. Wilson had come to Princeton early this year to do an exploratory evaluation of the turbine, using a camera to determine whether the damage was isolated. Initially, the cost to repair the gear box was estimated at $60,000, but Allen said the work was done for $47,000 so it came in under budget.
“The guys in Templeton had used R.M. Wilson for repair to their windmill and found they had a lot of experience with gear boxes, mostly in the mining industry, but they got into the wind industry about six years ago,” Allen said. “R.M. Wilson also has the ability to make replacement parts.”
“The guy from R.M. Wilson brought the expertise and the specialty tools and our guys did the rest,” said Allen. “They said it would only take two days to repair and they were right. It took another day to flush and replace the oil in the system.”
“The south turbine is running fine,” said Allen.
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