Bolt tension system could cut costs

EUROPE: The potential cost savings from a bolt tension-checking system, used widely in the oil and gas sector, has been attracting interest in the European wind industry, particularly for offshore applications.

The tension-monitoring bolt
The tension-monitoring bolt

The Rotabolt uses a screw inside the bolt with a cap that can show instantly if the bolt tension requires adjustment.

On a typical 2.3MW turbine, the maintenance time to check the approximately 1,000 bolts could fall from 160 hours to two, the company claims.

"We have had interest from manufacturers, developers, O&M, and a shipping company," said Barry Deeley, product manager for power generation at James Walker Rotabolt.

"They are interested in the amount of time that can be saved, which is particularly beneficial for
the offshore sector."

Offshore costs must fall dramatically if it is to be a viable future power supply, the wind industry heard at this week's European Wind Energy Association annual conference in Barcelona, Spain.

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