Don’t wind up paying for weak wind farm warranties, warns hydraulics specialist MGR Fluid Power

Following the green light to construct a multi-billion pound wind farm off the Grimsby coast, hydraulics specialist MGR Fluid Power is warning energy firms to schedule regular maintenance in order to avoid costly equipment failures.

As the world's largest off-shore wind farm, the Hornsea Project Two will see 300 turbines span more than 480sq km in the North Sea.

The scheme, which will be constructed by Denmark’s Dong Energy, is expected to deliver 1,800MW of low-CO2 electricity to around 1.8 million UK homes.

But according to hydraulic systems manufacturer MGR Fluid Power, any investment in turbines could be wasted if operators do not keep an eye on warranty information, and fail to commission maintenance.

Mike Retford, managing director at MGR Fluid Power, said: “The UK is really starting to invest in wind energy, but very few turbines are actually manufactured here. The majority are produced overseas.

"The problem with this is that in the event of a hydraulic or mechanical failure, often the manufacturer and installer cannot be traced easily, or may have gone out of business.

"Even if they are trading, by the time they address a failure, it can turn into an expensive repair job. The best way to prolong the life of turbines is by having them regularly maintained."

MGR Fluid Power, which also provides maintenance services for existing hydraulic products as well as an overhaul and repair service, says the typical warranty only lasts between 2-10 years.

Retford explains it is rare for manufacturers to offer long term agreements. It’s also not uncommon for warranties to have a void clause in the event of an operator failing to carry out regular maintenance on the turbine, or attempting their own repairs, without using a specialist.

He said: “It’s a good idea to be aware under what circumstance the warranty becomes void, and stay on top of this. In most cases the best way to prolong the life of these turbines is through regular maintenance and attention.

"If a turbine is produced overseas, that doesn’t mean you have go abroad for maintenance, there are businesses in the domestic market that can service this equipment to a very high standard.”

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