Mitigating Further Risk in Wind Energy Test Center


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A near-shore wind test center in the Nordic region experienced a critical problem when two load coils were contaminated with salt deposits from the air. This caused minor arching, resulting in soot accumulation and damage. While the damage was limited to the load coils, the salt deposit issue was relevant to all installations due to harsh environmental conditions. The worst-case scenario could have been a fire engulfing the entire center.


The contamination posed a risk to test results and threatened to halt load tests in the entire center for several months. This significantly impacted workforce productivity, with high risks and decreased operational efficiency.


AREPA experts quickly responded to the incident and effectively decontaminated and restored both coils. The decontamination and restoration process only took four days, saving considerable time compared to the potential months of reduced operation or downtime. Lead times on replacement parts could have been upward of three to six months.

AREPA's timely intervention and expert decontamination ensured continued operations and minimized the risk of future incidents. Despite several instances of minor arching, AREPA was able to restore the damages, which prevented a total breakdown or fire from occurring.


Due to the wind test center owner and operators prompt response to minor installation incidents, major risks and incidents were mitigated.

To prevent salt deposits and reduce the risk of operational disruptions and significant damage, AREPA's experts recommended regular bi-annual decontamination. Preventive maintenance in this case would help prevent the build-up of salt deposits on the load coils. The price of preventive maintenance was a diminutive fraction of a potential replacement and business interruption.

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