On October 4, 2012, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) released its second annual Wind Plant Reliability Benchmark, which is expected to help the U.S. measure its wind energy industry for performance, recognize vulnerabilities, and increase productivity. The benchmark also allows wind farm owners to compare their output to similar wind farms.
In 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) commissioned Sandia to create the Continuous Reliability Enhancement for Wind (CREW) Database. Each year the database is surveyed by Sandia Labs, this information allows the department to benchmark industry reliability and identify causes of failures and downtime.
"With better understanding of how major turbine systems are performing, wind operators can focus on improving those areas that will drive increased reliability and efficiency," said Sandia researcher and CREW team leader Alistair Ogilvie.
The enhanced measurements for identifying failures will be crucial, given the growing nature of wind energy. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), 1,200 megawatts of wind energy were installed in the second quarter of 2012, creating a total of 49,802 megawatts of cumulative wind capacity created through the end of the first half of 2012.
Ensure employees in the wind energy industry are working safely and in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Protect workers by providing appropriate safety products for wind energy projects, including fall protection, lockout/tagout, and respiratory protection.