Dr Fiona Sillars

By Dr Fiona Sillars and Dr Tiziana Marrocco, Knowledge Exchange Managers, University of Strathclyde

The Advanced Materials Research Laboratory (AMRL) is engaged with Renewable Parts Ltd. (RPL) in a project funded by the Scottish Institute for Remanufacture to refurbish components for wind turbines.

As a leading independent supplier of wind turbine components, RPL identified a major waste stream and issue with obsolete parts that could be solved through remanufacturing. The project will drive a change in culture within the wind industry and provide new refurbishment solutions that will benefit the circular economy in Scotland, reducing waste and enhancing technology acquisition and local employment in high skilled jobs.

The AMRL is a leading laboratory and testing centre in materials engineering and has a strong track record of providing unbiased support to commercial clients across all sectors of engineering. At first, the project will look at refurbishing yaw gears and will develop into two phases:

  • Phase 1 will provide RPL a better understanding of the construction of the yaw gear and their cause of failure. It will also create the basis for the warranty to refurbish parts with the back-up of academic research. The research will highlight best practice for identifying signs of failure at an early stage, allowing RPL to offer a more systematic maintenance approach, thus increasing life expectancy of such yaw gears.
  • Phase 2 will assess the performances of newly available digital measurement technologies in the context of a practical metrology problem.

This format of phased project could be applied for other wind turbine parts identified as being suitable for remanufacturing.

This approach to remanufacturing of components has wide-reaching application to other market sectors with the potential to benefit other large industry sectors e.g. Oil and Gas and Nuclear.

The University of Strathclyde Advanced Materials Research Laboratory is co-sponsoring Getting the Right People Together, an event to showcase business-academic collaboration in the run-up to the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. More details can be found here.

If you are a business or organisation interested in collaborating with a university, research institute or college please contact info@interface-online.org.uk

23 October 2018