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Wind turbines

Shifting gears at GE

Company lab aims to cut cost of turbine repairs, avoid use of cranes

Jonathan Signore, a gear box design engineer from Schenectady, stands with a gear box at the grand opening of GE’s Global Wind Turbine Repair Innovation Lab in Albany.
Jonathan Signore, a gear box design engineer from Schenectady, stands with a gear box at the grand opening of GE’s Global Wind Turbine Repair Innovation Lab in Albany.
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When a wind turbine malfunctions and the problem can’t be fixed remotely, General Electric technicians have traditionally had two options. If the malfunction occurred in an easily accessible part of the turbine’s gearbox, they could climb the approximately 240 feet up the turbine and repair it mid-air. Oftentimes, though, a mechanical failure requires taking apart the gearbox, if not entirely, then at least partially. But that part of the turbine weighs a whopping 36,000 pounds ...


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