Wind turbine blades on train

Preserving Component Lifetime

A maintenance crew member working at height on a wind turbine

True Cost of Wind Turbine Maintenance

For wind turbines operating in remote locations, whether that is in mountainous regions or off-shore, emergency repairs or regular maintenance checks – such as oil changes –come at varying levels of expense and frequency.

To put the financial ramifications into perspective, the industry spends up to $8 billion on wind-farm maintenance, globally1. Around 20% of the budget on any given wind project accounts for operational costs2, including 1,200 incidents of gearbox failure, which sets the industry back $300,000 - 500,000 per breakdown3.

Considering the high number of issues that demand attention, it can be easy to focus on the immediate cost-savings and look past the potential benefits of optimising operations to the company’s bottom line.

An example of this is gearbox maintenance, where opting for a lower-grade lubricant may save on short-term costs, but risks reducing the wind turbine’s overall efficiency and can raise the likelihood of failure.

To combat this, Shell Lubricant Solutions offers a variety of technologically advanced lubricants to protect mechanical equipment and extend maintenance intervals.

For example, Shell Omala S5 Wind 320 is a high-performance gearbox oil that comes with a market-leading 10-year warranty. This gives customers peace of mind that fewer oil changes are likely to be made during a wind turbine’s lifecycle, which can help generate productivity gains. The product is also now carbon neutral4, to support customers in meeting their own ambitions to address emissions.

Beyond high-quality lubricants, Shell Lubricant Solutions experts can also help operators improve the company’s Total Cost of Ownership by advising on best maintenance practices. Shell LubeAnalyst oil condition monitoring service, for example, can help stop potential failures in their tracks. Find out more from the link below.

1 Wind Turbine Operations and Maintenance Market Analysis By Application (Onshore and Offshore), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, MEA), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 – 2025. June 2017. Grand View Research.

2 Wind Turbine Condition Monitoring: State-of-the-Art Review, New Trends, and Future Challenges. Pierre Tchakoua, René Wamkeue, Mohand Ouhrouche, Fouad Slaoui-Hasnaoui, Tommy Andy Tameghe and Gabriel Ekemb. Energies 2014, 7, 2595-2630; doi:10.3390/en7042595.

3 Special Report: Grinding Gearboxes – Better Call Roy, 2 February 2014, Roy Munoz, G-Cube

4 Carbon neutral” indicates that Shell has engaged in a transaction where an amount of CO₂ equivalent to the CO₂e amount associated with the raw material extraction, transport, production, distribution, usage and end-of-life of the Lubricants has been avoided as emissions through the protection of natural ecosystems or removed from the atmosphere through a nature-based process. CO₂e (CO₂ equivalent) refers to CO₂, CH₄, N₂O.

Related content

End-to-End Wind Power Solutions

When it comes to optimising wind power operations, prioritise an effective maintenance strategy.

Product & Services

Boost your wind turbine performance with maintenance solutions designed to protect and developed to perform.

Shell Omala

The main gearbox is central to a wind turbine’s performance. Discover how Shell gear oils can protect the main gearbox in addition to yaw and pitch gearboxes.

Shell LubeAnalyst

Don’t risk unnecessary downtime by overlooking your gear oil. Discover our oil condition monitoring service that provides insights to improve maintenance practices.

More in Shell Lubricants Solutions

Shell Lubricants Services

Explore the insights, innovation and collaboration that have helped inform our suite of lubricant services, and see how they can help move your business forward.

Shell Lubricant Applications

Explore the range of Shell Lubricant products that help maximise equipment efficiency, prolong vehicle life and reduce downtime.

Wind Power

Designed to thrive in remote locations and developed to perform in extreme conditions. Explore our range of specialised wind power solutions.

Carbon Neutral Lubricants by Shell

Learn more about our extended range of carbon neutral lubricants, designed to make it easier for customers to make sustainable choices.