Moog’s Pitch Control System Nearly Triples Wind Turbine Reliability


The Industrial Group of Moog Inc., which designs and manufactures high-performance pitch solutions for wind turbines, says it has launched its next-generation pitch technology and that the first shipment is now in operation at a wind farm in Brazil.

Moog says it had officially unveiled the Moog Pitch System 3 at the WindEnergy Hamburg Expo, from Sept. 27 to 30, 2016.

According to Moog, the new pitch system was developed to meet the growing need for wind farm operators and turbine manufacturers to reduce wind farm capital and operating expenses.

“The design of the new pitch system reduces the levelized cost of energy [LCoE] by increasing wind turbine reliability and minimizing downtime,” said Dennis Webster, general manager for the wind business unit of the Industrial Group of Moog Inc.

The company notes that LCoE measures the net cost to install and operate a wind turbine against expected energy output over the course of the turbine’s lifetime – with turbine reliability playing a major role.

Several industry research findings identify the pitch system as the No. 1-ranked component contributing to wind turbine failure and downtime. Pitch systems are exposed to harsh ambient conditions inside the rotating hub, including extreme temperature, humidity and vibration leading to lower reliability compared with other turbine components. Though pitch systems represent less than 3% of wind farm CAPEX costs, they account for nearly one-quarter of all downtime in turbines.

Moog notes that while most pitch systems in the industry consist of as many as 2,000 to 3,000 subcomponents, the Moog Pitch System 3 features a highly integrated and optimized architecture that consists of significantly fewer parts, enabling the system to be up to three times more reliable than the industry’s standard systems. This leads to a reduction in both turbine downtime and scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activities.

Francesco Vanni, senior engineer of asset integrity and performance for DNV GL – Energy, said, “Our cost of energy model suggests that reliability improvements expected for the Moog Pitch System 3 could save up to $1.70/MWh for a typical 3.0 MW turbine – a significant reduction in LCoE.”

Moog will be shipping the new pitch system to turbine manufacturers in Europe and Asia starting this month.


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