By John Tabor
Energy from wind power has proven itself and is here to stay. This month's Utility Products' brings you two informative feature articles that discuss the importance of construction and maintenance when planning wind farms.
In "Spinning Blades: How a Custom Solution Helped an Energy Producer Catch its Second Wind," author Randy Stevens outlines how a wind farm's foundations, two years after operations began, started cracking on some 50 of the 90 wind turbines. Stevens addresses how the company solved the problem with the Cart Mount Drill, which provided maneuverability and stability for continuous work on large foundations.
And contributing editor Paul Hull's article, "Wind Power Steadily Advances," discusses why wind energy towers must have strong foundations, preparation required to transport the towers, maintenance requirements and how technology can assist with monitoring operations. More large wind farms are being ordered and built--it is estimated that 100,000 new wind turbines will be needed in the next 20 years to supply 20 percent of the country's electricity. Hull emphasis that the most important aspect of wind tower construction is the foundation--strength and safety are your first considerations.
The upcoming 62nd annual Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (EUFMC) is also presented in this issue. The feature article, "Fleet Strategies to Maximize Total Company Performance," reviews confirmed EUFMC topics and speakers for the attending fleet representatives from investor-owned electric utilities, electric co-operatives and electrical contractors. The event will offer roundtable best practices discussions, a drive-through utility equipment demonstration, an on-site equipment show that will include more than 60 displays, and much more.
Our May issue also has a great lineup of product focus articles. In "Utilities Improve Fleet Operations With Telematics," Wyn Partington discusses how, while companies are aware of the track-and-trace functionality of a GPS fleet tracking solution, they may not be aware the cloud-based software can serve as a comprehensive fleet management solution to improve operational efficiency, including reducing fuel costs and improving asset management.
"Seamless Production On-Call," by Del Williams, reviews how original equipment manufacturers can find full-service metal fabricators are able to fill a manufacturing gap, cut cost and expedite delivery. And John Cameron's article, "Utilities Face a New Mobile Workforce: Tech Savvy and Collaborative," investigates the emergence of young, tech savvy and collaborative workers and the technologies they want to use on the job.
Also in this issue are articles that address transitioning from notebooks to tablets in field operations; the benefits of dynamic low voltage regulation; and critical crane safety devices that can save lives, equipment and materials.