Wind Turbine Shaft Base Evaluation

Fredonia, NY

Project Objective

The client requested an engineering evaluation to determine the cause and repairability of a crack in the steel of a wind turbine.

Unique Project Features

The turbine is constructed of tapered steel pipe and a concrete foundation and is approximately three years old.  The horizontal crack was suspected to have originated at a weld imperfection. Encorus provided both a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Welding Inspector for collaboration on the investigation.

Encorus Group Solution

Encorus performed an on-site investigation which included visual and ultrasonic testing.  It was found that the crack in the shaft permeates the thickness of the steel as well as the access door top hinge.  A weld imperfection was identified, and determined to be the likely starting point of the crack, which likely developed due to the oscillation of the turbine.  Additional cracks were also observed in the concrete foundation.  Due to the depth of the cracking, it was recommended to maintain a clear radius equal to the height of the turbine until repairs could be made.  Recommendations for potential repair options were included in the report prepared for the client.

Specific Project Tasks

  • On-site investigation
  • Structural analysis
  • Ultrasonic testing
  • Recommendations for repair