Everything You Need To Know About Wind Turbine Technicians in the United States

Social IssuesEnvironment

  • Author Amit Patil
  • Published February 5, 2021
  • Word count 2,210

Introduction:

Wind turbine service technicians also called Wind Tech’s maintain and install wind turbines. Wind turbines are massive mechanical gadgets that convert wind power into electrical energy. They are electronically monitored 24 hours a day and 7 days per week. When one thing goes wrong, a wind turbine technician is notified and they find yourself doing the repairs. That signifies that most of their days are spent way up high in a turbine performing maintenance or troubleshooting the turbine’s electrical, mechanical or hydraulic components and changing or fixing malfunctioning components.

How is the job marketplace for wind turbine technician?

Wind turbine technicians held about 7,000 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of wind turbine technicians had been as follows:

As you can see in the pie chart, major employment opportunities for windtech’s professionals come from electric power generation(28%) followed by repair and maintenance(25%) sector companies. Pretty a lot all of these statistics are from the Department of Labor and sadly, they do not observe the earnings of business owners.

One actually promising facet of turning into a wind turbine technician is that 14% of them are self-employed. To evaluate this to a number of the different occupations, 9% of HVAC techs are self-employed,9% of plumbers, about 6% of electricians and about 6% of welders. There positively are some tales of wind turbine technicians incomes far above the bottom salaries.

Another factor from them to spice up their earnings is through overtime. This is a comparatively new occupation and really, the Department of Labor has solely been amassing statistics on them since 2012. Here are the job statistics numbers going again to 2012. There had been no labour statistics for this occupation earlier than 2012. In 2012, the federal government had 3,200 jobs after which by 2019 the federal government recorded 7000 jobs. So, in simply seven years, the variety of wind turbine technicians has been greater than doubled and it’s been rising in a short time.

Also, the federal government is extraordinarily optimistic concerning the future job marketplace for wind turbine technicians. They are forecasting a 61% job progress from 2019 to 2029. This is a reasonably small occupation right now of solely about 7000 jobs. However, that is actually promising.

The average occupation is anticipated to rise by around 5%. There is plenty of the reason why they’re anticipating such excessive job progress. Wind turbine towers with massive blades have decreased the price of wind energy and over time, it has been getting extra aggressive with coal & natural gas and other power generation. Here’s the major factor each single wind turbine throughout the nation requires upkeep. Hence, since increasingly more wind turbines are erected, increasingly more wind turbine techs might be wanted to keep up them.

Skill standards for wind turbine technician:

Skill standards are performance specifications that determine the information, abilities and talents a person wants to reach the office. They are important to bettering workforce abilities, elevating dwelling requirements and improving the competitiveness of the U.S. economic system. To be efficient, skill standards should indicate the consensus of trade professionals.

Skill standards present measurable benchmarks of skill and benchmark achievement. They reply two important questions: What do employees must know and have the ability to do to reach today’s workplace? And how do we all know when employees are performing properly? Without this basic info, employers have no idea whom to hire or where to focus their restricted training dollars. Employees and new entrants to the workforce have no idea what they should do to enhance their performance. Educators have no idea how to prepare students for the challenges of the workplace.

Wind turbine technician job descriptions:

Maybe accountable to carry out a mix of the next duties primarily based upon the project:

Troubleshoot and diagnose electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic malfunctions.

Work with complicated wind-related directions and procedures in addition to diagrams.

Perform mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical part service on wind turbines.

Carry out repairs and prognosis of turbine operations issues within the service space.

Execute vital guarantee and scheduled service work in accordance with the turbine provider specifications.

Identify and report present and anticipated issues with the wind farm.

Performing different duties as associated with the place.

General Qualifications

Skills and competencies:

Ability and willingness to work in all climate situations.

Potential and willingness to learn and interpret technical manuals, procedures, and rules.

Ability to put in writing stories and subtract, multiply, and divide into all items of measure.

Capability to successfully talk with fellow workers and the administration.

Ability to carry out service duties outlined within the service manuals.

Capacity and willingness to take initiative and work without direct supervision.

Ability to make use of a private laptop with fundamental laptop abilities.

Ability to cross preliminary fitness for duty drug and alcohol screening.

Degrees, certificates, license, and experiences required:

A highschool diploma or GED.

Valid drivers license and clear driving file historical past.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions

Carry out guide work, i.e. standing, stooping, and strolling.

Ability to lift up as much as 45 lbs.

Potential to climb a ladder 260+ ft above the bottom without help on a frequent basis.

Ability to work open air in excessive chilly and warmth for prolonged intervals of time from towers and platforms.

Theories, Concepts, and Equipment

Knowledge of foundational science and engineering ideas and theories is important to be able to carry out capabilities required of Wind Turbine Technicians. These are listed under and are essential supplements to the technical information and abilities listed with every key exercise.

Science and Engineering Theories and Concepts :

Basic physics

Behaviour of matter

Gasses and liquids

Mechanical energy

Introductory mechanical engineering ideas

Levers, pulleys, machines

Hydraulics, pneumatics

Renewable energy processes and industries

Basic system design and components: hydraulics, pneumatics, terminology, symbols, functions and so on.

Advanced AC, Circuit Electronics,-DC Power, Circuit Analysis

Environmental stewardship

Machines, friction, and bearings

Lubrication and cooling

Overview of power generation supply grid system from generation to end-user together with VARS (Vertical and Azimuth Reference System)

WAC 296-45: High voltage electrical safety requirements; OSHA 1910-333, NFPA 70-E

Computer process application and networking

Aviation terminology and fundamental aerodynamics (physics)

Instrumentation and controls logic principle

Fibre optics

Basic rigging

Math for Wind Turbine Technician:

Working information on measurement, layout, computation, formulae, functions

Basic logic

Algebra

Solid geometry

Computational technology

Principles of alignment

Torque

Properties and behaviour of the motion

Trigonometry (sin/cosine)

Wind Turbine Concepts :

Statics dynamics

Thermodynamics

Basic meteorology

Components and Equipment:

Breakers (station service, air blast, vacuum, oil, and subject)

Metal-clad switchgear

Electrical controls

Generators and PMGs (Permanent Magnet Generator)

Shop equipment

Electrical hand instruments

Cranes

Battery chargers & inverters; station and auxiliary battery banks

Stator

Rotors

DC exciters / solid-state excitation

Fractional horsepower motors

AC and DC motors

Annunciators/alarms

Auxiliary tools

Distribution panels

Transformers (present, potential,distribution)

Auxiliary producing tools and auxiliary generator controls

Isolated phase busses

Oil pump motors, starters, and controls

Relays

Neutral ground gadgets

Switchboards, panels

Switching and grounding tools

Distribution circuits

UPS energy provides

Transfer switches

Voltage regulators

Motor starters and circuits

Relay circuits

Field rheostats

PLCs and PLC programs (programmable logic controller)

Emission control system to incorporate scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators

Diesel generators

Cathodic protection equipment

Lightning arrestors

Emergency lighting

Motor operated valves (Linitorque/Crane Teledyne/ Auma)

LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer) and proximity position sensing and indication

Instrumentation systems and devices

Wind Farm Environment

Outdoor lighting circuits

Indoor lighting circuits

Ventilation techniques

Conduits, wire, cable

Overhead and underground wiring, together with triplex

Remote management circuitry

RTU

Security techniques

Emergency lighting

Life safety systems and tools

High voltage cables and terminations

Cable trays

Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI)

Grounding and bonding techniques

Communication systems

Branch circuit panels and feeders and overcurrent devices

Power utilization circuits, devices and tools

Tools,Meters and Monitoring Instruments

Volt Ohmmeter

Ammeter

Megger

Phase rotation meter

Capacitor tester

Oscilloscope

Calibrator

Machine shop tools

High voltage tester

Hand tools

Electric hand tools

Micro-Ohm meter/ductor

Recording tools/data acquisition tools

Manometer

Hydraulic torquing tools (Hi-Torque)

Knowledge of NEC, NESC, ANCII and IEEE or organizational construction electrical standards as required.

Scenario: Daily Routine

The single most routine and most essential job there may be on a wind plant is scheduled to service. After the turbine has been put in it’s sometimes scheduled for service one to 3 instances a year relying on the turbine manufacturer. Performing thorough service on a constant schedule prevents or considerably reduces future upkeep and restore work.

Service is usually scheduled out from the beginning updates or by the variety of run hours. The first scheduled service is the start-up service, at 500 hours of operation.

Each manufacturer writes a selected service guideline, or protocol, which needs to be adopted. This is to make sure the perfect operation of the turbine and to not void any warranty obligations of the manufacture. There are also different service guidelines for the start-up, semi-annual (or six months), and annual services.

These scheduled services are systematic check and repair of the turbine components and operations. This sometimes consists of:

Stretching base bolts (start-up services).

Torquing bolts from the tower to the blades. This could be executed with hydraulic powered torque pumps or handheld torque wrenches.

Visual inspections of elements (from the ladder through the hub).

Verifying appropriate operation of components (hydraulic and mechanical).

Greasing bearings and verifying fluid levels (Gear oils and hydraulic fluids).

Replacing oil and breather filters.

Verifying proper operation of brushes, slip-rings, and different electrical/digital elements.

Another issue to bear in mind is that after the start-up service, project managers will attempt to work their service schedules round annual weather patterns. In the perfect case, these companies can be carried out in anticipation of the windy and peak demand seasons to be able to guarantee high performance during inclement weather and peak demand intervals. Other weather factors which might be thought-about embrace lightning, snow, freezing rain, and so on.

Some of the core abilities that a service technician needs includes:

Ability to learn, perceive, and comply with maintenance/service protocols.

Knowledge of electrical and mechanical tooling, together with function.

Knowledge and understanding of electrical energy (AC, DC, high/medium/low voltages).

Know-how and understanding of hydraulics (brakes and/or blade/tip pitching).

Knowledge and understanding of gearing.

Comprehension and understanding of fasteners and torquing.

Knowledge and understanding of lubrication (oil & greases).

Learning and comprehending of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Knowledge and understanding of weather patterns.

In 2012, the nationwide base salary was recorded at $ 48,320 per year. By the year May 2020, the nationwide base salary was recorded at $53,111 per year within the United States. These are base salaries which can be boosted with overtime. You can anticipate $8,250 in overtime per year. This is a comparatively small occupation now. However, it’s anticipated to develop by leaps and bounds.

On the other hand, you need to bear in mind that this is a very regional occupation. Certain states are utterly off-limits. Here’s a map the place all the roles are Texas, California, Illinois and Iowa are nice states for this occupation. All the white areas on this map have only a few or no jobs for wind turbine technicians.

Wind Turbine Technician training programs at community schools, universities, and different establishments

The map shows in the link below indicate the location of wind energy education and training programs in the United States. Find programs at community colleges, universities, and other institutions.

https://widgets.nrel.gov/windexchange/education_training/#

Top firms for Wind Turbine Technicians within the United States

Oglethorpe Power Corporation with a salary of $73,066 per year which is 36% above the nationwide average.

RWE with a salary of $64,251 per year which is 22% above the nationwide average.

NextEra Energy with a salary of $62,685 per year which is 17% above the nationwide average.

Ethos Distributed Solutions Inc with a salary of $60,258 per year which is 14% above the nationwide average.

BHI Energy with a salary of $55,654 per year which meets the nationwide average.

Harvest Energy Services Inc. with a salary of $55,537 per year which meets the nationwide average.

Vestas with a salary of $53,436 per year which meets the nationwide average.

Most Common Benefits for Wind Turbine Technicians

Paid sick time

Relocation assistance

Vision insurance coverage

Employee stocks purchase plan

Paid time off

Dental insurance coverage

Parental leave

Health insurance coverage

Life insurance coverage

Fuel discount

Disability insurance coverage

8 Highest paying cities within the United States for Wind Turbine Technicians with most common benefits

  1. Amarillo, TX

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $65,803 per year in Amarillo, TX and $8,188 overtime per year.

2 ) Tampa, FL

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $59,602 per year in Tampa, FL and $8,250 overtime per year.

  1. San Angelo, TX

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $56,699 per year in San Angelo, TX and $8,188 overtime per year.

  1. Houston, TX

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $55,799 per year in Houston, TX and $8,188 overtime per year.

  1. Tehachapi, CA

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $52,875 per year in Tehachapi, CA and $8,250 overtime per year.

  1. Abilene, TX

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $52,492 per year in Abilene, TX and $8,188 overtime per year.

  1. Pasco, WA

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $51,591 per year in Pasco, WA and $8,250 overtime per year.

  1. Brighton, CO

The average salary for a wind turbine technician is $42,733 per year in Brighton, CO and $8,250 overtime per year.

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