When you talk of wind turbines what comes to mind first? Although there are many office based jobs in the wind industry, for this post, it is the job of a Wind Turbine Service Technician that we’ll concentrate on.
This industry definitely requires a head for heights, often more than 100 metres high, combined with high winds and towering above rough waters. A typical day starts at 06:30am with a morning briefing. Many wind farms operate 24 hour monitoring systems which will identify which turbines need repairing.
The team, consisting of two technicians as a minimum who will travel on a vessel, typically holding a dozen people, to the wind turbine site. This can be as much as 5km off the coast and with the turbines based up to 500m apart it can take a while to get into position. In the future, wind turbines are likely to be 30km from the coast! Travelling to the site is completely dependent on the sea and wind conditions at the time, this can sometimes mean work is postponed even mid-journey if conditions worsen.
The career brings a significant amount of diversity, repairs could be mechanical, electrical or structural. There’s also routine annual services and preventative maintenance to complete such as changing oil, topping up greasing systems and bolt torqueing. It’s quite common to have retrospective parts to add as the industry discovers new and innovative systems too.
Each turbine is brought back online within a matter of a few hours and as there are no hotels offshore (like in the Oil & Gas industry) then the day will always conclude with a trip back to land until it all starts again the next day!