OffShore Wind Turbine Seals life could be doubled with new approach

While offshore wind farms are an important source of the world’s future renewable energy supply, the sea is a hostile environment for wind turbines, wearing down their parts with saltwater and high shaft speeds. The cost and effort to replace these components is high.

That’s why a German parts manufacturer is now using Hydrin® epichlorohydrin elastomers (ECO) in place of nitrile rubber for the seals that secure the turbines’ blades. The company, Otto Haas KG in Nuremberg, Germany, is an innovative business that has produced rubber and plastic parts for more than 60 years, and today creates high-quality seals for the wind industry.

“Imagine the difficulty of replacing the seals on hundreds of turbines that are situated ten kilometers offshore; By using Hydrin rather than an NBR, we are able to double the life expectancy and increase the performance of the turbines’ seals,” says Thomas Haas, the managing director of Otto Haas. “This can play an important role in controlling the high maintenance costs of offshore wind farms.”

About Hydrin ECO Elastomers

Long used in the automotive industry, and an excellent choice for industrial parts, Hydrin elastomers offer many of the same dynamic properties of natural rubbers, as well as many of the same desirable characteristics of nitrile and polychloroprene rubber. With good resistance to heat, hydrocarbons and low temperatures, Hydrin ECOs provide a good balance of properties not found in other thermoset materials.

Replacing NBRs with Hydrin can enable wind turbine producers to install superior parts for turbines that require less maintenance.

The benefits of offshore turbines

Locating turbines offshore makes them less obtrusive to residents, and the average wind speed and capacity is usually much higher than that produced by land-based turbines. Yet the cost of maintaining offshore turbines is sharply higher. Using Hydrin seals – which last twice as long as NBR seals in off-shore environments – reduces the number of needed replacements by half.


Source: prweb, February 19, 2010;