The January/February 2009 issue of the Renewable Energy World Magazine features an article written by the SGS Global Technical Manager of Wind Energy, Torsten Muuß, titled: 20 Years of Wind Turbines.

As detailed in this article, the complete lifetime of a wind turbine project may be broken down into six phases. Starting at the design phase, the life cycle continues with the different manufacturing processes, the installation phase, the commissioning phase and the in-service stage which is the longest phase. At all stages, both the right individual and applied inspection techniques and sequences, provided by an independent third party, are crucial and inevitably part of a consequent life cycle approach.

To guarantee ideal performance and reach more than the 97% targeted level of operational availability as it is contractually established by the majority of the manufacturers, it is not enough to design a wind turbine in accordance with the international and national standards and requirements. Even if the turbines are certified to these levels after the manufacturing and installing, none of these standards give the turbine owner any warranty.

The power output of a turbine is significantly influenced by down-times during the operation; therefore it is very important to keep down-time to a minimum and schedule maintenance services properly, to predict and prevent damage to components. This is even more important in times when the rapid growth in the wind power energy industry does not allow long testing periods before newly-designed turbines are launched commercially.

Download the full text of the article 20 Years of Wind Turbines (PDF 389 KB).

Torsten Muuß is a wind energy specialist, experienced not only in the field of inspecting and certificating wind energy projects but also in plant engineering and construction. He has held the position of SGS Global Technical Manager for Wind Energy since April 2008.

Renewable Energy World provides authoritative articles, case studies and essential news on global developments in the renewable sector. Every issue includes features on wind power, solar thermal, photovoltaic and biomass. Regular coverage is also devoted to geothermal, energy storage, small hydro, and hybrid systems.

The SGS Competence Center Wind Energy offers verification, inspection, supervision, testing, and certification services worldwide for onshore and offshore wind farm projects. Our strength comes from our experienced staff who have the requisite technical expertise in the wind technology.


Torsten Muuß
Global Technical Manager
SGS Competence Center Wind Energy

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20095 Hamburg
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About SGS

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 55,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.