Excellence in operations

On 24 October 2018, we inaugurated the "Technical Training Centre" in Caraffa di Catanzaro, with the presence of our top management. This project was created with the objective of creating and developing a didactic/operating centre in which to conduct classroom training but above all practical training, involving all personnel operating on the wind and photovoltaic equipment.

In the last two years, in view of the changed maintenance strategy based on the principles of CBM (Condition Based Maintenance), it has become necessary to begin training projects to support the new operating methods (tribology, vibration analysis, boroscopy, etc.).

The Technical Training Centre aims to become a learning centre in which to develop customised training modules and will project the company towards internalised management of specialist skills, enhancing the value of our personnel and allowing technicians to be trained in the use of technologies aligned with the current industrial revolution, which will profoundly change the way we work.

The first phase regarded identification and realisation of the necessary areas and space for training: we used the buildings of our operating centre in Caraffa, situated in a nearly barycentric position with respect to our plants.

The site consists of a classroom and a wing designated for the simulators used for practical training, with real components. The subsequent phase involved realisation of the simulators, through the creation of equipped workstations for study and experimentation, reproducing real situations and problems typical of wind farms, thereby allowing simulation of the interventions necessary to resolve them.

In the classroom, technical stations were created for the simulated study of subjects such as hydraulics, electromechanics and mechanics, in order to implement training courses, updates and requalification of maintenance personnel.
  • Hydraulics simulator
    This training includes the basic notions of hydraulics and electro-hydraulics, theoretical/ practical exercises and the reproduction of specific turbine systems in the laboratory. We find hydraulics applications on:
    • the rotor blocking system;
    • the pitch system.

    It will be predominantly designated for simulation of the pitch system, simulating the mechanical movement of the piston and regulation of the blade angle.
  • Electro-mechanical simulator
    This training covers the basic notions of electrical engineering and electromechanics, with exercises on electrical/asynchronous motors and electrical drives.
    We find electro-mechanical applications on:
    • the pitch blade system;
    • the Yaw control system.

    It is also possible to simulate functioning of the Yaw control system and the drive of the Yaw motor, both under ordinary operation as well as in case of anomalies. In this way, personnel may perform exercises and practice troubleshooting, i.e. the identification and solution of problems.

  • Mechanical simulator
    This training includes the basic notions of mechanics and machines, theoretical/practical exercises on gear wheels, gears, different types of couplings, shafts, bearings, clutches and brakes. We find mechanical applications on:
    • gear boxes;
    • the Yaw control system;
    • gear drives;
    • bearings.

    In the broader internal area, we have designed and built simulators, allowing practical exercises to solve the most common problems in conditions corresponding to reality, such as:
    • simulation of blade repairs;
    • simulation of gear box/videoscopic inspection;
    • simulation of troubleshooting on medium voltage cables (maintenance on failure);
    • HSE simulator for emergency evacuation training.
  • Blade simulator
    The increase in the internal fleet has made it necessary, in terms of inspection and repair, for skills to be disseminated, involving a larger number of technicians.

    We therefore designed and built a blade simulator with the aim of creating a theoretical-practical course on the blade inspection method, as well as on the techniques for surface restoration.
  • Gear box videoscopy simulator
    The project to create an area dedicated to specialist training in gear box videoscopy arose from the implementation of the CBM (Condition Based Maintenance) strategy within the O&M (Operation & Maintenance) processes of wind farms.

    Training envisages a theory component on the various types of gear boxes and on the interpretation of measurable data, as well as a purely technical component on the use of videoscopy within a specifically set up gear box.

    We also created a didactic gear box with visible internal parts that permits analysis and a detailed breakdown of activity with greater clarity and
  • MV underground cable simulator
    We designed an MV (Medium Voltage) cable simulator with the aim of creating a theory and practice course to train High/Medium Voltage technicians, specialised in the localisation of faults on underground cables using the mobile laboratory available to technicians.

    During recent years, the problem of faults on underground cables, particularly in the older systems, has significantly impacted the availability of plants. This has consequently made the dissemination and development of specific knowledge on use of the fault-seeking machine essential.

    To build the simulator, we used a test MV cable coil, extended within the yard of the centre of operation, with the ends connected to the ground
    so as to reproduce actual operation.

    We made a hole in the cable in order to provide the technicians with practice on identifying faults using the mobile "Centrix" laboratory, simulating the various tests.
  • Emergency evacuation simulator
    Lastly, we created a simulator for emergency evacuation training. One of the main aspects to ensure the safety of operators during maintenance activities is the management of the risk of working at heights, in a very particular environment located at least 50 metres from the ground: the wind turbine.

    The simulator gives the technicians more frequent practice in evacuation and safety measures, essential in managing this specific risk. Consequently, each turbine operator is trained in bringing their injured partner to the ground to await assistance.