Maintenance and Operations

Turbine Maintenance Update: Maintenance

Jan 3: After installing a spare Nacelle Control board which had been hand carried from Holland on Tuesday and changing out 2 more Dynex IGBTs in the converter, Bettink technicians completed the turbine repair and the turbine started producing power December 12.

Nov 24: After field testing, the replacement control system for the converter arrived on Nov. 16 from Holland. A technician installed it this week but there is still no connection between the nacelle and the converter. The technician has been in communication with our servicer in Holland, Bettnick, but he has not been able to solve the problem to date.

Other spares are expected to leave Holland by Nov 23rd. We have also arranged for a Bettnick technician to return to Toronto at the beginning of the week after the spares have arrived. This is expected for Dec 3.

We will continue to inform you of any progress.

Oct 21: We have had a series of cascading faults this summer related to the converter. We would rectify one problem then another would occur. To add to the delays, the components are to European specification and are at least 10 years old. In the case of the motorized breaker switch in the converter, the part was out of stock and had to be manufactured. At present the control system for the converter has failed and has been sent to Holland for repair. In addition, the interface computer has recently failed. The operators of an LW52 in Alberta have kindly offered to help with a replacement.

We expect to be back in operation as soon as possible after we receive functioning spares.

May 4: Service work on the Ex Place turbine has concluded on schedule, and on Sunday May 1st, our Urban Turbine was successfully restarted and has been producing without incident or outage since that time.

Summary of weekend events: On Friday April 29th, the new bearing was lifted onto end of stator sleeve or tunnel that it sits inside. The rotor was lifted and lowered onto the bearing on the stator, and reattached. The generator cover was replaced on the ground and then the complete assembly was lifted by crane onto the tower. The rotor was lifted to the hub and attached. On Saturday April 30th, the cranes and fence were removed and site cleared. Engineers remained on site to complete the commissioning. On Sunday May 1st, the turbine recommenced generating power.

WindShare would like to thank the EWT technical team, the KR Wind crane staff and our partner Toronto Hydro for deftly managing the work and overcoming considerable weather obstacles over the week of maintenance.

May 1: Great headway on maintenance tasks on Friday April 29th, including (on ground) bearing replacement, rotor reattachment, generator cover replacement, and finally rotor lifted to hub by crane and re-attached. On Saturday April 30th, cranes and fence were to be removed and site cleared. Engineers on site. Turbine should start generating power on Monday May 2nd.

April 28: The Globe and Mail published this article about the Ex Place turbine maintenance, which includes some inaccurate items that the co-op would like to correct for the benefit of our co-op members and the general public.

Technical stat corrections: The Ex Place turbine is rated at 750 kW (not 1000, and not MW), however hub height restrictions due to the nearby airport reduced the potential output of the machine, to a highest rated potential output of slightly less than 650 kW.

Turbine management corrections: Since the Ex Place turbine was erected in 2002, volunteer technical staff at WindShare, along with our project partners at Toronto Hydro, has operated and serviced the turbine in a safe and professional level. At no time was the turbine under insufficient management. Through time and experience, capacity at WindShare to manage has improved, fulfilling the co-op’s goal to build local capacity for managing renewable energy projects.

April 27: High winds are influencing the maintenance schedule at the Ex Place turbine. Cranes are on site to accomplish the work when conditions are appropriate and safe. Read more in the April 27 2011 Toronto Star article.

April 24: Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc. (Toronto Hydro) and the WindShare Co-operative (WindShare) advise that maintenance on the wind turbine at the Exhibition Place site is estimated to take place between April 25th and April 30th. The turbine’s rotor and generator will be removed, serviced and re-installed with the aid of two large construction cranes. This scheduled maintenance will focus on replacing the main bearing of the turbine and updating the controls.

“The bearing change-out will extend the Ex Place turbine’s lifespan,” explains Dianne Saxe, President of WindShare. “On behalf of our 400 community members, we’re pleased that this technical maintenance will help continue the generation of clean renewable wind power in Toronto.”

Photos from April 2011 Turbine Maintenance

Blades Removed


Crane removes blades

Crane removes blades

Descending Blades



April 4 2011: Turbine Technology Update

WindShare members and Toronto Hydro, as urban wind pioneers, invested in early wind turbine technology when we installed the Exhibition Place turbine in 2002. We are currently replacing several parts of the turbine with improved technology, and thus it is out of service temporarily.

Wind technology has improved rapidly in the last decade, and for the past nine years we have been developing expertise in the maintenance and operation of the Ex Place wind turbine, and how this type of technology can be integrated with Toronto Hydro’s grid. With new equipment installed, our turbine will be back online soon.

As the most visible wind turbine in Canada, our Ex Place turbine has helped to raise awareness of wind power, being situated on a busy commuter route and in a major cultural, business and tourist site in Toronto. The turbine has performed very well and in the past two years, it has generated over 2 million kWhs of electricity.

We’ll keep you apprised of technology upgrades as they are installed, including projected re-start dates.

Questions? Send them to info(at)


Like most heavy machinery, wind turbines require routine maintenance. Regular scheduled inspections for maintenance of the ExPlace turbine occur twice a year. An electrical company trained to maintain and repair the machine handles unscheduled maintenance due to parts replacements or technical issues.

Multiple detection computer systems in the nacelle and at the base of the turbine shut down the turbine if any discrepancies are detected in the systems. After troubleshooting to determine the discrepancy, the turbine must then be restarted.


As wind farms continue to develop across the Province, Canadian expertise and in-country parts

Shelburne Wind Farm

Shelburne Wind Farm

availability is improving and it becomes less necessary to import parts from overseas suppliers. Wind turbine maintenance becomes more economic when conducted by Canadian technicians, and the more turbines that can be serviced by a visiting specialist, the more economically efficient that service becomes.

For more information about wind farm development across Canada, visit the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) website.