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[Newsletter] The biggest spinning machine in the world....and the people on its top

People living on Jeju Island have been wisely making use of the island’s strong wind, which is usually 6-7 mps on average. They built houses with straw-thatched roofs and made stone walls that act as windbreaks with stones commonly found across the island. The wind in Jeju Island has led to wind turbines being set up across the island. Following the first wind power generator built in Jedong Farm in 1975, wind farms began to be set up in parts of the island. There are currently 123 wind turbines installed as of December 2020. As Jeju Island is implementing the “Carbon Free Island (CFI 2030)” policy, where the island aims to supply 100% of electricity demand with renewable energy by 2030, the wind energy industry is likely to grow further.


The biggest manmade spinning machine


Wind turbines, the biggest machines with spinning blades, are gigantic structures as tall as 150m when including their tower (80-126m) and blades (56-65m). As they consist of thousands or tens of thousands of components and are entirely exposed to the natural environment using wind as fuel, consistent management is a must, or they might fail or be damaged. Hence, the issue of “how to optimize turbine maintenance and reduce cost while adhering to the design basis” has been the main topic in wind industries across the world.


Meanwhile, Boo Yong-Hyeok, head of WINDETEC – a tech company specialized in wind power generation headquartered in Jeju – said, “Wind turbines are designed to operate for more than 20 years in harsh natural environments, but for various reasons, they sometimes wear out before that.”


The efficient and economical operation of wind turbines requires companies specialized in wind power generation, but Korea’s wind industry has been mainly led by overseas producers from countries such as Denmark and Germany. Against this backdrop, WINDETEC, a total solution provider in the wind industry with expertise and know-how, is receiving the spotlight.

WINDETEC provides a trustworthy service, taking responsibilities from consulting to installation and maintenance. ⓒWINDETEC


Possibilities found in Jeju Island, a test-bed for the wind industry


Established in 2016, WINDETEC provides differentiated and professional tech services ranging from wind farm designs to aftercare services, including wind farm project consulting, installation, repowering, O&M, blade care, Owner’s Engineer, technical due diligence, and End of Warranty Inspection.


CEO Boo Yong-Hyeok said, “We can test products or learn about advanced technologies as there are various types of wind turbines installed on Jeju island, not to mention the Gimnyeong National Wind Test Site. Jeju Island could serve as a test-bed for the wind industry.”


WINDETEC was the first Korean company to apply protection tapes and protective coatings on the leading edge of blades and perform End of Warranty Inspection in SK D&D Gasiri Wind Farm. Also, it is the only Korean company to provide technical services in the fields of Owner’s Engineer and Technical Due Diligence, which were regarded as the areas reserved for foreign companies. While headquartered in Jeju Island, WINDETEC also provides services such as O&M, blade checkup and repair, delivery, installation, and tech support across the country, including Gangwon-do, Gyeongsang-do, and Jeolla-do.


Wind turbines come in different models and maintenance procedures depending on their producer, requiring a sophisticated and keen operation. Here, WINDETEC can provide systematic and stable services as it performs tasks with members who have a deep understanding of the overall operation with an integrated manual of each category covering various wind turbines.


Also, the corporate-affiliated research institute of WINDETEC is leading technological development applicable in wind farm projects such as the development of management platforms to reduce maintenance fees, installation of aircraft warning lights on wind turbines, and development of antiwear products to protect blades.


Advancing into the world with Jeju as basecamp


As environmental problems have become dire issues worldwide, the world is paying greater attention to representative renewable energy, wind energy. For the popularization and distribution of the wind industry, CEO Boo Yong-Hyeok said it is important to lay out a foundation for local companies to grow and advance their businesses.


“Installing one wind turbine is followed by more than 20 years of maintenance. If the business environment surrounding local companies is well established, it will work as a bridgehead for companies like us to grow in Jeju Island, facilitating the regional economy and further advance us into the overseas market.


With plans to advance into the Asian market as soon as COVID-19 ends, WINDETEC strives to become the No.1 ISP in the wind industry, consistently diversifying businesses, securing and fostering talented members, and developing technologies.

CEO Boo Yong-Hyeok and members at WINDETEC