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Renewable energy systems are more common than one thinks. Solar panels, geothermal systems, wind energy systems, biofuel systems, etc. exist all over the world. When these systems fail to work or become damaged it takes an expert knowledgeable in their design and operation to properly assess the cause of the failure. Envista has those experts.

Solar panels can be damaged by hail storms, high winds, or electrically if they are not protected from power surges. They are also often placed on roofs where installation problems can occur as well. Geothermal systems face a number of technical challenges at times as well. These include corrosive environments, installation and setup errors, design problems, as well as operational errors.

Wind energy systems have been installed numerous places all over the world. Even though these systems have existed for many years, failures continue to occur. Failures of wind energy systems can often involve fatigue and vibrations. The gear boxes on these systems can fail due to poor design, being overloaded, or defective materials. Investigating these types of failure may involve mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and/or metallurgists. Envista recently investigated a tower failure that was due to failed weld and under designed tower. Vibrations and resonance around the natural frequency of the tower were also a source of the failure.

Biofuel systems can be small installations or be multimillion dollar ethanol production facilities. Investigating these systems can require the expertise of a chemical, mechanical, and/or electrical engineer depending on what has occurred. Lots of rotating machinery exists within these facilities as well. Fire or explosion investigations for these facilities can also involve lots of chemical considerations as well as equipment failures.