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Offshore wind operation and maintenance

Operation and maintenance costs constitute to a significant part of the total costs of offshore wind power.

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Therefore, the development of improved and new solutions for operation and maintenance (O&M) of offshore wind turbines and wind farms is an important contribution to make offshore wind power more cost-effective.

SINTEF Energy Research has developed models and tools for optimizing O&M and has competence on inspection and condition monitoring of wind turbine components, especially electrical components, and components in the wind park's grid connection.

The EU and the wind power sector have ambitious aims for cost-reduction to make wind power – especially offshore wind power – more cost-efficient. O&M costs may account for up to 30 % of the total cost of energy for offshore wind power. A substantial contribution to cost reduction must therefore come through improved and new solutions and technologies for O&M of wind farms, wind turbines and wind turbine components.

More cost-efficient O&M can be achieved by increase the reliability of the components (e.g. by improved component and turbine designs), by aiming for maintainability (i.e. components that are easy to maintain), by optimized operation (e.g. reducing loads with improved control systems), by having better control over the technical condition and ageing (e.g. new and improved inspection and monitoring methods) or by technical solutions, improved maintenance or better strategies that reduce the downtime when a failure happened (e.g. a maintenance organization with improved maintenance supportability, better maintenance routines and planning tools, or new and improved access solutions).

SINTEF Energy Research can offer competence, methods and tools within the following areas:

  • Modelling of O&M phase of offshore wind farms (see e.g. NOWIcob)
  • Modelling of relations between turbine operation, loads, technical condition and lifetime
  • Estimation of (remaining) lifetime based on information of technical condition and operation
  • Inspection and condition monitoring of electrical components
  • Estimation of failure probability and risk
  • Development of strategies for optimal operation and maintenance
  • Analysis of cost-benefit of different strategies and technical solutions, as well as different maintenance strategies and reinvestment alternatives

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