Operations and Maintenance is key to maximizing profitability of wind energy assets, says the sample brochure. Once a wind farm is operational, adopting a cost-effective operations and maintenance strategy is the main path for operators to maximize ROI on wind energy. To arrive at the optimal O&M strategy, an operator needs to make three crucial decisions:
■ Who carries out O&M? The options are contracting the turbine manufacturer, relying on independent service providers or servicing wind turbines in-house
■ Should O&M be predictive, scheduled or reactive? And what are the costs and performance implications of each approach?
■ Which approach is most cost effective depending on the size, age and location of each wind power asset?
The WEU Wind Energy O&M Report 2016 provides data and analysis to help you answer these questions and enables formulation of the most cost-effective O&M strategy for your wind power assets.
The report is available here: https://goo.gl/fUcxvy.
From a sample page:
Optimal performance of a wind turbine is crucial for maximizing gains while cutting operating costs. In the last two decades, there has been a leap forward in wind turbine performance, attributed to a range of improvements, including:
■ Larger rotor and higher nacelle height for increased capacity factor (~40 to 50%)
■ Advanced controls for load mitigation
■ Full power converters for improved grid code compliance
■ Enhanced reliability for cross-industry availability matching (~98%)
■ More sophisticated aero-elastic simulation tools to further boost efficiency
■ Improved farm-level micro-sitting simulation for wind park optimization
■ Better sensors for more accurate control and monitoring
Historical availability trends
Today’s wind turbine offerings span, for some OEMs, over 20 years of technological innovation and product development. The breadth of their product portfolios also means that customers are not expected to rely on a “one size fits all” approach. An evolutionary design strategy for product development ensures continuity in the technological and reliability achievements realized and therefore tends to bear lower risks. With lower risk, the O&M strategy, and therefore its costs, tend to be lower as the track record of the product line can be carried over from generation to generation.
Wind farm availability is the first indication of performance, and because revenue is directly related to it, owners are highly concerned with the topic. The plant has to be ready to generate when there is wind and all O&M activities should be planned around this simple fact. Subsequently, it is imperative to understand the factors affecting availability over a wind farm’s lifetime, and manage them effectively with minimum financial risk.
There are various definitions for availability of a system or a turbine in available literature. First, one has to make a distinction between system and turbine availability. System availability is the total availability of a wind farm, taking into account both BoP and turbine availability. Turbine availability includes all downtime related directly to the turbine only, while BoP excludes the turbine and includes interruptions caused by BoP infrastructure through to the grid interconnection point.
System availability can be defined on a time or energy based. Today, “time-based availability” is used frequently, which is defined as the ratio of the time during which the system is ready to produce to total time over a specific period.
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