Modelling offshore wind farm operation and maintenance with view to estimating the benefits of condition monitoring

  • Xi Yu

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Offshore wind energy is progressing rapidly and playing an increasingly important role in electricity generation. Since the Kyoto Protocol in February 2005, Europe has been substantially increasing its installed wind capacity. Compared to onshore wind, offshore wind allows the installation of larger turbines, more extensive sites, and encounters higher wind speed with lower turbulence. On the other hand, harsh marine conditions and the limited access to the turbines are expected to increase the cost of operation and maintenance (O&M costs presently make up approximately 20-25% of the levelised total lifetime cost of a wind turbine). Efficient condition monitoring has the potential to reduce O&M costs. In the analysis of the cost effectiveness of condition monitoring, cost and operational data are crucial. Regrettably, wind farm operational data are generally kept confidential by manufacturers and wind farm operators, especially for the offshore ones.To facilitate progress, this thesis has investigated accessible SCADA and failure data from a large onshore wind farm and created a series of indirect analysis methods to overcome the data shortage including an onshore/offshore failure rate translator and a series of methods to distinguish yawing errors from wind turbine nacelle direction sensor errors. Wind turbine component reliability has been investigated by using this innovative component failure rate translation from onshore to offshore, and applies the translation technique to Failure Mode and Effect Analysis for offshore wind. An existing O&M cost model has been further developed and then compared to other available cost models. It is demonstrated that the improvements made to the model (including the data translation approach) have improved the applicability and reliability of the model. The extended cost model (called StraPCost+) has been used to establish a relationship between the effectiveness of reactive and condition-based maintenance strategies. The benchmarked cost model has then been applied to assess the O&M cost effectiveness for three offshore wind farms at different operational phases.Apart from the innovative methodologies developed, this thesis also provides detailed background and understanding of the state of the art for offshore wind technology, condition monitoring technology. The methodology of cost model developed in this thesis is presented in detail and compared with other cost models in both commercial and research domains.
Date of Award3 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEDF Energy Networks ltd

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