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ECN publication
Flight Leader Concept for Wind Farm Load Counting - Final Report
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Wind Energy 26-10-2009
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--09-068 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
44 Download PDF  

Within the We@Sea project ‘Flight Leader Concept for Wind Farm Load Counting and Performance Assessment’ a cost-effective methodology has been developed for assessing the load accumulation of all turbines in an offshore wind farm. Instead of equipping all turbines with mechanical load measurements only a few reference (Flight Leader) turbines are extensively instrumented. Using data from these turbines relations between standard SCADA parameters and load indicators, which are representative for the ageing or degradation of a certain wind turbine component, are established. Once such relationships are determined these can be combined with SCADA data from the other turbines in the wind farm. This enables the determination of the accumulated loading on all turbines in the farm. A demo version of a software model has been developed in MATLAB®. The software includes all aspects of the Flight Leader concept and is intended to be used by operators of offshore wind farms and can be applied to process the SCADA data and mechanical load measurements from an (offshore) wind farm. The main output of the model is a comparison of the accumulated mechanical loading of all turbines in the offshore wind farm. This information can subsequently be used to optimise O&M strategies, for example by prioritising the inspection or replacement of certain components on the heavier loaded turbines. The developed software model has been implemented at the ECN Wind turbine Test location Wieringermeer (EWTW). Several analyses have been performed where the main goal of the research was to assess if the Flight Leader principle can be accurately applied in practice. In addition to this the research had the goal to determine what method is best used for characterising the relation between SCADA parameters and load indicator, which is essentially the core of the Flight Leader principle. Furthermore it has been tried to identify the contributors to insecurities in the predictions of the flight leader software. Finally a second analysis has been performed with the goal of evaluating whether the proposed Flight Leader principle can also be applied to make accurate estimations of the load accumulation for all turbines in a large offshore wind farm, where wave-induced loading and wake effects play an important role. For this purpose use has been made of data from the Offshore Wind farm Egmond aan Zee (OWEZ). In this report the background regarding the project is explained. Furthermore details regarding the developed software model are presented. Next, the most important results from the onshore and offshore evaluation of the Flight Leader concept are discussed. Finally, the most important conclusions are summarised and an outlook for future research is given.

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