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ECN publication
O&M Concepts for Near and Far Offshore Wind Farms
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Wind Energy 2-11-2016
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--16-055 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
51 Download PDF  

Offshore wind farm Operation and Maintenance (“O&M”) costs are a major part of levelised cost of energy, and significant opportunities exist for improving O&M strategies to reduce costs. A major contributor to high O&M costs is downtime caused by accessibility restrictions, as severe weather conditions offshore restrict times for technician transfer to the wind turbine platforms or completion of maintenance tasks. Existing accessibility models consider very few metocean parameters (mainly wind speed and significant wave height) for limiting accessibility. In reality, offshore wind accessibility is much more complex, and improved understanding will lead to improved use of vessels and weather windows, thereby reducing O&M costs and improving availability.

Within the OM JIP project new datasets and techniques for understanding accessibility are being created and then incorporated in an updated version of ECN’s modelling tool. Metocean data are first translated to vessel hydrodynamics, then vessel motions are translated to human fatigue and workability.

This report defines five reference offshore wind farms, representing current and future wind farms. The existing accessibility model is then applied to calculate costs and downtimes for an optimal O&M concept for each wind farm. Total costs range from 35.3 M€/year for a nearshore, 20m deep Dutch wind farm, to 84.3 M€/year for a far offshore, 30m deep UK wind farm. Savings associated with choosing optimal equipment or strategies are calculated and presented for each wind farm scenario.

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