DBB Jack-Up, an operations and maintenance service provider to offshore wind farm owners and turbine manufacturers, today released a new report on operations and maintenance in the offshore wind industry. The report based on exclusive research by MAKE Consulting focuses on technology developments and the related impact on wind farms and vessel operators. It is available for subscribers to offshorewindom.com, an online resource centre for operations and maintenance professionals in the offshore wind industry.
As wind farm owners and operators realise the increasing importance of a sound operations and maintenance (O&M) strategy, technology trends are driving major changes to this relatively young industry. These trends, featuring larger turbines installed in deeper waters further out to sea, will have an impact on not only jack-up vessels, but also the methods and cost implications of replacing major components.
Ole Jacob W. Nielsen, Head of Sales & Marketing at DBB Jack-Up Services A/S comments:
“DBB Jack-Up has commissioned this report to highlight the need for everyone involved in offshore wind O&M to keep pace with technological advancements. It reminds us that O&M accounts for around 25 per cent of a wind farm’s total lifecycle costs, and we continually need to optimise the way we approach O&M to help wind farm owners achieve maximum return from their investments.”
The average global turbine rating is expected to reach 5.9 MW by 2020, according to the report. Wind turbines’ heavier and larger components, such as the nacelles, blades and bearings, will place greater demands on the lifting capabilities of jack-up vessels.
Highlighting the urgency of preventing downtime caused by major component failure, MAKE Consulting reveals that 95 per cent of downtime is caused by 25 per cent of all turbine faults.
Thorsten Jalk, CEO of DBB Jack-Up Services A/S says:
“The industry needs to be more aware of losses due to outage time, especially as turbines get larger. This report presses home the need for not just wind turbine OEMs to focus on major component reliability, but also for wind farm operators and O&M service providers to work together and plan efficiently to reduce maintenance days and, ultimately, downtime.”
- The global average turbine rating will increase from 3.9 MW to approximately 5.9 MW by 2020
- Rotor sizes will increase from today’s 100-120 m to approximately 180 m in 2020
- The standard turbine blade length will be around 80 m in 2020 compared with today’s around 60 m
- Gearboxes will increase in weight by approximately 50 tonnes by 2020
- Direct drive technology will become more mainstream
- Exchanging a generator in a gearless turbine will take approximately 600 hours
- Exchanging a gearbox on a geared turbine takes approximately 150 hours
- Geared drive technology will account for 65 per cent of new global grid-connected capacity in 2018
- 75% of failures related to turbines are minor faults and contribute to 5% of downtime
- Major failures account for 25% of all turbine faults but 95 per cent of the downtime associated with failures
- Lost production during a 14-day outage is ~€65,000 for a 3 MW turbine compared with ~€180,000 for an 8 MW turbine
- Jack-ups, floating hotels and service operation vessels will be needed for sites located more than 65 km offshore