WEBS onshore wind industry report delivers insights to drive more profitable O&M strategiesAugust 28th 2020
The WEBS Annual Publication 2020 is available now and has unveiled a number of critical deep dive insights into the onshore wind industry that will have a major impact on owner/operators driving better returns on asset O&M during the year ahead.
The WEBS report analyses three years’ worth of data from 75 windfarms located throughout eight countries totalling more than 2GW of onshore wind capacity, and provides anonymous performance benchmarks for availability, production, reliability and logistics. For example, ‘Prioritising scheduled maintenance for larger sites in periods of low wind could yield an additional 1,771MWh of production on larger sites (30-44 WTGs).’
The WEBS database has grown to more than 90 sites with a cumulative capacity of almost 4GW of onshore wind capacity across nine different European countries. This invaluable resource helps owners to understand where their availability sits in relation to others in their own region or with the same technology, thus informing strategies for improvements in performance while driving down the cost of O&M.
Jeff Bryan, Director at WEBS, said: “It can be extremely challenging to operate wind assets. Not only is turbine reliability an ongoing battle at all sites, but the rapid pace of technology development means that each site has its own technical quirks based on the age of assets and turbine type and is subject to localised adverse weather conditions and marginal gains.
“However, the significant growth of the wind industry throughout the past two decades provides the sector with an excellent opportunity to capitalise and learn from this experience. By combining data and experience, we can identify and apply valuable trends and insights. That is the underlying premise that has driven both this report and the benchmarking system that has made these insights possible.”
The findings in this report clearly demonstrate how anonymised data sharing and benchmarking can help inform critical decisions. This not only increases the operational performance and efficiency of individual sites or portfolios, but it benefits the wider industry too.
As part of an overarching pro-active O&M strategy, benchmarking will help stimulate research and development, inform new maintenance strategy designs and enable optimised O&M solutions to emerge industry wide.
Two key areas covered by the report include major component faults and turbine age-related insights. Major component faults have a big impact on wind farm performance, so an overview of the entire population provides some steer on general trends across the whole industry but looking at the data in greater detail provides a more well-defined picture for decision-makers.
In terms of turbine components, lifetime and wear rates are diverse across the different turbine systems and subsystems, and smaller parts are exposed to different levels of operational and environmental stress. Therefore, the likelihood of reliability issues occurring at different subsystems changes as the assets age. There are components that need closer attention at early stages due to high levels of running-in wear (typical snagging issues on a new site); others are more likely to start causing greater issues at more advanced ages, while others would need constant monitoring across the asset lifetime.
Benchmarking, as part of wider O&M strategy, has a key role to play in the continuous improvement of wind farm operations and maintenance. The high-level trend analyses demonstrate how data sharing and wider industry collaboration can be used as an effective tool to justify investment in an asset or a particular facet of O&M strategy. It can also ensure that scheduled maintenance of the most valuable assets is being carried out at the correct time.
To download the full report, please visit https://www.webs-ltd.com/publications/