Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Since the 2015 Paris Agreement, there has been a global consensus that the transition to a CO2-neutral energy supply needs to be achieved worldwide within the next few decades. At the same time, considerable technological progress has been made with both onshore and offshore wind energy, for example, and, as a result, the energy generated in this way is now able to compete with conventional forms of energy largely without subsidies. Nevertheless, the market for wind turbines is stagnating worldwide. This suggests that low generation costs alone are not the key to the rapid transition of the energy system and that other factors also have a role to play. Based on current developments in Germany, the article below aims to show that the speed of transition is limited, but alternative paths for the use of renewables in sectors that have undergone only little decarbonization to date can lead to a new dynamic through the use of green hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen produced from renewable energies, as a parallel form of energy transportation. This could create new market impulses for the wind industry, nevertheless the associated technical challenges also need to be tackled.

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While wind is enjoying significant growth, studies confirm that wind turbines suffer from reliability issues: The EU’s RELIAWIND study found that electrical systems accounted for the highest failure rate, but gearbox failures accounted for the highest amount of downtime (14 days)1. The National Renewable Energy laboratory found that the majority of wind turbine gearbox failures are caused by bearings (76.2%) and gears (17.3%)2. Figure 1 displays the annual failure rate and downtime per failure by component. The costs of maintenance Maintenance is essential to prevent failures but ongoing operation and maintenance is costly, representing around 25% of the total cost of the wind turbine over its lifetime4. These high costs cause some wind turbine owners to skip maintenance: Insurer G-Cube cited the top cause of a claim as poor maintenance, at 24.5% of total claim costs, with claims involving gearbox failure costing on average $380,000 to rectify5. Introducing REWITEC Here we present our technology, REWITEC, a microparticle-based lubricant additive that has been proven to repair existing damage and protect the system for the future, improving reliability in wind turbine gears and bearings. A lifespan of 20 - 30 years is expected for commercial wind turbines. During use, both the gearbox and bearings are

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WindEnergy Hamburg, the world’s leading wind energy event, is taking place in 2020 despite the crisis. However, organizer Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH is not inviting visitors to its local exhibition campus this time but to the World Wide Web. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, WindEnergy Hamburg 2020 will be a fully digital event held from December 1st to 4th, four days, around-the-clock. The new format was created within record time after the tradeshow had at first been postponed from September to December, then converted into an online event because international travel restrictions and rising infection rates made it impossible to plan for an on-site, physical exhibition. Reinventing the tradeshow concept Once the decision had been made to run the entire tradeshow in digital format this December, Hamburg Messe und Congress had to find a way to allow all participants in WindEnergy Hamburg to have a successful tradeshow experience despite the unusual situation. In essence, the entire concept of a tradeshow had to be reinvented. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of the great team at Hamburg Messe und Congress and its co-organizer, WindEurope, supported by their partners and advisory boards, a new concept was developed. As a result, WindEnergy

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The global energy transition is underway. The uptake of renewables is accelerating, as the technology undercuts fossil fuel based energy generation and governments seek to achieve international climate targets. Renewable energy is now also accepted as an opportunity to drive green economic growth and job creation to help support the recovery from the impacts of Covid-19. Offshore wind has a key role to play in this energy transition, having grown nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018. The IEA predicts global offshore wind capacity to increase fifteen-fold by 2040, becoming a US$1 trillion industry. After successfully lowering the price of bottom-fixed projects, the next frontier for industry is floating offshore wind. Floating wind unlocks new markets A key factor driving the development and scaling of floating wind is the technology’s ability to unlock new markets for offshore wind development. An estimated 80% of global offshore wind resource is located in deep water areas (depths of more than 60m), where winds are typically stronger and more consistent, with the potential to yield superior capacity factors. The first larger capacity floating wind turbine (2.3MW) was installed and tested over a decade ago in Norway. Since then interest has increased as the viability

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Blade O&M has become a focus for BladeInsight, formerly Prodrone. André Croft de Moura, CEO and founder, spoke enthusiastically to PES, about his vison for the future of drone inspections, with added value. This blade centric company has already embraced the idea of predictive maintenance and is continuing to provide quality, agility and a focus on the customer. PES: Hi André, it’s great to have you back with us at PES Wind. Last time we spoke, you were ProDrone and today you join us as BladeInsight. For the benefit of new readers, could you walk us through the background of your company and how you came to be BladeInsight? André Moura: Firstly thanks for having us back. It’s great to be here under our new brand BladeInsight. I founded this company as ProDrone in 2015, based on the conviction that in order to make wind energy universal, it had to become more competitive than other carbon-intensive energy sources. Wind turbine blades really caught my eye early on, as one of the most critical elements in wind energy infrastructure. As a key component, blades are exposed to the elements and susceptible to all types of damages, making their maintenance critical to a

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All over the world, people are asking two questions: How will COVID-19 have a continued effect, and what will the next American President do? The pandemic has caused manufacturing plant closures resulting in predictable havoc, but we have also seen COVID-19 disrupt supply chains that were once rock-solid, in ways nobody could have anticipated. It’s uncertainty on top of uncertainty. ‘Nobody believes we’ve seen the end of what the pandemic will do to the global economy and the various industries that drive it, but we have always thrived in adversity and uncertainty,’ says an optimistic Randall Sullivan, Chartering Manager, BBC Singapore, ‘and our customers know we’ll work right alongside them to find our way in the ‘new normal’. Supply chain disruptions resulting from COVID-19 have already caused problems for our clients, and they’ve been coming to us for innovative solutions to their rapidly changing transportation needs. We’ve been able to solve difficult supply problems, sometimes on very short notice, because we’ve got the ships and the people to do it. A fleet like ours allows us to mitigate schedule changes that arise from sudden changes in production’. Who will be the next American President, and what will he do? What

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The smart factory is a term we all know well and is used in reference to the implementation of Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing environment. Significant benefits such as improved quality, higher productivity and cost reductions have transformed industries such as automotive and electronics in recent years through implementation of smart connected assembly solutions. Wind energy is catching up. We now see the use of smart tooling with inbuilt intelligence for critical assembly in factories for nacelle and gearbox production, but what happens on work sites out in the field? There is a significant amount of critical bolting operations take place in construction, commissioning and maintenance which have a direct impact on the turbine performance, reliability and cost. However, the reality is that in many cases conventional bolting methods are still being used in the field due to old processes remaining in place, outdated tool fleets, and a general lack of awareness exactly how smart factory thinking can really be applied in the field with the technology and solutions available on the market today. The energy transition is happening, but the wind sector must drive a transformation in critical bolting across the full value chain to truly benefit from the possibilities

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At PES we were curious about Aero Enterprise, so we decided to call Robert Hörmann, CEO/CTO and Peter Kurt Fromme-Knoch, CEO/CFO to find out more about this fast developing, innovative company. They are very happy to be part of the BUSS Energy Group, finding much mutual benefit and profiting from the global reach. However, they are not losing their own identity and are continuing to develop their hard- and software for turbine inspection. PES: A warm welcome to you both to PES Wind, it’s good to talk with you. Would you like to begin by giving us an overview of Aero Enterprise? Robert Hörmann: Aero Enterprise began in 2015 by both Peter and myself, we are co-founders. In the beginning the company focused on the development of special hard- and software equipment for the digitized airborne inspection of wind turbines and other vertical objects. Parallel to this in-house development and bringing it to market readiness, we started presenting our services to the European market, using the fully digitized and automated airborne inspection of wind turbines. Peter Kurt Fromme-Knoch: Our team consists of 10 highly qualified technicians covering aeronautical engineering, mechatronics and software development and of course a sales team. The company

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On November 12, a customer value focused conference entitled “Advanced PV Technology for Better LCOE - 182mm Module and System Technology”, co-sponsored by JA Solar, Jinko Solar and LONGi Green Energy, was held in Shanghai. During the conference, solar inverter and tracker manufacturers, power design institutes, EPC companies and third-party certification institutions issued a comprehensive statement on the design, production cost, supporting infrastructure, system application and product certification of 182mm modules. With the arrival of the grid parity era, the industry has recognized the benefits of deploying high-power modules in large sizes for their ability to reduce the LCOE. However, larger module sizes come with their own technology challenges. Ji Zhenshuang, deputy director of China General Certification, said at the conference, “Larger sizes bring higher module power, but industry participants should also pay attention to the industry’s supply chain and system security. In particular, a constraint condition should be set to maintain safety and reliability in terms of electrical parameters. At present, as the modules remain in a rapid transition period, serialization and standardization under gradual adjustment would further contribute to the development of the solar industry.” “The increase in module size requires consideration of a number of factors, ranging from module circuit

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Leading PV installer Solstis SA, together with Olympic House, headquarters to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), have been announced as the winners of the prestigious Swiss Solar Prize 2020 award in the “Individuals and Institutions” category. The prize was awarded for the installation of a 179.10 kWp SolarEdge solar system on its roof. Taking place in Aarau on October 20th, the award recognizes organizations, companies and individuals committed to the proliferation of solar energy across Europe. As part of the its commitment to a cleaner, greener world, Olympic House is mostly powered by renewable energy, part of which is produced on site thanks to heat pumps and the SolarEdge system. Solstis SA overcame a unique set of design challenges because of the buildings’ particular dove-shaped roof, selecting SolarEdge inverters and power optimizers in order to overcome and minimize power loss that would typically occur when installing modules at different tilts and orientations. In addition, each SolarEdge power optimizer automatically maintains a fixed string voltage, giving Solstis SA even greater flexibility to design this one-of-kind PV system with longer strings and strings of different lengths. SolarEdge’s DC Optimized technology was also selected since it is designed to mitigate potential fire and electrical safety

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