Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Words: Antti Turunen, Head of Global Service, ZF Wind Power The wind energy industry has grown up. Sophisticated technologies and a tough market call for more than just a professional repair of faulty equipment. Up to the medium power range it has become a commodity market where quality has become a given and where typical commodity linked drivers like timing and cost push the turbine manufacturers into continuous optimisation of the value chain. In recent years, in the gearbox service market, we have seen a similar trend. The general drive for lowest energy cost is gaining momentum and demanding solutions. Historically the service business has been closely linked to the new gearbox business of the large OEMs. For years the business required only one solution for servicing a gearbox and that was to bring it back in the best possible state. In practice, due to the learning curve and related upgrade, this means that a repaired gearbox is now becoming even better than the original serial product. The market is changing now and seeking significantly greater flexibility. This flexibility originates from the drive towards lowest cost of energy. Segmentation is taking place in the market and within every segment the customer has a different

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PES brings you WInspector, an advanced and innovative approach for on-site inspection of wind turbine blades. A research and innovation project which is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. A consortium, composed of five members, TWI, WRS, Innora, Gamesa and London South Bank University has come together to find a solution for wind turbine blades inspections, by means of the development of a laser shearography system placed on a robotic platform, under the project WInspector. Overview Nowadays, Wind Turbines (WT) are one of the most efficient ways to produce green and sustainable energy, contributing in a high percentage to all renewable electricity. However, due to the stress suffered by the blades and caused by wind gusts, there is a continuous need for inspection and maintenance. According to CWIF an average of 3,800 blade failure incidents annually are attributed to poor maintenance, with a cost varying between 90,000€ and 900,000€ each, involving many accidents resulting human injury and fatalities. Blades reparations can be costly in downtime and expensive, and at the same time this fact reduces turbine’s operational efficiency. For these reasons, preventive planning through more frequent inspections is a necessity.

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Words: Shelley Regan Across the renewables industry, UAV technology is now an established and essential part of maintenance inspections and surveys. The accessibility and capability of the mission-critical data gathered for asset integrity inspections has been a ‘game changer’. It is not just the savings in terms of time- and cost-efficiency that are decisive, but the numerous operational benefits that include improved monitoring and planning and the removal of risks to personnel. The technology has proven itself against so many long-established ways of working. The UAV inspection method avoids the need for rope-access inspections and associated costly asset shutdowns, saving time and money as well as removing the risks of working at height. Work scope for fabric maintenance can be quantified much more quickly and accurately through close visual inspection for example. CVI inspections generate thousands of images and high-definition video. All of this provides data to inform engineering decisions in a fraction of the time that it would take a large rope access team to cover an area such as a full turbine.

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PES is pleased to bring you a preview of the latest multipurpose vessels: the new R-Class, from Spliethoff, buit in the Zhejiang Ouhua shipyard in China. The ships will be just the ticket for the offshore wind industry. Amsterdam-based shipping company Spliethoff has placed an order for six multipur-pose vessels at the Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., shipyard in China and are looking forward to a long partnership. Spliethoff is a dry cargo and multi-purpose specialist. It was established in 1921 and over the years has built up an excellent reputation for its high quality standards and for being a reliable, loyal partner. These new, state of the art, R-Class vessels have been designed to comply with the Polar Code and are therefore highly suitable to trade in remote areas such as the Arctic. Working for the wind industry means it’s very important to be ecological, both in terms of the environment and emissions. So with this in mind, they will be optimised for fuel efficiency and equipped with scrubbers which will also reduce their environmental footprint to a minimum, and ensure they are ready for SCR and Tier III compliance.

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PES went to Belgium to investigate the latest development in extreme climate testing. The OWI-lab is using field experience to provide a purpose built testing facility in the heart Europe. Alternative energy sources are a key part in achieving the goals set at the Paris climate conference in December 2015. Non-polluting energy sources are seen as a vital part in reaching the targets. Alternative energy sources have been implemented worldwide, sometimes in less than convenient places. Field experience through completed projects has grown exponentially. This means more challenging projects have become viable options. It is now possible to embark on the projects, knowing the greater installation costs and OM challenges no longer outweigh the benefits, which come from this work. One of the challenges, in this expanding business, is to cope with developments in remote locations, with extreme environmental conditions. OEMs and components suppliers are looking to adapt their products to these demanding environments, by optimising design or adding specialised features. The adapted systems are prone to failures, which are related to these extreme conditions, such as sealing problems caused by differential thermal expansion, cracks due to change in brittleness, or problems with lubrication, or hydraulics due to changed viscosity. Therefore

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Constructing offshore wind farms can be a tricky business. In particular, the current generation of offshore wind projects because they are moving further from shore into deeper, less sheltered water. This makes absolute sense when you consider it from the perspective of the soon-to-be proud owners. After all, you want to put your wind farm where the wind blows strongest, on the most continuous basis, to generate the electricity and the revenue. However, from the perspective of the construction side of things, putting the turbines in the water and connecting them up is getting trickier and demands a new type of approach. Siem Offshore Contractors have revolutionised the installation of inter array cables for offshore wind farms, in bad weather and harsh conditions through their innovative, next generation, Siem Duo. This consists of the cable lay vessel Siem Aimery along with the installation support vessel Siem Moxie. However, to understand just how revolutionary this solution is, you need to understand a few things….

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What makes a good Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV)? SeaRenergy carried out an extensive study and shares the results with PES, highlighting ideas and suggestions based on design and offshore site challenges. With the first offshore wind projects evolving in the Baltic Sea, SeaRenergy was recently asked for advice on suitable crew transfer vessels for these waters. The underlying question was about how to achieve the highest possible utilisation in terms of workability and crew welfare. In order to properly evaluate all possible crew transfer vessel designs and sizes, weather data from two different locations were collected and analysed. Sufficient data through wave rider buoys and meteorological stations were gathered from two locations, situated in the German waters of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Analysis in addition to the geographical circumstances led us to conclude that wave length is the most important factor when looking at CTV designs. The North Sea has deeper waters with an average depth of around 95 m, direct connection to the Atlantic Ocean and therefore strong currents due to water streams and tides. A combination of these aspects enables a development of long and high wind waves as well as long and high swells.

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By Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager, Scottish Renewables With two-thirds of the UK’s onshore capacity and an offshore sector now getting steel in the water, Scotland has long been a leading champion of the wind sector. The country is the birthplace of wind-powered electricity generation and the windiest place in Europe, with 25% of the continent’s offshore wind resource. Scotland has capitalised on that to deliver economic and environmental benefits across the country. The Conservative manifesto commitment to end new subsidy for onshore wind locked both it and large-scale solar – our two cheapest renewable energy technologies – out of the energy market. With costs continuing to fall, however, a report from Baringa Partners, commissioned by Scottish Renewables, found that the UK Government could deliver 1GW of new onshore wind capacity at no additional cost to consumers over and above the long-term wholesale price of power. The report’s conclusions are dependent on mature renewables being able to bid in future auctions for long-term contracts for clean electricity such as those offered to offshore wind and the new nuclear facility at Hinkley Point.

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PES brings you Offshore Project Support, your complete service provider in the offshore wind industry. Smarter, cost reducing and more efficient offshore wind industry. It’s possible. Offshore Project Support (OPS) from the Netherlands combines the knowledge, experience and equipment of four different offshore companies. Together, they are ‘the toolbox at sea’. A complete service for every stage in wind energy projects. Niels Noordeloos is OPS’s managing director. “Titles don’t really mean much to me. I’m a practical kind of guy who just happens to know exactly what’s going on in the offshore industry. I enjoy managing projects and like to come up with safe and well considered solutions. With OPS I can offer my clients the services they need.” Niels Noordeloos has worked in the offshore industry for 16 years and has been working as a freelance project manager over the last couple of years. “First in the gas and oil industry, later on in the offshore wind industry. At one point I was wondering if we could reduce costs by combining different projects. I envisioned a chain of wind parks from the southern part of the North Sea up to northern part of the North Sea. One vessel could sail

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This summer, the largest and most spectacular global gathering of the offshore wind industry takes place in London. PES brings you an appetiser and we hope to see you there. On June 6-8, WindEurope and RenewableUK are joining forces to host Offshore Wind Energy 2017, the world’s largest offshore wind conference and exhibition. Taking place in London’s magnificent ExCeL Exhibition Centre, this event will attract more than 10,000 visitors and play host to over 400 exhibitors, representing over 20 countries. As offshore wind begins to stake a claim to ever more of the globe’s energy mix, the decision to host this event in London was easy: the UK is the world’s leading offshore nation and is setting a national example that industry leaders will seek to emulate around the world in the busy years to come. Offshore Wind Energy 2017 will seek to build on the tremendous momentum achieved in recent years by offshore wind power: wind is now the fastest growing energy source in the world, and offshore wind has recently been a hotbed of innovation and ambition. Now is the time for industry insiders to solidify the goals and vision of this expanding sector. WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson says

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