Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

As renewable energy adoption grows worldwide, major utilities increasingly rely on wind power to serve homes and businesses with emission-free, clean electricity. Because of this growing interest in cleaner energy sources, the wind industry is experiencing a period of significant growth worldwide, exceeding 500 gigawatts and employing more than 1.2 million people. This growth has increased focus on issues like the equipment’s sensitivity to extreme environmental factors, subsequent power interruptions and revenue loss, increased maintenance, and maintenance-related safety risks. To keep up with this growing demand, operators must continue to stay ahead of potential challenges. Like all power sources, wind turbines are vulnerable to harsh weather conditions and require fail-safe operating systems such as emergency pitch units, commonly referred to as EPUs, which help safely halt turbine operation. As a result, turbine operators and owners are increasingly depending on electrical-based pitch control systems to perform this function. Traditional EPU (emergency power unit) In periods of total power failure, the EPU is equipped with an emergency power supply to return the blades to a safe position and allow the turbine to shut down effectively. These systems have typically relied on batteries to perform this function. Because of batteries’ electrochemical nature, they are prone to

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I know what you are thinking, right now you may be considering installing an offshore windfarm and here I am telling you about the problems of getting rid of the thing again. But! The topic is relevant whether you are installing a windfarm, nearing an end to the operational life, or actually in the process of preparing the decommissioning of the windfarm. Why, you might ask, is this relevant, the removal of the wind turbines is actually the reverse operation of installing it or not? The answer is that this is actually not the case. And as usual the devil is in the detail. Here are the reasons. In the early years I was frequently asked to give a quote for how much it would cost to remove an offshore turbine, my answer was simple, the same plus inflation as it would cost to install it. This is partly the answer, however a significant number of costs will occur which we did not foresee when we were originally asked. Firstly, the sheer number of turbines, which have to be removed, will make a significant impact to the port where you have to unload them. For the Danish and German North Sea, Esbjerg seems a good bet.

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Ideol has been in the news these last few weeks because Floatgen, France’s first offshore wind turbine, has successfully reached two key milestones Bruno G. Geschier, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, at Ideol, came in to PES to talk us through this ground breaking project. Beyond the completion of the floater construction and the September fitting of the transition piece and the wind turbine at quayside, there were two decisive and delicate operations scheduled this summer: the pre-lay of the mooring lines as well as the float-off, or separation, of the concrete structure from the floating barges on which it was built. With cost competitiveness being a key driver in this emblematic project, we set out to design an innovative mooring system using nylon ropes several years ago. This being a first-of-a-kind we also had to develop and optimize specific offshore installation methods to ensure smooth, safe and rapid offshore operations. Having a fully integrated team of engineers covering all phases of the project, from conception to completion, helped us to integrate such offshore installation constraints and specificities very early on in the design and engineering phase, limiting many unforeseen and often costly surprises down the line. It also helped us collaborate efficiently with

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Once again PES has all the inside information from the upcoming wind fairs. This time it’s HUSUM Wind and the Offshore WIND Conference, Amsterdam. This is a great opportunity to meet the new comers to our industry, see all the latest developments, catch up with regular contacts and make new ones. So reserve the dates and book your tickets – maybe we’ll see you at one of them. A fresh breeze in the German market HUSUM Wind Trade Fair and Congress 2017 takes place from September 12th to 15th 2017, in the heart of Schleswig-Holstein, the wind state. This is where the who’s who of the wind industry comes together to compare notes about important industry issues and the latest developments and product innovations in the German and world markets. It has been the industry’s most important trade fair for the German market for over 25 years. This year it will be particularly interesting. Around 18,000 trade visitors and 650 exhibitors are expected from Germany and the neighbouring countries. They will be showing their products and services along the entire value chain. This established meeting place attracts trade visitors and experts from all sectors of the industry. Part of the discussions this year will

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Construction of offshore wind farms has advanced rapidly over the last few years and is maturing into a market where subsidy funding is diminishing. Numerous companies joined in to develop the offshore wind market and are further developing their assets to provide services to this market. PES shares this insight in to one company’s continued search to improve tools and equipment. At Huisman we see this development of assets through the contracts we have received for the construction of several cranes, intended for the construction of wind farms. Part of the development of this maturing market has been the growth of the wind turbine’s output, through increasing the size of turbines and blades, resulting in higher turbine towers. This upscaling of size of the different components of an offshore wind turbine, results in the need for larger installation tools: i.e. larger cranes. Due to the larger components, installation procedures and the tools to perform these procedures are becoming more important in ensuring handling ease and safety during installation processes of offshore wind turbines. Part of our contribution to the wind installation market is our range of cranes, which are adaptable with a variety of components of various sizes. Some tools are foldable

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Height Specialists was established in 1995. It is a specialist company that provides rope access inspection, maintenance and modifications for on and offshore inspection, maintenance services to clients, operating in various industrial sectors, as well as at promotions and public events. The business started as a one-man venture but today operates as fully a qualified IRATA, ISO 9001 and VCA-P company with over 75 employees working worldwide. ‘Height Specialists is an innovative and dynamic organisation that offers a quick and professional response to its clients’ questions,’ comments general manager, Henri Hoogenes. ‘Safety is always our first priority and as such, each project will endure a risk analysis and methodical planning before execution. Height Specialists only works with fully certified technicians, tools and materials.’ Indeed throughout its history the company has managed to adapt itself quickly, notably by providing abseiling and zip wire services at Rotterdam’s Euromast and later by supporting various Dutch television productions. During the early years it also turned its hand to work at height, using rope access and industrial climbing. Rope access is a method for working at heights utilising ropes, climbing harnesses and other materials to enable access to working locations in difficult and inaccessible situations. It is a method of

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Our industry is ever changing and the increase in size, height, length and weight of the new foundations and turbines have created a need for new lifting equipment able to handle these loads. PES is pleased to bring you an innovative solution from GustoMSC, who will be able to assure deliveries and installations to the new mega sites. Introduction Offshore wind turbines are predominantly installed in five steps: Tower in one single lift, nacelle in a single lift and then the three blades separately. Most modern, purpose built wind turbine installation vessels are capable of lifting the current 6-8 MW turbines, reaching the necessary height and have sufficient variable load and deck space to carry an economically efficient number of turbines for each round trip. However, over the last few years, the turbine installation market for the 6-8 MW range has been characterised by low installation volumes and vessel overcapacity. Adding the introduction of the new generation turbines with the challenge of installing higher and heavier wind turbine components, these are challenging times for installation contractors. GustoMSC has been cooperating closely with the offshore wind installation contractors and has provided integrated and efficient installation technology to face these challenges. Both floating and Jack-up technologies are

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The development of appropriate logistic concepts is a key factor for an economically successful offshore wind park. In the past the analysis and optimisation of these concepts have mostly focused on either the logistics for transport & installation (T&I) or operation and maintenance (O&M). Less attention has been paid to the important phase of commissioning. Yet it is this phase which is decisive for the rapid connection of the wind turbines and the feeding of their wind electricity into the grid. The commissioning process takes up much more time than the actual installation of the wind turbine. The various process workflows, the ships used, and the operating limits mean the installation and commissioning processes often diverge (Figure 3). A logistics concept must therefore optimize its resources paying due consideration to the weather risks in order to minimize this divergence. Methods used to analyse the weather risks In the COAST research project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the WaTSS – Weather Time Series Scheduling method – was developed at Fraunhofer IWES, together with partners from industry and implemented into the COAST – Comprehensive Offshore Analysis and Simulation Tool – software. The COAST software computes the weather risk of

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Testing has been the name of the game for a while now. In the long run research design and testing helps save time and keep costs down. PES finds out first-hand how this worked for Damen, who turned to Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) to test its pioneering Service Operations Vessel (SOV), together with the vessel’s Dynamic Positioning system and its walk-to-work telescopic gangway. The Damen SOV is purpose built for the transfer and accommodation of offshore personnel and the ground breaking design guarantees fast, safe and comfortable access to wind turbines. The first vessel of this type, the Bibby WaveMaster 1, is expected to be available from end-August 2017. Representing more than 4 years of Research and Development, the new SOV design underwent its initial seakeeping tests at MARIN’s Offshore Basin in Wageningen in the Netherlands to examine its DP capabilities during the turbine approach. Damen also asked MARIN to assess the power management system and the gangway through numerical simulations. The project resulted in an integrated HIL simulator, which has now been installed at Damen’s headquarters. Jorinus Kalis, Manager Development, R&D at Damen explains: ‘Given that this was a completely new design, we wanted to test the vessel itself, but also

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Bjond’s key word is innovation and their engineers are experts with a passion for complexity. Jo van Montfort, Sr Consultant, Director at Bjond tells PES about the short comings in the offshore wind industry, with regards to corrosion and how they want to change this. He says key factors include collaboration across the industry to collect the necessary data and a change in the testing requirements. It’s an interesting read with the potential for real savings. Let’s look at the challenges facing the offshore industry when it comes to protecting a steel structure in this type of environment. The first thing to be aware of is formulated perfectly by John Craven: ‘All my students know how to respond to the question ‘What happens when you use land-based technology in the ocean?’ They learn from day one to answer in unison: ‘You die’1. We as experts would add to the following: The annual global impact of corrosion is estimated at $2.2 trillion and represents about 3% of the worlds’ GDP. The WCO (World Corrosion Organisation) concludes that 25% to 30% of annual corrosion costs could be saved, if optimum corrosion management practices were employed and knowledge put in to practice. This is exactly where Bjond is

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