Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

The offshore wind market in the U.S. is about to take off and there are enormous growth projections. For the installation of the first wave of U.S. wind parks starting in 2020, European built and operated installation jack-ups will be needed, because currently no U.S. built jack-ups have the capacity to install the turbines. Nor will this type of equipment be built in time in the U.S. PES takes a closer look at the options. There are plans to build installation jack-ups in the U.S., but it is likely that these will only kick-off after the first wind farms prove to be a success. Aside from this, the infrastructure of the U.S. ports is not suitable for these big vessels, there are bridges and hurricane breakers preventing the jack-up installation vessels to enter or leave the harbors. New hubs and ports will have to be developed before U.S. flagged installation jack-ups will become a practical tool for the installation of the parks. The problem with using European installation jack-ups, apart from the a fore mentioned infrastructural problems, is the Jones Act. The Jones Act requires vessels transporting merchandise from U.S. point to U.S. point to be U.S. manned, built, flagged and owned.

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Our renewable electricity energy needs are growing in a world that is constantly evolving. The market requires more renewable energy for less money. The reduction of government subsidies means that the industry needs to start looking for ways to increase its efficiency. More energy for less money There are different possibilities for lowering the levelized cost of energy, such as avoiding unexpected downtimes (reducing the operational costs), extending the lifetime of the infrastructure, and increasing the power output. By integrating digital technology into the intelligent gearboxes developed by ZF Wind Power, customers will be able to improve all three aspects. Avoiding unexpected gearbox downtime The cost of an unexpected gearbox failure can be significant, especially when cranes or vessels are needed at short notice. Additionally, when certain spare parts are not available at the right time, it can cause significant turbine downtime. Thanks to digital technology, every gearbox will leave ZF Wind Power’s factory with its own unique digital birth certificate. The certificate contains all the gearbox manufacturing information and can be accessed online by ZF’s and partnered service organizations. This way, ZF’s service team can calculate the consumed lifetime of each bearing and gear pair within a gearbox, combining the actual measured loads with knowledge about

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As recent zero-subsidy projects show, the cost of wind energy is decreasing at an impressive rate. Nonetheless, production and maintenance costs remain high compared with rival sectors. One key route to decreasing overheads is the effective use of performance data. In many similar industries, data is used to streamline maintenance systems and reduce O&M costs through real-time management and predictive systems. However, in the wind industry turbine performance data is often unavailable, meaning owners and operators are not free to make use of data-based efficiency increases. By far the largest contributor to OPEX costs in the wind industry is O&M-related expenditure, the majority of which is caused by unplanned maintenance (see Figure 1). Reducing the expenses that result from unplanned maintenance will be key to further reducing the overall levelized cost of energy (LCoE). Within the industry, there is growing acceptance that the best way to reduce unplanned maintenance is to switch from a reactive approach to a more predictive regime, using data-based approaches to better anticipate and respond to maintenance issues. Many, if not all, owners and operators are already investing in predictive maintenance solutions, such as improved SCADA data analytics, condition monitoring systems (CMS), and oil monitoring. Such techniques require

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While more than seven decades have now passed since the end of WWII, the remnants still remain in the North Sea today. It is common practice for Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) to be found during offshore projects, with potential to pose a threat to offshore work and vessels, particularly when laying pipelines and cables in the seabed. PES wanted to find out more about this new improved technology, which will save time and therefore money. Plus it will also be safer for the operators, in what can be a dangerous occupation. Clearance campaigns commenced after the war, which ended 73 years ago, but thousands of unexploded ordnances are still present. As the number of offshore marine projects continues to increase, demand for an efficient, cost-effective and risk-based approach for the mitigation of UXO is a priority for offshore teams. Survey work is an essential first step in UXO clearance, with survey specialists providing the tools to locate, identify and manage potential UXO. Now in its ninth decade and with more than 50 years’ subsea-specific experience, N-Sea offers a wide range of assurance and maintenance services to the oil and gas, renewable, and civil contracting industries, having truly evolved into a leading integrated subsea

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With the continuous progression of the offshore wind industry we find more operators than ever searching for effective and efficient solutions to their operations. In the wind energy sector, modular units can be placed on a huge variety of vessels and barges to accommodate the manpower required during the commissioning phase of the projects. Accommodation modules are designed to interface with the control rooms, which enables great flexibility when it comes to last minute changes in projects and the varying requirements for staff. They host a range of benefits, as shown below. Fast and efficient With the palpable shift towards sustainable/renewable energy across the global industry, more organisations are opting for swift modifications on all types of fixed installations in order to keep-pace with the ongoing demand. In previous years, many of these organisations believed to have ample time to prepare for the next energy revolution, with long-term, extensive and costly new builds for their projects. However, we now find that in order to keep up, rapid conversions of existing vessel types, with the support of modular units is proving to be the way forward. As we know, a new build can be very expensive, with a long lead time to manufacture. When

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Our climate is changing. Extreme weather events will become the new standard, temperatures are rising around the globe. Only a few degrees more already means immense consequences for ecosystems, economic sectors and human health across Europe and worldwide. The WWF analyzed that climate change causes around half of all animal and plant species, in the world’s most important natural regions, to be threatened in the medium term. The European Environmental Agency gets to the heart of the matter: ‘Essential for the generation of industrial, commercial and social wealth, energy also provides personal comfort and mobility. But its production and consumption place considerable pressures on the environment: greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, land use, waste generation and oil spills. These pressures contribute to climate change, damage natural ecosystems and the man-made environment, and have adverse effects on human health.’ Much of the observed and predicted changes can be directly linked to human greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases exert a significant influence on global warming. An actively promoted development of renewable energy is one of the main means to curb this dramatic change. Green electricity only works together ‘The negative impacts of climate change can only be limited by the reduction of emissions –

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The rapid market expansion, in offshore generated wind power, requires a new approach towards offshore access for maintenance of wind generators. Two experts in access systems, Willem Prins and Marco Klitsie, developed a totally new and patented access method for which solid investors and building partners have already been found. The EAGLE-ACCESS SYSTEM will be ready for trials in early 2019 and so PES wanted to know more… Background Looking back on 15 years of experience in consultancy and the design and development of access systems for offshore platforms for several clients in the market, we conclude the present technology is far from mature. There are still more technical steps to be made, especially in the offshore wind market. A short history By the end of the 20th century the offshore oil and gas industry felt the need for cheaper access for personnel to platforms, replacing the expensive use of helicopters, which was also driven by the trend towards smaller and unmanned platforms. In 2003 the first proposals for access from PSV’s to platforms came to light and two competing access systems were introduced to the market: OAS by Offshore Solutions and Ampelmann. Both systems accommodated the access for personnel from DPII supply vessels to

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High-quality wind resource data is essential for investors and developers looking to guarantee the accuracy of financial modelling – all the more so as the decline in subsidy tariffs, both in the UK and further afield, leave little margin for error. When it comes to guaranteeing the accuracy of this data, industry conversations have typically focused on whether meteorological (met) masts or remote sensing devices will win out as the technology of choice for undertaking wind resource assessment campaigns. But, while each possesses certain strengths and weaknesses, developers should be conscious of a number of other site and project considerations during early-stage site prospecting that, if addressed early on, can reduce costs and maximise a project’s financial returns over its lifetime. Unfortunately, all too often investors make the decision to use either a met mast or remote sensing unit, whether LiDAR (light detection and ranging) or SoDAR (sonic detection and ranging) in isolation, with little understanding of the sites where this equipment will be deployed. This means that a range of factors, particularly around site conditions, planning issues and the unique circumstances of a specific project are overlooked. In turn, this will often result in increased and unnecessary costs, as well

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The battery market is seeing unprecedented interest and investment. This comes from existing battery manufacturers, vehicle makers, chemical companies, energy suppliers and others, with many businesses moving outside their traditional comfort zones. However, amid all the positive announcements, return on investment has so far been slight. Companies, whether new entrants or existing businesses, face significant risks if they are to successfully carve out market positions. While these risks vary depending on the companies’ positions in the value chain, victorious players will need to manage their way through complex ecosystems, pick the right technologies to back, secure necessary knowledge and intellectual property, and ensure that they can operate at scale in their chosen areas. This must all be done within a traditionally conservative and risk-averse industry. How can this be achieved? One market, many applications When creating a battery strategy, the first point that is vital to understand is that the market is made up of multiple applications, each with different and very specific needs. Factors impacting technology suitability for each application include power density, capacity, cycle lifetime, energy density, capital cost, charging time, reliability and safety. That means, in our view, that no single technology is likely to ultimately dominate the industry

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The price per megawatt used to be the sole decision-making criteria in sustainable energy sources. Now the tide is beginning to turn – the whole energy value chain needs to be taken into account when assessing feasibility. Power purchase agreements are on the rise. Most active are those energy intensive players who see sustainability and a low carbon footprint essential for their future business success. Many of them have an ambitious goal to use renewable energy sources only. You might argue that this is something that is reserved only to the big boys such as Google, Facebook and likes. But be assured, the rest of the business will follow these trailblazers. Call it good corporate citizenship, call it sound business sense. The fact remains the same; there is a growing demand for low carbon footprint energy solutions. For example, Facebook has signed a 294 MW wind power purchasing agreement with Vattenfall. The power for their data centres in the Nordics will come from the Norwegian Bjerkreim wind farm. ‘Bjerkreim wind farm is built on our rock foundations, which will help Facebook to reach their renewable energy goals,’ says Kari Tuominen, the business director for Peikko wind turbine foundations. Google is also a prime example. ‘The 148

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