Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

A wind Lidar is quite simply a remarkable piece of technology recently described by Avangrid as having ‘advanced the wind industry globally’. Generic Lidar benefits are summarised by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) as being ‘safer, cheaper, better, faster’ than traditional meteorological masts. An invisible, eye-safe beam of light interrogates the sky above at user defined heights and determines the characteristics of the wind in order to advise and improve wind and meteorological industry understanding around the world, onshore and offshore, on fixed and floating structures. Continuous Wave (CW) Lidars are able to achieve something unique in addition; this is due to their on-board ruggedized focussing system that allows for the following features: 1. All the laser power is focussed at each specific measurement distance ensuring very high sensitivity which in turn allows wind measurements to be rapidly integrated over short periods of times on moving platforms e.g. floating Lidar applications, or when the wind flow is changing rapidly, such as in complex flow, and equally over large areas when scanning the larger wind field, for wind turbine performance measurements and control. 2. In all applications the focussing of the laser also ensures maximum availability that is not subject to the range being interrogated i.e.

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Before considering the impact that condition monitoring systems (CMS) have on our industry, it is important to first establish what CMS entails and how it came to be such an established piece of hardware in the renewable energy sector. A condition monitoring system would normally comprise of a series of sensors strategically placed on fundamental components to sense the state of this component relative to a known benchmark or healthy state. These sensors send signals to a piece of hardware or circuitry for processing and distribution. A condition monitoring system can be described as analogous to the human nervous system. Our nerves detect when something is not normal, normally through the perception of pain and the nervous system relays this message to the brain. The brain then decides on the best approach to protecting the body from this source of pain. In this same way, our condition monitoring sensors, based on some pre-programmed parameters on acceptable, detects when something moves away from this, sends a signal to a motherboard which will make a decision on how to protect a component, normally via raising an alarm, or in an extreme case, shut down of an electrical component. In the wind industry

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The electric energy industry has long been a conservative business taking very deliberate and measured steps in adopting new technologies. The renewable energy markets have forced companies to adapt to a fast-paced and rapid technology development cycle. The exponential growth and the demand for more power in a smaller envelope continue to drive rapid development. H-J has accepted these challenges and we are leading the renewable energy transformer industry with material and product development for both high and low voltage bushing applications. New, higher power solar inverters and wind turbines are being developed and released on a regular basis. This is driving a series of fundamental changes in transformers for renewable applications: • Solar inverter containers are open and exposed to elements, • Converting from dry-type to liquid-filled transformers, • Using high-temperature insulation systems and operating temperatures, and • Increasing current ratings and the high voltages to 35 kV, 200 kV BIL class and beyond. At H-J, we are dedicated to developing industry-leading bushing solutions by listening to our customers. Solutions for high voltage bushings include plug-in type technology for 38 kV class with 150 and 200 kV BIL options. Bushings are available with 600, 900 and 1200 A continuous current

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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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Can you name any other energy plant that you build, operate and try to understand if it’s performing efficiently, without actually measuring the fuel that you’re supplying? A wind farm is often exactly that. According to a recent ‘A Word About Wind’ study, almost 50% of those surveyed placed the validation of their production plant as the Number One priority for them – and currently almost half the interviewed were not confident in what’s actually happening with their asset at any given time. Until recent years the cost and complexity of measuring with met masts across a wind farm has made this measure of wind farm ‘fuel’, i.e. the wind, impractical. Nacelle or spinner anemometry is given the challenging job of trying to do its best whilst measuring wind behind, or close the rotor and the disturbed air flow. Add to that site complexity, wakes and turbine array effects… it has meant that estimations of wind speed based on rotor speed, power generation or forecasting are often the only choice. In contrast, Nacelle Based Lidars remotely and precisely measure the wind ahead of a turbine and provide meaningful validations of how wind turbines and wind farms are performing providing information for asset optimisation.

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The declaration of a climate emergency in Scotland, quickly followed by the rest of the UK, has been a boon for the renewable energy sector. After all, without clean power, heat and transport fuels, our ambitious net-zero targets are totally out of reach. But we know tackling the carbon emissions caused by our increasing demand for energy isn’t enough on its own. The world’s raw resources are limited. As demand for these resources increase, supplies deplete, driving up costs. It’s imperative that we change the way we use products and materials, and Scotland’s ambition for a circular economy shows we are committed to making that change. The circular economy represents an opportunity to move away from the linear approach of creating and delivering a product or service that is disposed of at the end of its life. This waste represents an enormous pool of resources that can be exploited with minimal impact on the environment. A circular economy focuses on responsible production: businesses which supply products and services get the maximum life and value from the resources used to make them, keeping these resources in a continuous loop of re-use. Doing that can take a number of forms: • from re-use and repair -where a product’s

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Delivering climate neutrality requires adequate new national energy strategies, policies, and regulatory frameworks to be in place due to the massive energy transformation needed. The European Union has been at the forefront of global climate action so far, and is the first major economy to put in place a legally binding framework to deliver on its pledges under the Paris Agreement and it is successfully transitioning towards a low emissions economy, targeting to reach climate neutrality by 2050. We have useful lessons that can be drawn from the renewables energy industry, showing what can be achieved when there is a joint commitment by governments, energy companies and regulators. Denmark’s energy transition experience can teach very valuable lessons. The transition in Denmark started more or less 50 years ago, when the oil crisis rocked the world in the 1970s and Danish industries had to shut down; at that time almost 90% of the energy was coming from imported oil. From the oil crisis of the 70s, via the first offshore wind farm in 1991, today 44% of electricity in Denmark is supplied by wind and solar power. So far from the 90s their carbon emissions dropped by 38%, while its GDP more than doubled.

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How lessons from the oil and gas industry can support the floating offshore wind (FLOW) sector’s sustainable development Floating offshore wind has the potential to substantially increase access to an unlimited energy resource in deeper waters, and can play a crucial role in driving the world’s transition to clean energy. This paper examines the importance of adopting proven approaches from the offshore hydrocarbon sector to realise floating offshore wind’s successful commercialisation, drawing on comparisons between the sector’s current use of asset monitoring systems in pilot projects and the potential of the technology’s full-scale application. Going beyond model verification, it analyses how the technology can secure platforms throughout their entire lifecycles; mitigating risk to stakeholders, supporting array upscaling, and delivering the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) benefits of digitalisation. As part of the worldwide aim for net-zero, or carbon neutrality, European leaders have committed to reaching a 32% renewables grid contribution by 2030 – up from 17.5% in 2017. Recognising the limitations of fixed bottom offshore wind, floating offshore wind (FLOW) is increasingly viewed as an integral part of this initiative. With consistent high-velocity winds, operating in deep waters has the potential to uplift FLOW’s capacity factor when compared with its fixed

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