Words: Thomas Arnold, Team Leader Measurements and Technical Testing for Wind Energy Turbines, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH
Treading a path to and from the filing cabinet is all part of the daily routine of many wind farm owners and operators. Many details of the condition of their wind farm can only be found there. Are there any defects or faults that need to be remedied? Are there any necessary repairs, servicing and maintenance activities? Standardisation and digitisation save time and reduce errors, particularly for large wind turbine portfolios.
Processing the vast number of documents created and managed during the operation of wind energy turbines can prove quite a challenge. Most licences, invoices, maintenance, repairs and test reports are sent out as hard copies by standard mail or are emailed as PDF files. As these formats all lack interfaces and export functions, the opportunities for processing them effectively and efficiently are very limited. Before experts can analyse the data in these documents, prioritise activities and initiate work to be performed on the turbine, they often have to laboriously export the documents to other EDP systems and convert them into other file formats e.g. Excel.
The information needed for operation is thus rarely centrally administered, but instead is spread across various file folders, email attachments, Excel spreadsheets and EDP systems. This has resulted in complex, carefully coordinated documentation processes to keep an eye on the plant’s current condition and any relevant deadlines and work that need to be performed.