About a quarter of the cost of offshore wind energy comes from the operation and maintenance of wind farms. Operation and maintenance can be optimised due to the larger scale of the sector. This is an important focus for lowering the cost. Many large and small Dutch SME companies are, or want to be, involved in this field. Further, the Dutch knowledge institutes are involved in this field, have a lot of in-house knowledge. The availability of wind turbines can be further increased through effective maintenance, which will lead to higher production and a lower Cost of Energy.
The R&D Activities
- Develop O&M concept methodologies and test them in existing wind farms and the demonstration zone, the design of more stable O&M ships, hotel ships for accommodation, and optimisation of the maintenance strategy through improved knowledge of metocean conditions. The Human Factors and the relationship with Crew Performance and safety also play a role.
- Development of new transport and transfer systems, improving monitoring and survey technologies, and repair methods, as far as the proof-of-concept phase has already been achieved.
- Collect operational performance data for benchmarking. Modelling, measuring/monitoring and predicting the condition and the wear of components in order to carry out scheduled maintenance and avoid unplanned maintenance as much as possible (condition-based maintenance) and by refining the control strategy of the turbines’ production (under partial load) up to the time of (planned) maintenance.
- Developing and demonstrating automated systems for carrying out inspections and repairs by robotics and AI.
- Optimising the maintenance logistics.
- Organising O&M bases in Dutch ports, in consultation with item 4: research into artificial offshore production platforms, clustering of the maintenance base.