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Positive Conclusion: New Maintenance Concept For Offshore Wind Farm Significantly Reduces Downtimes

Bremen, Germany - Comprehensive and thorough maintenance is essential for the smooth operation of offshore wind farms, but at the same time the work often causes interruptions in turbine operation.

Deutsche Windtechnik has changed the maintenance concept for the Nordergründe offshore wind farm in 2021. The annual balance sheet now shows that the only independent full-service provider active in offshore wind energy was able to reduce maintenance-related downtimes by 28.5 percent compared to the previous year by realigning the maintenance campaign.

Bundling work with multi-competent team unlocks synergies

In 2020, maintenance of the 18 Senvion 6.2M 126 turbines at the Nordergründe offshore wind farm was still carried out separately from other maintenance work. With the change of concept in 2021, all the specialised tasks at the offshore wind farm were then bundled in one maintenance campaign and, in addition, efficiency was significantly increased with a multi-competent team for troubleshooting tasks.

The central element of the new maintenance strategy was the deployment of two specialized service teams in parallel for the first time as part of the regular annual maintenance campaign: While one team with expertise in turbine maintenance was doing this job, the second team with specialists for the balance of plants worked simultaneously on the transition piece and the foundation. According to Deutsche Windtechnik, this simultaneous work not only reduced the downtime of the turbines, but also, for example, halved the number of transfers from the Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) to the boat landing from 288 to 144 throughout the wind farm.

Mixed competence teams enable flexible troubleshooting

In addition, a further service team was stationed throughout the wind farm to deal with any troubleshooting tasks that arose. This "mixed" team consisted of three technicians, each with a different competence profile, so that errors in various components of the wind turbines, transition pieces or the transformer station could be corrected quickly and flexibly, thus opening up further synergies.

Synergies are also used in other OWPs

" The Nordergründe offshore wind farm clearly demonstrates the advantages for the operator by planning maintenance campaigns from a single source", Matthias Brandt, CEO of Deutsche Windtechnik, sums up. "Today, there is an increasing trend towards maintenance and service operations that are organised in a task-specific manner that optimises logistics and personnel to take advantage of time and cost synergies." According to Deutsche Windtechnik, the DanTysk and Sandbank offshore wind farms are another example of this development. Starting with the maintenance and repair of the 152 turbines, through the maintenance of the transition pieces, lifts and cranes, to inspections, Deutsche Windtechnik is responsible for a large part of the service work that arises at these two offshore wind farms.

Source: IWR Online, 17 May 2022