• Leader Associates

EU wind farms ‘failing to achieve improved performance’

Reactive operational strategies adopted by many wind asset owners are “failing to yield” better performance and returns across European wind portfolios, according to software provider Clir Renewables.

Combined, turbine misalignment, poor yaw control, and incorrect pitch settings can add up to the “significant detriment” of wind farm outputs, Clir stated.

According to the company often, the analysis required to discover these anomalies is conducted on an ad hoc basis or not completed at all.

Clir has advised that adopting more active approaches that include monitoring the effectiveness of existing turbine yaw and pitch settings, and subsequently adjusting, operators can see gains of up to 5% across a portfolio.

Clir chief executive Gareth Brown said: “In isolation, these adjustments may seem too small to make a fundamental difference to project performance. But while each represents a ‘marginal gain’, collectively we tend to see overall performance improvements of up to 5%.

“The wind industry’s relatively short maturation over the last 25 years or so, coupled with a move to merchant operations, means that we’re constantly learning how to extract better performance from our assets.

“But too often, current operations and maintenance strategies are reactive, and fail to realise the potential for performance gains from wind energy equipment.

According to Brown, as the industry evolves, these approaches to maintenance will “clearly have to change”, particularly as projects see the expiration of subsidies, push for lifetime extensions, or come out of manufacturer's warranty.

“We know that investors are starting to look more closely at their returns, which will materially affect their decisions on which projects to acquire or hold,” he added.

Sourced from reNEWS


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