Reduction of electricity generation costs using historical and current operating and service data of onshore wind turbines
The research project ReStroK deals with the question of how the potential of existing data sets of onshore wind energy plants can be used to reduce the electricity production costs of the plants by combining and analysing the data sets across plants. This increases the economic efficiency and thus also the competitiveness of the wind turbines compared to other energy production methods. The project results primarily enable SMEs from the wind industry to increase efficiency in the areas of maintenance and operation management.
Wind energy plays a major role in achieving a reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy supply for Germany. However, new legal regulations lead to conditions that aggravate the market and make it imperative to reduce operating costs. Reasons for the low competitiveness compared to other energy production methods are the lower yields compared to planning (e.g. due to overly optimistic estimation of the wind potential) together with the operating costs which tend to be underestimated and the lower subsidies for wind turbines. The effect of rising operating costs with the aging of the turbines has an increasing effect.
The potential of existing data for the optimisation of operational management and maintenance is currently hardly exploited, although the possibilities of digitisation and networking offer far-reaching possibilities for increasing the energy yield and thus the economic efficiency of wind turbines. The analysis of historical maintenance data and the corresponding measures taken to restore the target condition as well as the adjustment of individual turbines in the WTG network on the basis of performance characteristics enable an increase in the technical availability and thus the energy yield. At the same time, operating costs are reduced by minimizing maintenance costs. However, operators and service providers currently lack instruments for aggregating data from different sources. Especially in SMEs, the relevant data is often stored in different, incompatible file formats by different actors in the value chain and evaluated independently of each other. For SMEs, the problem is that data aggregation is initially associated with high costs and has no direct benefit. Only when data are sensibly combined and analysed does the benefit of combining different data become visible. This is where the ReStroK research project comes in.
The objective of the ReStroK research project is to reduce electricity generation costs by using historical and current operating and service data of onshore wind turbines. The aim is to harness the technical and economic potential of networked wind turbines. On the basis of historical and current operating data (SCADA and CSM), historical service reports, the knowledge of the service technicians and formal plant configurations and master data of the considered wind turbines, concrete recommendations for action for wind turbine operators, service technicians and operators are to be derived.
All recommendations for action are aimed at reducing operating costs and increasing availability in order to create economic added value. In order to make this added value usable in practice, three concrete use cases are being developed. Based on the results of evaluation strategies that are developed and applied, maintenance activities are initiated and coordinated (Use-Case I), the remaining service life of individual turbines is calculated (Use-Case II) and the turbine behaviour in the wind farm network is investigated (Use-Case III). The results of the use cases will be transferred into a prototype implementation with the help of an app-based software demonstrator and a simulation game for the qualification of service technicians and operators. The project results primarily enable SMEs from the wind industry to increase efficiency in the areas of maintenance and operations management.
UdZ-Article: "ReStroK: How Prescriptive Maintenance Can Reduce Operating & Maintenance Costs of Onshore Wind Turbines"