O&M tools integrating accurate structural health in offshore energy
~4.7 M€ (4.709.368,75€)
Ceit (Ceit Technology Center)
Project Start Date
Project End Date
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 851207. The dissemination of results herein reflects only the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Offshore wind is a fast-growing renewable energy source that provides high power to the grid in a stable/predictable way and at very competitive costs.
Besides, EU is the world leader in the sector, with energy generation companies, EPCs (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), R&D organisations, maritime sector and original equipment manufacturers (wind turbines, electric equipment, etc) in the 1st positions of the ranking.
Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs are the main cost driver in offshore energy due to the difficult accessibility to the wind-turbines, but also due to the environmental conditions.
EU wind energy by 2020
wind energy by 2030
O&M costs can account for up to 30% of the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) for an offshore wind farm (WF). Deployment in deeper waters and farther from shore will increase O&M prices. Indeed, with an additional capacity of 1.558 MW in 2016, 338 new offshore wind turbines installed2, and a target share of the EU wind energy of 14% by 2020 and of 30% by 2030, the identification of structural risks and mitigation actions becomes a high priority for supplying electricity at cost- effective levels.
Smart O&M support systems could help attain the expected fall from the current LCoE of 11 €Cents/kWh to an LCoE of between 5.67 and 10.07 €Cents/kWh by 2035 of offshore wind energy thanks to the use of advanced sensing & monitoring systems, thus ensuring offshore wind approach to non-renewable levels.
Corrosion is the main root cause for offshore structures failure, and it has the lowest probability of detection and the biggest severity in the event of failure. Improper corrosion protection follow-up and inadequate management can result in structures degradation, e.g., offshore wind turbine support structures. Cost of repairing the corrosion protection system can be much higher than the initial installation cost of the corrosion protection system by itself.
Therefore, initial corrosion protection solutions are of crucial relevance for offshore renewable energy system components such as: wind turbine towers, wind turbine splash-zone, wind turbine transition piece, wind turbine sub-structure (fixed or floating platforms). Although initial corrosion protection solutions would have been installed on all these parts, however the all can still be harshly damaged by the corrosive environmental offshore conditions.
The main barrier with this regard is not only related to the corrosion protection solutions themselves but also related to the corrosion degradation level estimation and failure prediction technologies required.
WATEREYE FOCUSES ON SOLVING CURRENT STRUCTURAL HEALTH LIMITATIONS IN OFFSHORE WIND O&M
The limitations of the offshore wind O&M efficiency have motivated the conception of WATEREYE as the solution for enabling smart wind farm O&M decisions with optimal structural health monitoring and control integration. This will solve one of the critical non-addressed problems in offshore wind operation.
WATEREYE’s integral solution will allow Wind Farm Operators (WFOs) to accurately predict the need for future operation & maintenance to reduce O&M costs and to increase the offshore wind annual energy production thanks to an accurate structural health monitoring and control of the offshore Wind Farms.