Wind turbine lifetime extension decision-making based on structural health monitoring

Rubert, T. and Zorzi, G. and Fusiek, G. and Niewczas, P. and McMillan, D. and McAlorum, J. and Perry, M. (2019) Wind turbine lifetime extension decision-making based on structural health monitoring. Renewable Energy, 143. pp. 611-621. ISSN 0960-1481

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    In this work, structural health monitoring data is applied to underpin a long-term wind farm lifetime extension strategy. Based on the outcome of the technical analysis, the case for an extended lifetime of 15 years is argued. Having established the lifetime extension strategy, the single wind turbine investigated within a wind farm is subjected to a bespoke economic lifetime extension case study. In this case study, the local wind resource is taken into consideration, paired with central, optimistic, and pessimistic operational cost assumptions. Besides a deterministic approach, a stochastic analysis is carried out based on Monte Carlo simulations of selected scenarios. Findings reveal the economic potential to operate profitably in a subsidy-free environment with a P90 levelised cost of energy of £25.02 if no component replacement is required within the nacelle and £42.53 for a complete replacement of blades, generator, and gearbox.