Cost benefit of implementing advanced monitoring and predictive maintenance strategies for offshore wind farms

Turnbull, Alan and Carroll, James (2021) Cost benefit of implementing advanced monitoring and predictive maintenance strategies for offshore wind farms. Energies, 14 (16). 4922. ISSN 1996-1073 (

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Advancements in wind turbine condition monitoring systems over the last decade have made it possible to optimise operational performance and reduce costs associated with component failure and other unplanned maintenance activities. While much research focuses on providing more automated and accurate fault diagnostics and prognostics in relation to predictive maintenance, efforts to quantify the impact of such strategies have to date been comparatively limited. Through time-based simulation of wind farm operation, this paper quantifies the cost benefits associated with predictive and condition-based maintenance strategies, taking into consideration both direct O costs and lost production. Predictive and condition-based strategies have been modelled by adjusting known component failure and repair rates associated with a more reactive approach to maintenance. Results indicate that up to 8% of direct O costs can be saved through early intervention along with up to 11% reduction in lost production, assuming 25% of major failures of the generator and gearbox can be diagnosed through advanced monitoring and repaired before major replacement is required. Condition-based approaches can offer further savings compared to predictive strategies by utilising more component life before replacement. However, if weighing up the risk between component failure and replacing a component too early, results suggest that it is more cost effective to intervene earlier if heavy lift vessels can be avoided, even if that means additional major repairs are required over the lifetime of the site.