- Keywords: Energy
- Wind turbine lifetime extension is a vital step for the global renewable energy market to maximise efficiency and reduce operation and maintenance costs of aging wind farms
- The need to extend lifetime of existing turbines is increasing as overall fleet age increases and operation strategies evolve
DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts, has been chosen by Gamesa, to certify its wind turbine lifetime extension programme for the design of its G47 wind turbine, extending the lifetime to up to 30 years. The turbine lifetime extension programme aims to maximise the profitability of ageing wind farms by reducing the lifecycle-based costs of energy of existing turbines and keeping them operational for a longer period of time.
Although a lot of wind farms are still less than 20 years old, many owners anticipate that their assets will be affected by rising operation and maintenance costs. While existing turbines were certified by the standards in force at the time they were designed, greater technical knowledge and practical experience have led to more accurate models and new design standards. Upgrading the turbines to extend their design lifetime requires an in-depth understanding of all disciplines involved, in order to ensure a safe operation of the turbines after they have exceeded their original design lifetime.
Sergio Vélez, Director of Gamesa’s Life Extension programme, commented: “Extending wind turbine operation beyond the original design life without additional risks for health, safety, environment and grid integration, is of huge benefit to the renewable energy industry. DNV GL’s certification supports our efforts in maximising the lifetime of our turbines and optimise its continuous operation.” Andreas Schroeter, Executive Vice President-Renewables Certification of DNV GL added: “Wind turbine lifetime extension is a vital step for the global renewable energy market to maximise efficiency and reducing costs. One of the largest benefits of lifetime extensions for owners and operators is driving down the lifecycle-based costs of energy.”
Many wind farm owners in Europe and the US are starting to consider operational strategies for turbines approaching the later stages of their design life. This provides them with the option to either replace their turbines or seek to extend their operational lives. In order to find suitable solutions from a technical point of view, DNV GL has published a guideline on the continued operation of wind turbines. This guideline has been the basis for the lifetime extension programme of Gamesa’s G47 wind turbine from a technical point of view.