Economic analysis of condition monitoring systems for offshore wind turbine sub-systems


The utilization of condition monitoring systems on offshore wind turbines has increased dramatically in recent times. But, their use is mostly restricted to vibration based monitoring systems for the gearbox, generator and drive train. A survey of commercially available condition monitoring systems and their associated prices has been completed for the blades, drive train, tower and foundation. This paper considers what value can be obtained from integrating these additional systems into the maintenance set up. This is often achieved by running simulations on an operations and maintenance model for a wind farm over a twenty year life cycle. The model uses Hidden Markov Models to represent each the actual system state and the observed condition monitoring state. The CM systems are modelled to include reduced failure varieties, false alarms, detection rates and six month failure warnings. The prices for system failures are derived, as are doable reductions in costs thanks to early detection. The detection capabilities of the CM systems are investigated and the results on operational prices are examined. Likewise, the amount of failures detected half-dozen months before by the CM systems is changed and the prices reported.

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