20-year life extension for wind turbines

New research shows that most wind turbines can extend operation beyond their design life of 20 years.

8.2 Consulting made the discovery after investigating the lifetime extension of more than 300 onshore and offshore wind turbines.

Philipp Stukenbrock, head of sales and marketing at 8.2 Consulting, said: “Rising cost pressure and stricter statutory regulations make the repowering of wind turbines increasingly harder. Operators have to consider very carefully how they can maximise their energy output and reduce operating costs.”

He explained that lifetime extension can be a solution, based on a technical verification combined with an adapted O&M concept for aging wind turbines.

To verify the overall residual working life of components, 8.2 Consulting’s engineers use ADCoS aeroelastic simulation software, with which it is possible to model each individual turbine.

Afterwards, the model is exposed to the site-specific loads that result from the wind conditions in order to calculate the fatigue load spectra.

From this it is possible to derive the damage equivalent loads and calculate the resulting overall lifetime.

The company will be presenting its findings at the WindEurope Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam from 28-30 November.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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