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Wind Turbine Optimisation

Realise Energy Services are wind energy specialists dedicated to delivering a comprehensive range of high-quality wind turbine operation and maintenance services and associated products and technologies to optimise the performance, availability and ongoing service and maintenance of our customers wind turbines.

Many turbines Realise Energy Services visit are initially found to be operating below their optimal efficiency. This can be due to a variety of issues from site specific conditions, turbine equipment condition, parameter and control settings to blade pitch and electrical equipment design.

This means lack of availability and poor performance causing loss of production and reduced income for the customer.

Realise Energy Services now offer a range of bespoke turbine services which are designed to identify and then rectify performance issues. In some instances, improvements have been found to produce between 5% and 15% increased output dependant on the original condition of the turbine.

At Realise Energy Services, we have been putting significant time and effort into developing a comprehensive data analysis process which enables us to better monitor and evaluate turbine efficiency and availability.

Our system downloads and stores the data produced by turbines on a secure server. Our engineers are then able to analyse this data utilising various programs, producing graphical and numerical comparisons across the fleet of turbines which we operate.

The most basic form of data analysis which we carry out is evaluation of individual turbine performance. When plotted against the manufacturers’ published power curve, our engineers are able to determine whether your turbines are performing as they were designed, or whether there are any adjustments that can be made to improve generation or efficiency. Manufacturers’ power curves are generated in controlled ‘ideal’ conditions and it is not always advantageous or possible to set up a turbine to meet its manufacturers power curve in the real world. Often it is necessary to adjust a turbine to perform just above or below the manufacturers’ power curve due to site specific conditions. For example, this may help to reduce downtime due to overspeed faults on turbulent sites. Our engineers are trained to analyse power curves and make site specific adjustments to ensure that turbine performance and availability is optimal for your site.

Realise Energy Services also carry out recurring fault and error analysis. This involves processing the data in turbine error logs to pick out any recurring faults which may be easily prevented from happening again. This also helps to carry out preventative maintenance as often a component close to failure will increase the frequency of certain faults. Proactive replacement of components can reduce downtime as maintenance can be planned in advance and carried out more efficiently, often in conjunction with pre-arranged service works. Fault analysis can also be used to analyse the quality of the grid connection and incoming supply to the turbine. Often a weak grid can result in significant downtime and increased wear on turbine components. Sometimes it can be possible to adjust turbine parameters to allow for more variation in the grid however this can lead to further problems in the future, particularly on stall regulated machines. Realise Energy Services are able to liaise with the DNO on your behalf if required and assist in resolving grid quality issues that might affect turbine performance.

If you would like more information on our data analysis services, please get in touch.

Many of our customers only own one or two turbines. In this situation it is difficult for them to draw comparisons and evaluate how their turbine is performing in relation to similar machines. At Realise, we compare turbines across our whole fleet. This allows us to better understand how your turbine should be performing before highlighting and potentially rectifying any anomalies that we see. For more information on Condition monitoring solutions for your turbines, please contact Realise Energy Services.

There are two key factors affecting income – turbine Availability and Performance.

  1. Availability

This is the biggest reason for loss of income. Availability can be controllable (e.g. the turbine) and uncontrollable (e.g. grid, weather)

How can you maximise availability?

  • Planned and proactive maintenance through a comprehensive service and maintenance agreement
  • Efficiency improvements – turbine settings, electrical design, component upgrades
  • Better use and analysis of data to identify issues and solutions
  • Ensuring your turbine is set up correctly for your site conditions

 

  1. Performance

There are a range of common issues leading to generation losses which are generally due to either site specific conditions such as turbulence or operational issues such as:

  • Poor blade condition – pitting, insects, oil, dust, etc.
  • Misaligned blades
  • Incorrect blade pitch angle
  • Poorly calibrated anemometer / wind vane / yaw settings
  • Electrical losses in the tower – e.g. incorrect cable sizing
  • Electrical losses between the tower and G59 cabinet – e.g. meters too far away from generator
  • Cut in / Cut out parameters – turbine losing production due to incorrect settings

Solutions to issues

  • Preventative maintenance – e.g. blade cleaning and re-coating
  • Blade pitch adjustment and calibration
  • Anemometer and wind vane calibration
  • Installation of correct cables and components
  • Cable condition inspection
  • Moving meter positions
  • Changing parameters to suit site specifics
  • Upgrading controllers and software

Realise Energy Services can offer a range of services and new technology to improve availability.

In order to further improve proactive and preventative maintenance, additional sensors are becoming more common place in the industry.

  1. Vibration and Temperature

Advances in technology in recent years have allowed newer turbines to be manufactured with vibration and temperature sensors fitted to the majority of mechanical components within the nacelle. With many older turbines, it is now possible to retrofit similar additional sensors to components such as gearbox and generator bearings.

This allows for comprehensive analysis of vibration and temperature, potentially allowing failures to be detected early on, and before any potential knock-on effects. These additional sensors can be fitted permanently or temporarily dependant on cost and turbine condition.

  1. Noise

Realise Energy Services have a blade condition sensor which monitors turbine blades through acoustic recordings. These recordings are then analysed, and blade defects can be easily identified, allowing for repair work to be carried out before issues further develop.

Defects such as hairline cracks or pitting can be detected without the need for a costly visual inspection. If repaired, blade efficiency would be improved, resulting in increased turbine performance.

Read our Case Study






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