Lifetime prediction

Complete equipment condition monitoring and lifetime prediction of offshore wind turbines with the example of FINO3 (MonitorOWEA)

University of Applied Sciences Kiel - Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Shipbuilding and Maritime Engineering
Prof. Benedict Boesche

A reliable prediction of the lifetime of offshore wind turbines (OWT) is hardly possible even today. In the future, however, this will be a real problem for operators and manufacturers when deciding on the renewal of operating licenses.

Based on FINO3, a validated prediction model for lifetime prediction will be developed. This model will later be adaptable to any type of OWT based on monopiles, which will provide measurements of wave height and wind speed with minimal additional measurement points.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding sub-project 0325915D with funds from the federal budget amounting to EUR 372,897.00. The grant applies to the period from 01.12.2015 to 31.07.2019.

Activities and goals

Positions and quantities of sensors in vibration measurement system of FINO3
Positions and quantities of sensors in vibration measurement system of FINO3

For this purpose, the FINO3 is equipped with numerous sensors, which capture additional physical quantities to develop and validate the prognosis model. The simulation of the structural behavior of FINO3 forms the basis of the prognosis model; the results are compared to measurements. The prognosis model itself will use measured data and simulation results as input, which allows a reliable statement on the lifetime.

The prognosis model will be transferable to any type of OWT and thus enables planning cost-intensive maintenance and inspections optimally. With knowledge of the remaining service life, operators of OWT can also decide at an early stage if the extension of operating licenses might be profitable. Reliable measurements and evidence support the decision. This increases the profitability of OWT as a whole.

The project team has already carried out preliminary work on durability predictions for monopiles and gained valuable experience in working under offshore conditions in general and specifically on FINO3. Potential risks and difficulties are known and can often be circumvented or minimized through careful preparation. Overall, the prospects for success of this project are considered very high.