Economic Aspects of Prognostics and Health Management Systems in the Wind Industry

Christian T. Geiss
Submission Type: 
Full Paper
phmce_14_034.pdf932.8 KBJune 9, 2014 - 5:54am

Since Wind Turbines are one of the most dynamically stressed structures, all parts should be subjected to Prognostics and Health Management System. This is especially true for the supporting structure since it is exposed to high fatigue loads. The current technical trend in the O&M business is to improve the life-time of these supporting structures. In particular, when considering the supporting structure of a wind turbine from a civil engineering perspective; a long term approach is most beneficial in financial, ecological and social aspects. To meet the challenge of managing the life-time of wind turbine supporting structures efficiently, it is necessary to develop technical concepts assessing the consumed life-time of a wind turbine. Future PHM systems of wind turbines must include this function.
The global O&M market in the wind energy industry grew in the period from 2005 to 2011 at a rate of around 18 per cent, annually. The main growth driver is the aging overall turbine park. Especially in the European onshore wind market there will be a profit migration of the O&M business at the expense of new construction until 2020. Until the year 2020, three quarters of the total profit in the wind energy industry will be occupied by O&M services (Oliver Wymann, 2011).
This paper discusses the special economic aspects of Prognostics and Health Management Systems focusing on a remaining lifetime prediction as a basic maintenance system in application within the wind industry. Besides studies of the future O&M market development, concepts to lower the levelized cost of energy through PHM from a macroeconomic perspective will also be discussed.

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Submission Keywords: 
Levelized Cost of Energy
Wind O&M market
Lifetime management
return on investment analysis.
Submission Topic Areas: 
Economics and cost-benefit analysis
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