Impact of Wind Farm Control Technologies on Wind Turbine Reliability
Abstract: Cost efficient operation and maintenance strategies are crucial for reducing cost of wind energy. Since the regime change from feed-in tariffs to an auction-based bidding system for capacity in most European wind projects, levelized cost of energy is challenged constantly. Therefore, new technologies such as new controllers are developed to improve operation and to increase profit. Previous research studies demonstrated the advantage of increased power output of wake redirection control. However, understanding and quantifying the impact of wind farm control technologies on operation and maintenance strategies is inevitable to evaluate the economic feasibility of such new technologies. Thus, an event-based O&M simulation tool has been developed. Besides general modules, such as the wind turbine model, the weather forecasting model and a model for simulating corrective and planned maintenance, the developed tool also takes wake effects into account. This allows considering different power productions for each individual turbine and a failure rate distribution within the wind farm which is based on altering loads on the different components. Both aspects are driven by changes in operation when applying a new controller technology. Exemplarily, the economic feasibility of a closed-loop active wake steering control has been analysed. Main achievements of this study are the possibility to quantify the impact of the active wake steering control on O&M related KPIs. Results show that additional loads caused by applying yaw-misalignment and redirecting wake, lead to an increase in OPEX. However, the achieved energy production gain and thus related additional revenue exceeds additional cost in the case study. Nonetheless, the study reveals that the profitability of the controller is highly dependent on the electricity price which can be acquired during the wind farm’s lifetime.
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