ISSUES/LOCATIONS

Documents Home
View PDF, DOC, PPT, and XLS files on line
RSS

Add NWW documents to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

News Watch

Selected Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups

Wind Energy Operations & Maintenance  

Author:  | Economics, Technology

2010 report:

  • O&M costs for wind power are double or triple the figures originally projected; they are particularly high in the U.S.
  • There’s a −21% change in wind farm return on investment. This underperformance of wind assets is most likely attributable to both differences in power production and O&M costs over original estimates.
  • $0.027/kWh, or €0.019/kWh, is the average values of O&M costs obtained from report surveys. This compares to early estimates by one of the world’s dominant turbine suppliers of $0.005/kWh.
  • A significant amount of R&D is currently going into gearbox reliability. Many gearboxes, designed for a 20-year life, are failing after 6 to 8 years of operation.
  • Data suggests that O&M challenges for wind turbines peaked in 2007/2008.
  • At 2 cents/kWh, O&M costs are roughly equal to the federal production tax credit offered in the U.S. as a subsidy to make wind energy competitive.

2012 report:

  • Engineers are still scratching their heads when it comes to gearboxes. Even though gearboxes are certified to operate for 20 years, none of them on today’s market lasts more than 8 years.
  • 66% – the percentage of offshore O+M costs that are caused by unscheduled corrective maintenance
  • 2-6 times higher – offshore wind turbines O+M costs compared with on-shore
  • 10% – the loss in revenue due to the effect of spattered debris accumulation on the blade’s leading edge
  • €100,000 to €300,000 per year – the costs of keeping offshore turbines online vs. an allocation of €45,000 per turbine for onshore wind

2017 report:

As part of our research into failure rates, costs and downtime on US Wind Farms, we have built a model which estimates lifetime costs of scheduled maintenance for a wind farm in the US. The input data used to build this data pack is a 210MW wind farm made up of 105 2MW turbines of 80 metres in height. The tables below show component risk factors, periodic maintenance costs, failure scenarios and supply chain factors [all costs USD]. CMS [complete monitoring system] options play an increasingly important role in both mean time to repair and the time between failures. As a result they have a large impact on costs. These are also taken into account. Finally the data pack provides major component lifetime O&M cost for the wind farm.

Scheduled maintenance cost—
Frequency per year: 2
Cost per action per turbine: $6,000
Reduced cost: $5,100
Lifetime cost per farm: $21,420,000

Component risk factors—

Components Replacement cost Failure rate (%), failures per 100 parts by year 20 Total failures in 20 years (total farm) Average downtime per failure, days Average downtime losses per faiure Total downtime losses for the rest of the Labor cost per failure Crane cost per failure
Gearbox $220,000 8 8.4 5.2 $5,241.6 $44,029 $20,000 $150,000
Blades $120,000 8 25.2 1.8 $1,814.4 $45,723 $25,000 $45,000
Generator $130,000 10 10.5 4.2 $4,233.6 $44,453 $7,000 $61,000

Supply chain risk factors—

  Spare in stock / No spare Distance to manufacturing facility (if no spare available)
Available / No spare Lead time, days Close / Medium / Remote Time for transportation, days
Gearbox No spare 70 Remote 15
Blades No spare 105 Remote 15
Generator No spare 70 Remote 15

CMS factors (per turbine)—

  Capital Sensor Cost (including installation) per turbine Annual cost (O&M) per turbine Detectability Efficiency
Monitoring type Cost Reduced cost (economies of scale) Fixed cost Reduced cost (economies of scale)
Gearbox Oil+vibration+temperature $20,000 $18,000 $1,000 $850 58 59
Vibration+temperature $10,000 $9,000 41 49
Temperature 0 0 24 42
Blades Optical $15,500 $13,950 35 40
Generator Temperature 0 0 40

 

  Preventive Predictive

Lifetime maintenance cost for the farm Lifetime maintenance cost assuming secondary damage Lifetime maintenance and CMS operation cost for the farm Monitoring type
Gearbox $3,420,829 $3,762,912 $3,910,603 Oil+vibration+temperature
$3,444,192 Vibration+temperature
$2,915,926 Temperature
Blades $5,241,963 $5,504,061 $5,930,817 Optical
Generator $2,224,253 $2,379,950 $1,909,027 Temperature

We have also looked at failure rates across different turbine technology types and designs. The graph below shows major component failure rates for all types of turbines in our dataset during the first ten years of operations. Different failure modes have different repair times, ultimately leading to different costs.

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate

Share:

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share

CONTACT DONATE PRIVACY ABOUT SEARCH
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Share

Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter