Wind turbine reliability : understanding and minimizing wind turbine operation and maintenance costs.

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Wind turbine system reliability is a critical factor in the success of a wind energy project. Poor reliability directly affects both the project's revenue stream through increased operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and reduced availability to generate power due to turbine downtime. Indirectly, the acceptance of wind-generated power by the financial and developer communities as a viable enterprise is influenced by the risk associated with the capital equipment reliability; increased risk, or at least the perception of increased risk, is generally accompanied by increased financing fees or interest rates. Cost of energy (COE) is a key project evaluation metric, both ... continued below

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15 p.

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Creator: Unknown. November 1, 2004.

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Description

Wind turbine system reliability is a critical factor in the success of a wind energy project. Poor reliability directly affects both the project's revenue stream through increased operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and reduced availability to generate power due to turbine downtime. Indirectly, the acceptance of wind-generated power by the financial and developer communities as a viable enterprise is influenced by the risk associated with the capital equipment reliability; increased risk, or at least the perception of increased risk, is generally accompanied by increased financing fees or interest rates. Cost of energy (COE) is a key project evaluation metric, both in commercial applications and in the U.S. federal wind energy program. To reflect this commercial reality, the wind energy research community has adopted COE as a decision-making and technology evaluation metric. The COE metric accounts for the effects of reliability through levelized replacement cost and unscheduled maintenance cost parameters. However, unlike the other cost contributors, such as initial capital investment and scheduled maintenance and operating expenses, costs associated with component failures are necessarily speculative. They are based on assumptions about the reliability of components that in many cases have not been operated for a complete life cycle. Due to the logistical and practical difficulty of replacing major components in a wind turbine, unanticipated failures (especially serial failures) can have a large impact on the economics of a project. The uncertainty associated with long-term component reliability has direct bearing on the confidence level associated with COE projections. In addition, wind turbine technology is evolving. New materials and designs are being incorporated in contemporary wind turbines with the ultimate goal of reducing weight, controlling loads, and improving energy capture. While the goal of these innovations is reduction in the COE, there is a potential impact on reliability whenever new technologies are introduced. While some of these innovations may ultimately improve reliability, in the short term, the technology risks and the perception of risk will increase. The COE metric used by researchers to evaluate technologies does not address this issue. This paper outlines the issues relevant to wind turbine reliability for wind turbine power generation projects. The first sections describe the current state of the industry, identify the cost elements associated with wind farm O&M and availability and discuss the causes of uncertainty in estimating wind turbine component reliability. The latter sections discuss the means for reducing O&M costs and propose O&M related research and development efforts that could be pursued by the wind energy research community to reduce COE.

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15 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2004-5924
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/975254 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 975254
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc930422

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • November 1, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • March 20, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

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Wind turbine reliability : understanding and minimizing wind turbine operation and maintenance costs., report, November 1, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930422/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.