Conference programme

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Delegates are invited to meet and discuss with the poster presenters during the poster presentation sessions between 10:30-11:30 and 16:00-17:00 on Thursday, 19 November 2015.

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Christian Jourdain Gamesa, Spain
Co-authors:
christian jourdain (1) F
(1) Gamesa, Sarriguren, Spain

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at EWEA 2015 and are published here unedited

Christian Jourdain has more than 8 years professional experience in the industry with several executive positions spanning from Operational to Sales & Marketing. He is currently the head of the Marketing & Communication for after sales market for all regions. He holds a MSc degree in civil engineering from ESTP university and an MBA from HEC Paris and ESADE Spain.


Poster

Poster Download poster (11.19 MB)

Abstract

Craneless Large Correctives Solutions

Introduction

Recent and future changes in incentive schemes in Europe are challenging wind turbines servicers to get O&M costs further down. As one of the major OPEX cost faced by asset owners are due to large corrective, component suppliers, turbine manufacturers and servicers have developed and proposed CMS solutions, new tools and working procedures to perform more and more repairs up towers. Still, some large components have to be repaired in plants, causing significant downtime and loss of revenue. In Europe, where wind farms are small and scattered, economy of scale is hard to achieve unless asset owners can find synergies across wind turbines technologies and brands.

Approach

aGamesa is a global manufacturer but also a service company maintaining Gamesa and non-Gamesa turbines for more than 20 years. From this perspective Gamesa faces the same challenges wind asset owners do and applies mainly the same set of solutions such as contracting Independent Service Providers (ISP) or other turnkey solution providers to cut down large corrective costs. One of the major remaining challenges lies in cranes’ availability and costs, either because towers are getting taller and components heavier, either because cranes are not a commodity product (islands, isolated area, USA, etc.). Although manufacturers developed turbines specific solutions, asset owners, as well as Gamesa, investigated, developed or tested multi-brand tools to avoid the need for any crane.

Main body of abstract

Generators were the first components to benefit from crane alternative and compact solutions. Hoist, cables, motors and the new generator could fit in just one container reducing also logistics cost but these solutions are not always a no-brainer choice as they still require more staff and for longer time than standard solutions. Based on the design of the nacelle you have to extract the generator through by the top, the side or the bottom of the nacelle, which forces asset owner or maintenance services companies to invest in turbines specific tools and therefore offsetting possible gains.

Although up tower transformers are facing similar challenges, the current impact is not significant thanks to the overall low failure rate of this component.

As gearboxes are one of the heavier components of the nacelle, the add-on hoist must be solid but also well designed to transfer appropriately loads and moments to the turbines structure when the gearbox is extracted from the nacelle and goes down by the side or backside of the nacelle. Either reusing existing nacelle beams, or appending directly itself to the tower, all solutions are complex and require a load analysis, making impossible for a third party to design and validate a solution without the support of the original equipment manufacturer.

Blades are getting longer every year to gain efficiency and generate more output, making necessary two large cranes to change any blade. As most of the blade large correctives are linked to external events, asset owners and insurance companies are assuming most of the costs and loss of revenues. Solutions exist, requiring either no crane at all, either a small one, but they are not yet completely multi-brand and not cost competitive in some countries.


Conclusion

There is not just one fit-to-all-purpose solution for each component but tools and processes will continue to evolve and be more and more multi-brand, reducing OPEX of existing fleet. Although new design standards might increase slightly the cost of new turbines, wind turbines LCOE will decrease thanks to O&M cost reductions during the next 30 years of operations.


Learning objectives
With this presentation, the audience will understand what different solutions we have tested and learn their pros and cons. Gamesa will also make recommendations for turbines’ design improvements to facilitate the creation & use of multi-brand large corrective solutions.