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Conference programme 

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Poster session

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, Managing Director, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Erik Skov Madsen University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Erik Skov Madsen (1) F P Jan Stentoft (2) Kristian Rasmus Petersen (3)
(1) University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark (2) University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Denmark (3) Vattenfall Vindkraft A/S, Esbjerg, Denmark

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Presenter's biography

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

Erik Skov Madsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Technology and Innovation at the University of Southern Denmark. When researching, Erik Skov Madsen is focusing on maintenance of offshore wind energy and on knowledge management in global production. Erik Skov Madsen is in his research drawing on several years of experience from being responsible for maintenance in manufacturing and in addition drawing on a very diverse educational background as a skilled engineer fitter, education as a maritime engineer, holding a master degree in adult learning and human resource development and holding a PhD degree in knowledge transfer.


Maintenance of offshore wind farms located far from the coast - a research of challenges, new strategies and legislation


When looking at the map of EUROPE Offshore Wind Farm Projects (EWEA, 2013), it is obvious that new wind farms are established further off the coast and now even planned in the middle of the North Sea very far from the coast. The establishment of wind farms far from the coast is challenging. However, the operations and maintenance for the expected 25 years of lifetime can be further complicated to avoid loss of turbine availability related to the failure rate and also related to the accessibility from ship or helicopter due to rough weather conditions (Feuchtwang and Infield, 2012).


In this paper the purpose is to investigate the emerging challenges of supply chains for maintenance of offshore wind farms far from the coast and to come up with new suggestions. This research is based on the ReCoE (Reduction of Cost of Energy, research program at the University of Southern Denmark. The main purpose of the ReCoE research program is to develop theory and new knowledge on the effectiveness of applying the supply chain perspective to reduce cost of energy and to develop new knowledge on how to industrialize and create innovation in green supply chains.

Main body of abstract

The wind turbine industry has been characterized by incremental development (Morthors et al., 2009) and the focus from the wind turbine manufactures have for a long time period been on the development of larger and more efficient turbines. The doubling of a turbine capacity from e.g. 4 MW to 8 MW often results in increased absolute costs for the other components, but not in doubled costs. However, offshore installations far from the coast will narrow down the weather window for service work (e.g. O'Connor et al., 2013) and require new logistic, supply chain and managerial solutions. In addition, human resources constitute a major challenge in having technicians and spare parts for predictive, preventive and corrective maintenance (Petersen et al., 2013) available for a large number of assets located far from the coast. It is in this setting our research takes place.
The paper will first give an overview of the scattered literature and reports of operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms established far from the coast. This overview will include a literature review of the novel academic literature and include a Danish (e.g. Megavind, 2010), a UK (e.g. GL Garrad Hassan, 2013), a US (e.g. Maples et al., 2013), a German (e.g. Hobohm et al., 2013) and a Dutch (e.g. Asgarpour and van de Pieterman, 2014) perspective.
Further, the paper is based multiple case studies from large providers of wind turbines and cases are from major operators of wind farms at rough sea conditions.


First, the paper identifies and systematizes a number of different uncertainties in the establishment of places of work for service and maintenance far from the coast. Then the paper discusses and suggests new maintenance and supply chain strategies when technicians are available on site 24/7 but depending on a narrow weather window for work on turbines spread out on a large area far from the coast.

Learning objectives
Finally, the paper identifies and discusses the issues of legislation of work when an offshore wind farm is located in different countries (e.g. the Danish/German wind farm in the North Sea).
The list of references can be provided by contacting the corresponding author