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Ingeteam presents “POSEIDOM”, a new tool that will reduce risk and cost in O&M of offshore wind farms

Ingeteam presents “POSEIDOM”, a new tool that will reduce risk and cost in O&M of offshore wind farms

Ingeteam has presented its latest R & D project at the Technical Conferences on Marine Energy: the "POSEIDOM" project. This is a new and powerful computer tool that will allow calculation of optimal Operation and Maintenance strategies and reduce uncertainty related to costs during the operation of offshore wind farms, thus opening new market opportunities.

POSEIDOM has a total budget of €643,703 financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the 2016 Challenges-Collaboration program.

Renewable energy is a viable and sustainable solution to meet growing energy demand worldwide. Offshore wind power is one of the sources of major interest because of its abundance and stability. Currently, more than 91% of offshore wind power is installed in northern Europe (North, Baltic and Irish seas) thanks to its strong wind industry and Nordic capabilities in the oil&gas sector. Development forecasts are promising. In 2015 the share of growth was 108% and in the first half of 2016, 7 new projects were approved valued at € 14,000 M, to add 3.7 GW of capacity, doubling the 1.8 GW approved in the first half of 2015. In this favorable context, there are also great risks for investors, promoters, technologists and, ultimately, for the sector.

The main challenge of offshore wind is to overcome the uncertainty of efficiently and cost-effectively operating an industrial infrastructure located in a hostile environment like the sea, where access to a turbine for maintenance or repair requires prior planning that perfectly synchronizes the availability of ships, experts and equipment with acceptable wind, wave and current conditions. Any error in strategy or operation may mean a significant decrease in the availability and as a result of the production and profitability of the wind farm.

Currently, the costs associated with the operation and maintenance activities of marine parks account for more than 25% of total costs. As an example, the daily base cost of a ship for 12 technicians to be able to reach a turbine, which can navigate waves of up to 2 meters, is greater than €6,000. It is certainly a cost to be considered, but the order of magnitude is multiplied when materials are transported or large correctives made. In the case of a Jack-up type boat, the cost of mobilization is around €800,000 and the daily rate can hover around €140,000, according to data from the Leanwind European project. Presently, we are working on new concepts for service and construction ships that will reduce costs. In any case, data varies enormously depending on the type of contract, of the location of the park with respect to the port, the storage space thereof, the availability of boats and the time of year. Therefore, predictive maintenance (improving the conditions of the monitoring systems) together with logistic optimization are key to avoid the stops in production and thus reduce the OPEX and therefore the price of energy (LCOE) generated by the offshore farms.

The POSEIDOM project, led by Ingeteam, in collaboration with the Hydraulic Institute of Cantabria (IHCantabria) and the marine energy company EnerOcean, seeks to combine the significant experience and capabilities of the three entities to reduce the operational and financial risks associated with the exploitation of offshore wind farms. To this end, the POSEIDOM project will develop an innovative decision support tool with the following competencies:

1. Analysis of the meteo-oceanic conditions in offshore wind farms.
2. Analysis of the transportability to the farm through marine means.
3. Analysis of the safe transfer between ship and platform.
4. Comparison of the accessibility to parks and transfer of technical personnel between the different types of fixed and floating platforms.
5. Identification of market niches through an O&M atlas.

New R & D Offshore Projects

Ingeteam's commitment to R & D, and particularly to offshore wind, began in 2007 with the EOLIA project. In 2016, this commitment was reinforced with the incorporation of new projects, such as POSEIDOM and other innovative initiatives related to offshore wind: Nidaros, Orpheo and WIP10+:

WIP10+: This is a European demonstration project with an innovative floating wind power platform, Wind2Power, in which operation tests will be carried out for a prototype on a functional scale (1:6) under real sea conditions.

ORPHEO: Financed by the Challenges-Collaboration program, Orpheo is a national R & D project that will develop optimization algorithms for the economic profitability that may be obtained from an integrated floating Hybrid Platform, which includes wind and wave generation.

NIDAROS: This is an experimental technologies development project for lean maintenance of offshore wind floating structures. It is financed by the Challenges-Collaboration program from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, with Tecnalia as a technology partner, and will result in new structural health and corrosion monitoring and inspection equipment, as well as new software tools for the agile management of offshore operations.