The national Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Centre of Excellence, a £2.0M (US$2.6M) collaboration between the University of Hull and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, has partnered with global offshore wind leader Ørsted to develop an innovative new approach to sea state forecasting
The project team, led by academics from the University of Hull, is working closely with Ørsted to help improve wave forecast modelling. Doing so could have a direct industrial impact.
It is hoped better monitoring of sea conditions will help drive efficiency in the sector and deliver a significant reduction in missed working days.
Safe access to turbines is a key factor in O&M planning in the offshore wind industry and having a greater insight into the localised, intra-array sea states and wave heights is a valuable resource.
University of Hull project lead Dr Rob Dorrell said, “This project is tackling critical challenges in operations and maintenance at the interface of offshore wind and the hostile marine environment.
“We are delighted to translate state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and remote monitoring systems to provide new solutions and methods to meet industrial challenges, enabling the drive towards enhanced cost-efficiency in offshore wind, thus furthering its viability as a clean energy solution.
The new model will contribute to improving the accuracy of sea state forecasting at an individual offshore wind turbine level, with the potential to drive efficiency gains in operations and maintenance, increasing safety, as well as contribute to further reductions in the levelised cost of energy for offshore wind.
Turbine accessibility is a key determinant of a windfarm’s profitability. Technicians attempting to undertake maintenance can face a number of barriers to safe access, which in turn can be a factor in limiting turbine performance and ultimately overall energy output.
This new project will result in a wave forecasting model that will give greater accuracy and offer a more granular insight into the sea state than existing methods.
With total O&M costs contributing around 25% to the lifetime costs of a typical offshore windfarm, the positive impact on planning by owners/operators is clear, with ORE Catapult analysis suggesting innovations in forecasting techniques could help to reduce missed working days by a quarter.
Multiple downward-facing radar have been installed at turbines at Ørsted’s Burbo Bank Extension windfarm to record wave height, direction and period together with combined met-ocean data and existing forecasts.
This big-marine-data approach, along with bathymetry and site configuration data, is enabling researchers to produce an artificial intelligence-based method that will be used to make a step-change in the resolution and accuracy of fine-scale.
Riviera held a series of webinars on offshore wind in June. These are available to view in our webinar library