Managing Offshore Wind Energy Assets: On the Systematic Development of an Integrated Architecture

I El-Thalji, P Liyanage – Engineering Asset Management and Infrastructure Sustainability, 2012

Offshore wind turbines are being used in a number of countries to harness the energy of the moving air over the oceans and convert it to electricity. Commercial-scale offshore wind facilities are currently in operation in shallow waters off the coasts of Europe, but technology development is further needed for use in the deeper waters of the outer continental shelf. However, this shift to offshore will surely bring a number of functional, physical and operational challenges much similar to the oil and gas sector. Nowadays, the real activities within offshore wind power sector show considerable interests for rapid development and new applications, but still far from much needed innovative and holistic solutions. This is particularly so in the asset management area, where the current level of awareness within the sector is largely limited and the developments remain isolated and fragmented. Thus, this paper elaborates on a systematic approach to develop an integrated architecture to manage wind energy assets from a systems perspective. Such an approach is a timely important matter as it has impacts in different levels, for instance, strategic decisions in developing offshore wind farms, innovation and applicability of varied solutions, engineering trade-offs in comparison to commercial feasibility, current assumptions and their associated rationale concerning how the wind energy systems need to meet multiple requirements, etc. This is a part of an ongoing study where various experiences from different stakeholders of wind energy systems were collected. The paper also presents a reference framework for asset management to guide the current work in progress within the wind power area that can also be useful as an available platform for stakeholders, researchers, etc. for their development work.


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