Offshore Wind Energy

What is it and how does it work?

Offshore wind energy is comprised of all wind farms installed in large bodies of water, seas and large lakes, and, by the end of 2018, it accounted for 5% of all wind energy produced (source: Global Wind Energy Council). Offshore projects are developed in areas where the ocean floor is relatively low (between 25 and 50 meters) so that the support structures for the equipment can be fixed to the ground. There have been recent advancements in the development of floating platforms to support offshore wind turbines. The success of this technological solution will open up extraordinary possibilities for Offshore Wind since hydrographic limitations would no longer be relevant.

The operating principle of an offshore turbine is the same as that of an onshore turbine, the force of the wind rotates the blades of the turbine which results in the rotation of the main shaft coupled to a generator. It is this movement which produces electricity.

Although the principle of operation is similar, there are differences between offshore and onshore machines, in particular, in their size and electrical production capacity.

What services are associated with this area?

Tests and Validation

The final step before commercial production of a model is the carrying out of verification tests on a prototype or first production series. By approving these tests, the equipment, tools and service instructions provided are validated. This test plan ensures the transition from concept to reality and ensures the product meets customer expectations.

Tests and validations are applied at various stages of the turbine´s life cycle, such as:

  • At the design and specification stage to validate ideas or prototypes;
  • At the model development stage, testing the operation of products in series pre-production, testing fatigue components, measuring behaviours, and recording opportunities for improvement;
  • In the implementation of improvements for equipment already in a commercial production phase to optimise or extend its service life.

Project Commissioning

After completion of the electrical installation work, the wind turbine must be tested before putting the wind turbine into production and under the responsibility of the final customer. Unless otherwise specified, all tests must be performed in accordance with IEE-Instituto de Energia e Ambiente (Energy and Environment Institute) regulations.

Project commissioning is the systematic process by which equipment, systems or installations are tested by verifying their operation in accordance with the project finality and the operational requirements of the owner.

The main purpose of the commissioning phase is to take the equipment from an un-energised state to its fully operational and productive readiness. Endiprev’s specialised commissioning teams check the system conditions after they have been energised with the rated voltage of the system (service) for which it was designed, also guaranteeing the protection and the measuring system for correct directionality.

Maintenance

The technical meaning of maintenance (often referred to by the abbreviation O&M – Operations & Maintenance) involves functional checks, repair and/or replacement of equipment.

Wind turbine maintenance is normally divided into 2 large areas:

Preventive Maintenance (PM) is a periodic inspection in order to identify small problems and repair them before they become a risk to the normal operation of the machine.
The MP’s main objective is to ensure that the wind turbine works for a period of time between inspections without failures caused by fatigue, neglect or natural wear and tear. Preventive maintenance activities provided by Endiprev include worn component replacements, tightening, fluid changes, etc.

Corrective Maintenance (MC) is all necessary maintenance after an equipment malfunction or when its inefficient function becomes costly. Malfunction or inefficient function may damage other parts causing damage with significant replacement costs and/or loss of revenue. Endiprev has experience in many services within the corrective maintenance area, such as replacement of large components (major correctives), inspection and replacement of bearings, troubleshooting and retrofits.

What are the benefits of working with Endiprev in this area?

Endiprev has 10 years of experience (2019) in the implementation of projects in over 30 countries.

Since 2013, the company has been extremely involved in the offshore industry by continuously participating in Test and Validation projects of new machines, as well as the maintenance and commissioning of Offshore farms.

Endiprev has experience in the commissioning and maintenance of offshore farms on 3 continents. USA, China, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
We are a company which only works for OEMs, building relationships of trust and cooperation.

Working with Endiprev means building relationships with people and teams who are diligent and completely committed to the goals of our clients.

Field professionals are professionals with professional or engineering training in various fields, such as mechanics, electricity or information systems.

Endiprev has support departments which are central to the success of the projects, such as Engineering, HR, Quality, Logistics, EHS, IT and Compliance.

Examples of existing projects

Belgian Offshore Days 2019

Belgian Offshore Days (from 2019-03-20 to 2019-03-21) will be hosted by Belgian Offshore Cluster at the historical Wellington Racetrack in Ostend.