Developing and validating a holistic O&M optimisation tool for offshore renewable energy projects

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


Up to a third is the cost of energy can be attributed to maintenance cost according to the
research done in 2010 [1]. Now that some processes involved in O&M have improved, it still
occupies a big proportion of the cost of energy. This can be changed with the use of an O&M
simulation tool COMPASS which is currently being developed by ORE Catapult.
Simulation tools can be used to analyse the lifetime O&M costs of an offshore wind farm
in detail, with many offshore activities being subject to different weather constraints, annual
frequencies and varying degrees of complexity. In addition, commercial sensitivities and un-
certainty surrounding failure rates of offshore components, including wind turbine foundations,
subsea cables and balance of plant equipment, is a major barrier to obtaining realistic estimates
of lifetime O&M expenditure. This problem is compounded by the fact that the failure rates
of many components will vary over time (i.e. early failures or towards-end-of-life degradation).
Incorporating a suitable probability distribution into the failure rate, weather and other inputs
is crucial for correctly estimating Key Performance Indicators (KPI's). For example [2] has
discovered that availability numbers may vary in the range up to 20 % just by changing failure
distribution types and hence the downtime losses vary significantly too.
Validating O&M simulation tools can be a challenge without close collaboration between op-
erators of existing wind farms. The unique position of ORE Catapult, with a strong industry
reputation (as proven by leading several collaborative projects involving commercially sensi-
tive data) and close links to academia, makes it perfectly placed to develop one of the most
comprehensive O&M simulation tools for offshore renewable energy projects in the world.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023933/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2274701 Studentship EP/S023933/1 31/08/2019 30/08/2023 Nadezda Avanessova