Methodologies and simulation tools to support Operations and Maintenance (O&M) strategies and lifetime reliability assessment of Offshore Renewable En

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


Over the last few decades, global offshore wind technology has rapidly evolved from fixed-bottom
support structures in shallow waters (below 60 meters) to floating substructures, as water depth
increases (expected up to 1,000 meters). Turbine designs have grown from small power capacity of
0.45 megawatts (MW) in 1991, up to today's giant Siemens Gamesa-14MW turbine that will be
commercially available in 2024. These advances in offshore renewable technology will continue to
decrease its costs, while also contributing to meeting the growing demand of energy.
In June 2019, in line with the Paris Agreement, the UK's Climate Change Act 2008 set out the roadmap
to net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. At the end of 2019, the UK's offshore wind electricity
production reached 32TWh, which accounted for 10% of its total mix energy production. Furthermore,
with around 40 offshore wind farms and over 2,200 turbines operating for a total installed capacity of
9.7 gigawatts (GW), and 4.4GW under construction or with a final investment decision confirmed [1],
the UK is the world leader in the offshore wind sector. Globally, there are over 27GW installed in the
fixed-bottom technology and 82MW with floating offshore wind turbines.
Offshore renewable technologies will play a key role in the world's future energy transition. In the next
ten years, there are development plans and market opportunities for offshore wind projects in Europe,
Asia-Pacific and the US. However, offshore wind energy deployment is still facing big challenges, such
as installation logistics, large component replacement strategy, and operations and maintenance (O&M)
costs, all of them having a significant impact on the levelised cost of energy (LCoE). For instance,
overall O&M costs make up 34% and 31.3% of the total LCoE for offshore fixed-bottom and floating
wind technologies, respectively [2]. Moreover, the operational expenditure (OpEx) of an offshore wind
farm is variable throughout its lifetime. Technical and geographical factors affect the OpEx, such as the
distance from the wind farm to the onshore facilities, the metocean conditions, and the unexpected
failures of critical components, among others.
Therefore, there is a high interest in increasing accuracy and reducing uncertainty in OpEx estimates
for both development projects and existing assets. For instance, there are collaborative works between
academia, research institutions, industry, and governmental entities to develop advanced technological
solutions and tools to drive the reduction of O&M costs and to improve the reliability and efficiency of
ORE systems. Such is the case of ROMEO [3] and DTOcean Plus [4] projects.
In fact, there are several analytic models and tools to calculate the installation and O&M costs as well
as to estimate the annual availability of ORE projects over the designed lifetime [5][6]. However, further
research is required to improve those O&M models to move from basic preventive to condition-based
maintenance (CBM), as discussed below.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023933/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2275010 Studentship EP/S023933/1 31/08/2019 30/08/2023 Esperanza Susana Torres Gutierrez