Scheduling offshore wind farms maintenance

1st February 2013

Hertel has developed a new software package to help offshore wind farms schedule long-term maintenance requirements.

The software was first built after Hertel’s offshore rope access team was asked to plan a timetable for completing a variety of inspections on a turbine’s transition pieces at the Princess Amalia wind farm in the North Sea. The package was tailor-made to assist in scheduling the work, but can be adapted to arrange rope access work for any client.

Located 23km west of Ijmuiden on the coast of the Netherlands in water up to 24km deep, the site’s hard-to-reach location meant that adopting a more strategic, long-term approach had the potential to deliver significant time and cost savings.

The software developed by Hertel uses a bespoke rating system to track the degradation of the transition piece over time. Each parameter is put into a category, based on when it is likely to need attention in the future and the software can then be used to make predictions as to the future state of the turbine and plan ongoing maintenance work.

The software can also be used to track the status of a wide range of other inspections, including coating repairs, wall thickness, welds, bolt tensioning, mechanical integrity and a number of safety issues.

Hertel’s project manager Merijn Buitelaar explains: “We are already working to expand the technology, to provide real time updates so the client can log on and see images that are uploaded as the inspection is being carried out. The maintenance planning package has the potential to be adapted to work elsewhere and we have the skills and expertise to solve almost any problem related to rope access for any client.”

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