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Structure Equipment and Systems for Offshore Wind Farms

Structure Equipment and Systems for Offshore Wind Farms

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Published by: famiralis on Jun 08, 2011
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There have been a number of fault condition anticipated or chronicled that lead to a need
to examine the assumptions in the DLCs. Whether there is a battery or emergency
generator backup is also noted.

Case 1: Horns Rev

“The transformer station is a three-legged steel structure with all the necessary
equipment, including an emergency diesel generator. The weather in the North Sea is
very rough and it is very likely that the electricity supply to the wind farm can be cut for
prolonged periods at a time in case of cable faults. The generator can supply the station
and the wind turbines with enough power to keep all essential equipment (climate
conditioning, control and safety systems, yawing system etc.) operating during such

[Reference: Grid Connection and Remote Control for the Horns Rev 150MW Offshore
Wind Farm in Denmark, P.Christiansen, Knud Joregensen, Askel Gruelund Sorensen,

MMS Order No. M09PC00015 Structure, Equipment and Systems: Commentary



Case 2: Nysted
ISC Innovative engineering brochure on the Nysted Transformer platform [Ref.
www.isc.dk] states that they have a emergency generator (90kVA) and a battery backup.
Case 3: Alpha Ventus
Alpha Ventus wind farm offshore Germany has plans to install an emergency generator
and diesel tank on board the transformer platform. [Ref: www.abb.com].
Case 4: The following report is typical of many in regards to Martha’s Vineyard, which is
a close example of expected ability to maintain power from shore:
The ability of the turbines to stay on line without a failure of the system is given in the
following damage report: others are provided in the seabed cable section of this report.
Case 5: June, 2007 by Torgny Moller in Windpower Monthly

The world’s largest offshore wind station, in the south Baltic Sea off the Danish coast
Nysted, is offline, perhaps for several months, following a serious transformer failure on
June 9. The transformer feeds the production of the four-year-old 165.6MV Rodsand
plant of 72 Siemens 2.3 MV turbines into the Danish grid network. Located ten kilometers
south of the large island of Lolland, the 140 ton transformer is being brought ashore for
repair, probably in Germany or Sweden. It was supplied by Italian company Tironi.
The reason for the failure is not yet known, but a short circuit is probably to blame. The
transformer platform’s owner and operator, local electric utility company SEAS-NVE,
has been working on solving the problem, particularly the logistics of transporting the
huge transformer ashore and getting it repaired. “The failure at Nysted is serious. At
SEAS-NVE we have worked with grid connection of wind turbines in most of the world
and what has happened here at Nysted is statically very unlikely,” says Steen Beck
Revenue losses while Rodsand is out of operation will be shouldered by the owners,
electric power companies DongEnergy and E.ON. The transformer, which is insured, is
still within its five year guarantee period. No decision has yet been taken about who will
pay for the repair.”

If 6 hours of battery power is provided, then the case of complete loss of yaw is avoided
for 6 hours but if the backup line is cut (assuming the battery is in the transformer
station), or the 6 hr limitation is insufficient, a good thunderstorm (may be similar to a 1-
year return period site-specific storm) may bring the tower to the brink of the design
values or exceed them.

If there is a desire/need to increase the survivability of the wind turbine to a higher level,
presumably this may be able to be provided with a UPS system, but the UPS system
would have to be appropriately sized.

MMS Order No. M09PC00015 Structure, Equipment and Systems: Commentary



Figure 14: ”The SAFT NiCd cells have a power capacity of 3000 kw for 2 minutes”
Ref: Enercon Windblatt Magazine 03 2009.

On a point of discussion and perhaps a case for further research: it would also be useful
to know the extra thickness required for the tower (and therefore cost) in making the
tower so that it could withstand a wind load from a 50-year, and 100-year event with the
yaw system ±180. The blades, while expensive, are more of a maintenance item than
having to replace the entire tower and nacelle after a failure. The critical extreme load
cases that determine the blade strength related to 50-year and 100-year criteria would also
be useful.

It is up to the risk evaluators and stakeholders to decide if this is an acceptable risk:
however, at the moment the code does not reasonably provide sufficient information for
the evaluation to take place.

A yaw system (gears, and motor) requires a high reliability to ensure survival over a 25
year life since it has such a critical function.

The DLCs for the Transport, assembly, maintenance and repair is also worthy of scrutiny.
The manufacturer designates the criteria appropriate for the equipment. Only if the
activity is scheduled to last longer than 1 day is the criteria of a 1-year return period
storm considered. This could mean that the transport and/or assembly could be less than
the 1-year storm value (as indicated a value which could be equivalent to a severe
thunderstorm). The value of the anticipated return period should be geared to a
reasonable level – but this may vary depending on location. While it may be appropriate
for some operations it may give misleading criteria on some potential activities and
should be examined with a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis to substantiate the load case
prior to imposing this load case alone.

MMS Order No. M09PC00015 Structure, Equipment and Systems: Commentary



Relative to East Coast application of offshore wind farms the following notes that there
are typical electrical outages in the area:

“Martha’s Vineyard loses power By Associated Press, 01/06/00
A large section of Martha’s Vineyard is without power today because of an equipment
problem on the mainland. Commonwealth Electric spokesman Mike Durand said the
outage is affecting about 3,500 customers in Edgartown, Tisbury and West Tisbury.
Durand said the equipment failure occurred at 9:45 this morning in Falmouth knocking
out power that is fed to Martha’s Vineyard through an undersea cable. The utility is
hoping to get a diesel generator up and running on the island while repairs are made on
the mainland.”

[Ref: http://www.boston.com/news/daily/06/marthas_vineyard.htm].

In review of DNV-OS-J101 (2007) this standard has the same load conditions of IEC

In review of Germanischer Lloyd Certification of Offshore Wind Turbines 2005 the
loading conditions quoted different from the IEC Standard:
• IEC Load cases 1.6 a and 1.6 b are missing;
• IEC Load cases 2.3 is missing;
• GL add cases on Temperature and Earthquake effects;
• IEC Load case 6.3 in GL are titled “Extreme oblique inflow” whereas in IEC
and DNV they are called “yaw misalignment”;
• IEC Load Case 7.1a is missing from GL;
• GL has added a load case for boat impact: their 8.5.

GL has indicated that a number of the load cases were not governing and so were
omitted from their standard, whereas they believe some of the other ones are required.
The issue of load cases requires further scrutiny and alignment: thus the recommendation
for an FMEA to be performed on a site-specific basis, until it becomes clear the various
appropriate load cases for US OCS application.

Nevertheless in the detailing of assumptions in the load cases there would be benefit to
the regulatory in providing more clarity. It would also be beneficial to document for each
of the load cases the critical component.

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