Thursday, August 05, 2010

Bearing up

On the excellent 'Oh What now' comes this little piece about the cost of maintaining offshore wind farms.

It is rather obvious that the estimate suggested of 100 man hours is wildly innacurate. As he says,

100 man hours after 5 years of operation in a salt water environment. Utter Hogwash. It will take more than 100 man hours just to reach the turbine in
So I took a wander and discovered this. This is
The Offshore Wind Farm Operations & Maintenance Excellence Conference 2010
The industry itself seems to be very worried,

Most offshore wind farms to date have faced unexpected maintenance demands and seen costs rise sharply, to a level which would significantly delay or prevent new projects being profitable. For investors, it makes offshore wind an unattractive risk and for developers it damages the business case significantly.
As one commentator to the blog points out,

I have some experience of these wind turbines in Denmark.

About 5% of main bearings fail in the first 2 years of operation. The rotor has to be removed to replace the bearing. Offshore, you need a "lift boat" with a special crane to remove the rotor- the lift boat has legs that extend to the seabed and jack up the boat to make a stable platform for the crane. Etc etc- the bottom line is that it is not economical to replace the bearing- once it fails the whole turbine is shut down for good. There are dozens of them offshore Denmark that have been shut down for years now.
So the ongoing costs of the Government's great plan to spread a carpet of these things round the coast
Britain, which is already the world leader in offshore wind power generation,
will require 7,500 turbines in its coastal waters by 2020 to meet European Union
energy targets

is going to be what exactly?

Via EU Referendum

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This lot must have a vested interest in wind farms to be going ahead with it.
Given the Danish experience only a hapless fool would consider otherwise, unless financially involved somehow.
Emporers new clothes syndrome strikes again !