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Welcome to IEA Wind and Task 33

Reliability Data: Standardizing data collection for
wind turbine reliability and O&M analyses

High reliability of wind plants translates to a high degree of operating and personal safety, high system availability, and low maintenance necessity. Therefore, achieving high reliability is one of the overriding aims of development work in wind energy technology. Modern land-based wind turbines attain high technical availability of up to 98%. Evaluation of operation and maintenance (O&M) work in previous projects shows, however, that achieving this high wind turbine availability requires additional maintenance work.

Experiences of lower than average availabilities on land and the commissioning of offshore wind farms have stimulated the demand for improved reliability and maintenance strategies. Figure 1 illustrates that offshore farms can achieve availabilities equal to the average on land, however many have fallen behind that objective. The restricted accessibility and tough offshore environmental factors mean that reliability, maintenance, and service management strategies used on land have to be adapted for offshore wind plants.


Figure 1. Offshore wind turbine availability (North and Baltic Sea) over time compared to average availability onshore (Germany). Source: www.windmonitor.de

There is a considerable scope for optimizing maintenance procedures and improving reliability.
Maintenance of wind turbines is currently being planned and carried out according to statutory requirements and rough guidelines from the original equipment manufacturers. Unplanned maintenance measures due to sudden malfunction of components can cause serious economic losses especially offshore. O&M organization should be shifted from response to crisis to more preventive measures.

IEA Wind Task 33 addresses the data collection and failure statistics in the wind energy sector to agree on standards and overall structures. Standardized reliability data will facilitate effective analysis and the wide applicability of results. Task 33 aims to use reliability data to support improving reliability and optimizing O&M procedures of wind turbines through the use of reliability data.