Replacement of old obsolete turbine control systems have been largely ignored, even though retrofitting of ageing Nordex, Micon, NEG Micon or Wind World turbines, many of which are surpassing their original designed lifetime, has long been an area of interest for service providers, maintenance companies and wind turbine owners.
So far, most focus has been on replacing critical mechanical spare part components in the wind turbines, while the obsolete control system has stayed largely untouched. With around 20% of downtime in aging turbines caused by control system errors, a new modern wind turbine control system makes surprisingly good business sense in order to maximise revenues from ageing assets.
The benefits of a lifetime extension project rather than repowering are many. Extending the lifespan of a wind turbine typically reduces its lifetime levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and thus increases the project revenue. The average cost of extending the life of an operational wind turbine is 100.000 euros pr. MW compared to 1 million euros pr. MW for repowering, and regulatory approvals are less challenging than repowering options – which is why most operators tend to favour lifetime extension projects in the short and medium term.
One of the challenges with an old obsolete control system in ageing turbines is the difficulty in extracting data from the turbine compared to modern wind turbines. By replacing the old obsolete control system in your wind turbine with a new up-to-date turbine control system that is based on modern advanced technology and contemporary standard components, it enables access to previously unavailable valuable data and thus decreases the risk of costly breakdowns and lost production as you will have the possibility to monitor the wind turbine closely and carry out predictive maintenance – and with less downtime, you have the possibility to increase your turbine’s wind power performance hence maximising your project revenue.
The German-based developer and wind park owner, wpd windmanager, are one of the companies that have seen the advantages in retrofitting the turbine control system:
”The technical optimisation of our wind farm portfolio was one of the key targets. We wanted an affordable control system that could decrease downtime and up the performance of existing wind parks where repowering has been deemed infeasible. At the same time, we could also use the control system from Spica Technology for the refurbishment of repowered wind turbines mainly outside Germany. The system allows us to professionally manage older, repowered turbines independently from the country location”, says Peter Spengemann, Director Repowering at wpd windmanager.
Are you in doubt whether retrofitting the turbine control system could be the right solution for you? To help your decision-making, New Energy Update has made this white paper to guide you through the process.
Are you interested in learning more about the turbine control systems for lifetime extension projects from Spica Technology? Then do not hesitate to contact our wind turbine specialists or read more about our retrofit turbine control system here: the Spica Retrofit Controller with Spica Control System.