Development of offshore wind operational expenditure model and investigation of optimum operation and maintenance fleet

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2015
Thesis identifier
  • T14155
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201164734
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Offshore wind turbine technology is moving forward as an alternative to the fossil fuelled power production. However, there are a number of challenges in further offshore areas; wind turbines are subject to loads that are not often experienced onshore and more importantly challenging wind and wave conditions limit the operability and accessibility of the vessels needed to access offshore wind farms. Therefore, operating further from shore increases the logistic challenges of offshore wind operation and maintenance (O&M) activities. In contrast with the prospects, operational expenditure (OPEX) of the offshore wind farms has been increasing, reflecting greater risk for potential investors and current operators. As the power generation capacity improves constantly, advanced logistics planning of O&M activities, which supports the developers in achieving reduced downtime, optimised availability and maximised revenue, has gained vital importance. In order to sustain the competitiveness of the offshore wind industry against other renewable energy sources, the cost of offshore wind needs to come down to today's onshore cost. This cost reduction target can be achieved through improving the offshore related operations, which contribute the most to the OPEX of the offshore wind farms. Available vessels in the market and the variety of benefits & drawbacks of different vessel chartering strategies have to be considered in the O&M planning. In this research, an offshore wind operation and maintenance expenditure model has been developed. A time domain Monte-Carlo simulation approach is implemented, which includes analyses of environmental conditions (wind speed, wave height, and wave period), operational analyses of transportation systems, investigation of failures (type and frequency), and simulation of repairs. The model enables the quantification of the influence of cost drivers and provide an improved understanding about the key aspects associated with the operational decisions. The results of this research can assist offshore wind farm operators in developing midterm/long-term O&M plans. Through this extensive study, it is concluded that O&M related costs can be reduced significantly while availability and productivity of the turbines can be increased by selecting correct O&M fleet in terms of size and vessel capabilities.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2015
Former identifier
  • 1238801