5. Offshore Wind

5.4.3. Operation and Management

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Operation of Wind farm

The daily operation of a wind farm is monitored and controlled using a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. This system connects all components (i.e. wind turbines, meteorological stations and substations) of the wind farm to a central computer, which allows the operator to monitor and control the wind farm operation. The system provides and stores information regarding the operation of the wind farm and failures or problems in the operation of specific turbines can be identified.


The maintenance procedure required for offshore wind turbines requires similar technical expertise to that of onshore wind turbines because they share similar components. However, components are usually larger for offshore wind turbines.

The figure below illustrates the importance of reliable wind turbines, especially for remote offshore locations, sometimes based 14-20 km from shore, such as with Horns Rev.



Wind turbines are designed so that routine inspection is required one to three times per year. In the case of the Horns Rev wind farm in Denmark, the wind turbines were designed for two annual service calls. Routine maintenance inspections are naturally different depending on the manufacturer's instructions and the technologies used for a particular turbine. Unplanned maintenance may significantly increase the maintenance cost (i.e. operating and management costs, thus the costs/kWh).

llp logoThis project has been funded with support from the European Commission (EU Lifelong Learning Programme Agreement no LLP/LdV/TOI/2009/IRL – 515). This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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