A new measurement developed by Sandia National Laboratories should help the wind energy industry benchmark its performance, understand vulnerabilities, and enhance productivity.
Until now, wind farm owners and operators had no way to compare their output with the output of similar operations. To benchmark the reliability of the U.S. wind turbine fleet and identify major causes of failures and downtime, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) directed Sandia in 2010 to build the Continuous Reliability Enhancement for Wind (CREW) database.
This is the first effort to compile a comprehensive, operator-independent data set that accurately reflects the performance of the U.S. wind turbine fleet, according to Sandia Labs. Every year, Sandia Labs surveys the database and publishes the results to help benchmark the industry. This year, the more than 800 wind turbines studied are either producing electricity or are available to produce electricity 97% of the time, up from 94.8% in 2011, Sandia Labs says.
“With better understanding of how major turbine systems are performing, wind operators can focus on improving those areas that will drive increased reliability and efficiency,” notes Sandia researcher and CREW team lead Alistair Ogilvie. “Our assignment from the DOE is to objectively characterize the national fleet,” adds Valerie Peters, CREW lead reliability analyst. “We’re looking across technologies, locations and companies to create benchmarking statistics for the entire U.S. wind turbine fleet.”
Read the rest of the article at North American Windpower.
Read the Sandia news release.