In the lead up to the Wind Operator Congress North America, taking place this September in Chicago, we spoke with Carsten Westergaard, Professor of Practice, Texas Tech University to get some more insights about the wind power operations industry.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for wind power operators to increase productivity of assets without excessive capex?
I think that operators have become very professional and have a strong handle on availability. I think the next logical step is automatic detection of underperformance, systematic detection of issues from A to Z, systematic reporting and systematic planning of corrective actions. However, as always true, the big improvements will be found in upgrades which increases power performance directly. Vortex generators was pioneered in the mid 1990ies and demonstrated on the turbines like the Elkraft 1MW test turbine near Copenhagen and is today a mainstream upgrade boosting asset performance. Methods to defeat leading edge erosion is extremely important to aerodynamic performance and upgrades of older underperforming controls systems are amongst the newer possibilities. Continue reading