Deutsche Windtechnik reduces downtime at Nordergründe

By realigning its maintenance campaign at the
Nordergründe offshore wind farm, Deutsche Windtechnik claims to have reduced maintenance-related downtimes by 28.5 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year.

Nordergründe is located in the North Sea, off the coast of Germany, approximately 15km north-east of the island of Wangerooge. It is expected to generate enough energy to cover the needs of more than 100,000 households. It features 18 Senvion 6.2M126 turbines with a combine overall capacity of 110.7 MW.

Following the insolvency of the system manufacturer, maintenance work for the turbines was still carried out separately from other maintenance work in 2020. In 2021, however, it was possible to combine all of the specialised tasks at the wind farm into one maintenance campaign.

The central element of the new maintenance strategy was the simultaneous deployment of two specialised service teams for the first time as part of the regular annual maintenance campaign: While one team with expertise in turbine maintenance was doing its job, the second team with specialists for the Balance of Plants was working on the transition piece and the foundation at the same time. According to  Deutsche Windtechnik, the simultaneous work has not only reduced the downtime of the turbines but has also reduced activities such as the number of transfers from the CTV to the boat landing, which have been halved from 288 to 144 for the entire wind farm.

In addition, another service team dedicated to troubleshooting tasks was deployed at the wind farm the whole time. This blended team consisted of three technicians, each with different competence profiles, so that errors in various components of the wind turbine, the transition piece or the substation could be corrected quickly and flexibly, and this reportedly opened up further synergies. The costs for the troubleshooting deployments were allocated proportionally to the Balance of Plants or the service contract, depending on the reason for the work.

"The Nordergründe offshore wind farm clearly demonstrates the advantages for the operator by planning maintenance campaigns from a single source,"
said Matthias Brandt, Director of Deutsche Windtechnik. "Today, there is an increasing trend towards maintenance and service operations that are organised in a task-specific manner that optimises logistics and personnel to take advantage of time and cost synergies."

Another example of this development are the DanTysk and Sandbank wind farms. Deutsche Windtechnik is responsible for a large portion of the necessary work at these wind farms, including maintenance and repair work for 152 turbines, maintenance for the transition pieces, the lifts and the cranes, and inspections.