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Due to higher, more consistent wind speeds at sea, offshore wind turbines can generate substantially more energy than onshore wind turbines. Offshore wind farms may reach capacity factors in the range of 50%. Even considering the planning constraints relating to shipping lanes, fishing, bird migration, and the like, the world has abundant space for offshore projects.
Offshore wind power has its challenges, however. Conditions during installation, operation and maintenance may be harsh, and so products must be reliable. It takes a special supplier to provide stable, long-term offshore partnerships.
When it comes to experience and reliability in offshore wind power, no supplier can match Siemens. Siemens has a proven track record for delivering offshore projects within budget. From the world’s first offshore wind farm almost
20 years ago, to today’s largest offshore wind farms, all projects have been delivered on time and within budget. All projects operate with high availability. Optimized processes across the complete project life cycle make Siemens a stable, reliable and trustworthy business partner.
Siemens has a broad range of experience and skills in delivering offshore projects.
From the outset, Siemens has played a key role in founding the offshore wind industry, having installed the world’s first offshore wind farm in Vindeby, Denmark, in 1991. The 11 turbines installed in this pioneering project are still in excellent condition today. The turbines have consistently operated at high availability, reflecting the unique combination of product quality and dedicated offshore modifications.
Siemens has not only supplied the world’s largest offshore projects. For several years, the 165-MW Nysted offshore wind farm held the record as the largest offshore project. In September 2009, that record was broken by the 200-MW Horns Rev II project. The 500-MW Greater Gabbard Project, currently under installation, will raise the bar again. And the world’s first 1-GW project, London Array, will represent yet another step towards large-scale, green energy supply.
Unlike any other offshore wind turbine supplier, Siemens offers equipment for the entire energy value chain, from the wind turbine to net conversion, efficient feed-in to smart energy grids and power distribution.
Utilizing the knowledge gained from almost two decades of experience in the offshore environment, Siemens leads the world in offshore technology. The strategy is simple – continue to be the best!
In order to be the best at wind power generation, Siemens has focused on three core areas:
Turbine types offered
Two Siemens turbine types are offered for offshore projects, the SWT-2.3 and the SWT-3.6.
The rotor blades for Siemens’ offshore turbines are made of fiberglass-reinforced epoxy, manufactured using the proprietary Siemens IntegralBlade® process. Unlike conventional wind turbine blades, the IntegralBlades® are cast in one piece in a closed process. This process leaves no weak points at glue joints and provides optimum quality. The aerodynamic design represents state-of-the-art wind turbine technology, offering maximum energy extraction from any available wind resource and the structural design lives up to the usual Siemens safety factors, in addition to all industry codes and standards.
The blades are mounted on double-row pitch bearings, fitted to a large rotor hub. The pitch actuation system is hydraulic, offering maximum robustness and safety. Like the turbine itself, the blades are designed to last.
The nacelles of the Siemens’ offshore turbines are ideally suited for severe offshore operating conditions.
Major components such as the main shaft, the gearbox and the yaw system are all of particularly heavy dimensions.
The automatic lubrication systems have redundant lubricant reserves to enable continued operation, even if scheduled maintenance is delayed by weather.
The nacelle canopy is metallic to provide optimum lightning and fire protection. All safety systems are fail-safe and have layers of redundancy. Fully integrated climate control and comprehensive offshore-grade surface protection contribute to long service life.
Overall performance is well-proven and every detail is designed using market leading engineering practices.
Siemens’ offshore turbines are normally mounted on tubular steel towers, fitted with internal personnel hoists. A prefabricated power module is located at the bottom of the tower and provides the platform for the power converter, the turbine transformer and the medium voltage switchgear
Grid stability requirements grow as more wind power is fed into the grid. Siemens also sets the standard in the field of grid compliance.
Power conversion is implemented with Siemens’ unique NetConverter® system.
This system uses full conversion of the power generated, efficiently decoupling generator and turbine dynamics from the grid. The NetConverter® system offers maximum flexibility in the turbine response to voltage and frequency control, fault ride-through, and output adjustment.
As a result, Siemens turbines comply with all relevant grid codes
Experience counts in installation
Drawing on almost two decades of experience in successfully delivering offshore projects on time and within budget, Siemens knows exactly what it takes. Over the years, many aspects of the installation methodology have been tested and analyzed. Gradually, best practices have been established, and even though the process often needs to be adjusted to fit project-specific requirements, the fundamental approach remains the same.
By thoroughly understanding the complexity and challenges associated with implementing an offshore project, and by establishing optimized installation processes, Siemens maximizes the value of each link in the chain, providing minimum costs and optimum predictability in project delivery.
The Siemens installation scope is tailored to the needs of individual customers.
One classical approach is an all-in equipment supply where Siemens provides the installation vessels. In another approach, the customer provides the installation vessels and Siemens carries out the work. Further alternatives are possible, depending on the customer’s skills and objectives and a joint evaluation of the most optimal solutions.
Irrespective of the installation scope, Siemens’ customers will always benefit from the reliability and robustness of a proven installation process.
Components delivery to port
Siemens transports all components, parts and equipment to a harbor site close to the proposed wind farm. The site serves as the assembly and embarkation station for the project.
Pre-assembly of components
Pre-assembly commences once all necessary components have been delivered. Siemens designs, plans and executes all work processes to minimize the amount of work required offshore.
Storage of rotor blades
Specialists place rotor blades in the storage area, ready for shipment to the site. The blades are stored in special transport fixtures used on the installation vessel. In some cases, blades are shipped as completed rotors.
Service technicians load all components onto the transport vessel in accordance with the project plan. Siemens’ proprietary fixtures and sea fastenings are used for safe transport and working procedures.
A transportation vessel takes the components to the site. Transportation time can vary from site to site based on many factors, including the vessel type, the distance from the port of origin to the site, and weather conditions.
The transport vessel arrives onsite. The tower is lifted onto the foundation. Service technicians then lift the nacelle onto the tower and the rotor is mounted on the nacelle, either as a completed unit or in single-blade installation.
Once the turbine is mechanically completed and energized, it is thoroughly tested for commissioning.
Some tests are automatically performed by the turbine computer controller, while others are performed by the service crew.
Service and maintenance
Siemens provides service and maintenance during the warranty period. Long-term service and maintenance contracts are also available from Siemens to ensure years of trouble-free operation.
With a history spanning nearly two decades in maintaining fleets in the unique offshore environment, the Siemens dedication to optimizing the lifetime and long-term output of turbines is clear. Offshore services are tailored to fit the specific context and requirements of each individual project and are based upon four areas of excellence. These areas are the foundation that allows Siemens to increase wind farm size and complexity without compromising availability and output.
Safe operations and turbine access are some of the main challenges in the offshore environment. Stringent safety standards are important due to the increased complexity of servicing offshore turbines. Siemens’ emphasis on efficient environment, health and safety processes and turbine access training is unmatched, and is the primary consideration. Quality training sessions and daily assessments help to keep Siemens personnel at the forefront of safety in the wind industry.
Located in remote areas and operating under the harshest weather conditions, offshore projects require the most reliable turbines. Siemens delivers exceptional turbine performance and strives for a close collaboration with customers to help gain maximum output throughout the lifetime of the turbine.
Intelligent planning and forecasting can allow Siemens to schedule and execute activities, with due consideration of high energy price windows, which can significantly influence asset economics.
A strong focus is placed on building partnerships for the simple reason that shared priorities can lead to efficient power generation.
Siemens is known as a highly reliable offshore service provider within the industry with an unmatched track record for helping its customers to maintain optimum availability. The diagnostics centre and control mechanisms allow for advanced turbine data to be proficiently analyzed and recommended measures are taken to help maximize unit availability.
Siemens competent field service teams, combined with strategic demand planning capabilities, result in fast response times and planned service operations help customers to secure optimum availability.
Siemens employs sophisticated weather forecasting tools to determine if safe access is possible prior to the dispatch of field service teams.
Research and development into safe transport, all weather access systems and stationary offshore accommodation platforms helps Siemens to increase response time while providing a safe working environment for its service specialists.
Today, the increasing energy demand and the need for clean power generation leads everyone's mind to the concept of renewable energy sources. With highly efficient, solid and reliable wind turbines, Siemens Wind Power offers solutions to meet energy needs and environmental awareness.
A reliable product and a well-run service organization help to ensure that wind turbines are a good investment. In addition to their strong and reliable basic construction, all Siemens turbines are accompanied by a comprehensive guarantee. This ensures that the customers know that their turbine will provide the best possible operational reliability both during the guarantee period and beyond.