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Four strategies to cut turbine OPEX

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Energy Global,

Dylan Cronin, Director of Sales, Energy, vHive, considers four strategies to cut wind turbine operational costs in 2024.

The imperative to trim operational costs has never been more critical for wind tur-bine operators and owners. With the proliferation of larger turbines situated in increas-ingly remote locations, compounded by supply chain hurdles, escalating material costs, and ageing infrastructure, operational expenses have soared to unprecedented heights. As the world stands on the cusp of 2024, asset owners and operators are at a pivotal juncture. The challenge before them is to meticulously optimise turbine operations, enhancing efficiency and financial viability while upholding meticulous maintenance standards.

The key to this transformation lies in the willingness to depart from entrenched manual processes and embrace the strides offered by technological advancements. It demands a shift in perspectives and a comprehensive approach to turbine management that integrates various technologies into cohesive workflows.

The digital transformation presents an extraordinary opportunity. Much like other industries, those wind farm owners and operators who have embarked on this digital odyssey are reaping immediate rewards in performance enhancements, increased efficiencies, and financial gains.

This is a new era, where avenues for cost savings are diverse, and digitisation stands out as the transformative force reshaping the game.

This article offer a glimpse into how wind farm stakeholders can strategically downsize operational costs in the upcoming year and beyond, paving the way for a future where efficiency and sustainability are one and the same.

Improve data acquisition with autonomous drone surveys

Leveraging state-of-the-art drone technology, such as Autonomous AutoDiscoveryTM, promises systematic, efficient, and scalable turbine surveys. In just 30 minutes, inspections can be completed, eliminating the complexities of manual methods and significantly reducing downtime. The deployment of cost-effective, off-the-shelf drones connected to a robust software platform minimises the need for highly skilled personnel, dramatically slashing inspection times and costs.

No more third-party dependencies: Bring inspections in house

Embracing the accessibility and efficiency of in-house inspections, empowered by autonomous drone software, is a game-changer. It allows operators to move away from reliance on third-party services, overcoming traditional challenges like scheduling difficulties and rising costs. In-house inspections powered by autonomous surveys allow the use of more affordable hardware and minimal training requirements, offering flexibility and cost-effectiveness, and putting control back in the hands of asset owners.

Artificial intelligence analytics for swift issue resolution

Harnessing advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision algorithms is pivotal in identifying and categorising emerging maintenance issues. Todays’ analytics tools enable faults to be filtered by severity, type, and location, providing instant visibility into blade conditions. In fact, it is the only viable way to monitor large scale wind farms and handle massive data sets, while offering actionable insights for swift field operations and preventing issues from escalating and turning into catastrophically costly problems.

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For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, read the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.

Energy Global's Winter 2023 issue

The Winter 2023 issue of Energy Global hosts an array of technical articles weather analysis, geothermal solutions, energy storage technology, and more. This issue also features a regional report looking at the future of renewables in North America, and a report from Théodore Reed-Martin, Editorial Assistant, Energy Global, on how Iceland utilises its unique geology for renewable energy.

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