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Extend the life of your wind turbines well beyond the design service lifetime.

Many wind turbines still have considerable lifetime reserves even after the original design lifetime, typically 20 years, has expired. With Lifetime Extension (LTE), wind turbines with demonstrable residual lifetime can remain in operation, sometimes for many additional years.

When a wind turbine reaches the end of its estimated lifetime, owners and operators can order an LTE Assessment to demonstrate that their turbines are still in good condition. This is the approval channel for continuing operations beyond the design lifetime. 

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Conventional Lifetime Extension Assessment

The Lifetime Extension report from an accredited expert serves as the basis for operators to apply to the relevant authority for an extension of the turbine's operating license.

In addition to an on-site inspection for the practical LTE assessment, the estimated site-specific loads to which the turbine is exposed are compared with the design loads in an analytical assessment. Site-specific loads are hereby determined based on measured wind conditions and SCADA information - with high safety margins.

Although this conservative approach often allows lifetime extension in compliance with requirements, such as component replacement and recurring inspections, remaining potential service life often remains unused.

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Data-Driven Optimization = Maximum Lifetime Extension

Working with actual measured load data during the analytical LTE assessment (instead of estimates based on SCADA data) enables load calculation experts to accurately determine remaining service life. 

With this method, all potential remaining lifetime can be safely and fully exploited, in many cases significantly extending the operational lifetime of the wind turbine compared with conventional LTE assessment.

The below examples compare remaining service life potential determined with a conventional analytical assessment based on SCADA data, versus an optimized assessment using measured loads over a defined period.

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Example 1: MD77

Remaining useful lifetime (years) 

 

LTE Assessment

Component

conventional
without Bachmann Load Data

optimized 
with Bachmann Load Data

Blade root

6.9

11.9

Blade bearing bolts

7.3

(7.9)

Hub

7.3

11.3

Rotor shaft

18.8

>20

Main frame

>20

>20

Yaw bearing bolts

8.0

>20

Tower & foundation

0.0

>20

Other

>20

>20

Example 2: NM72c

Remaining useful lifetime (years) 

 

LTE Assessment

Component

conventional
without Bachmann Load Data

optimized 
with Bachmann Load Data

Blade root

0.0

6.1

Blade bearing bolts

2.6

(2.8)

Hub

3.2

3.8

Rotor shaft

15.5

>20

Main frame

0.0

11.1

Yaw bearing bolts

8.2

18.1

Tower & foundation

2.8

10.4

Other

>20

>20

The Benefits of Bachmann LiTEplus

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Maximize remaining lifetime

Optimal utilization of the remaining life potential of the WTG compared to conventional LTE assessments.

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Retain healthy components

Avoid replacing components that are still in good working condition.

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Minimize risk

Minimize operational risk during the extended lifetime phase through the early identification of structural changes.

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Economic decision-making

Improve planning capability during the extended lifetime phase.

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Continuous load monitoring

Perform a repeat evaluation to check remaining service life at the end of the extended lifetime phase.

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Full control

Avoid or minimize operational restrictions and losses in the event of changes to the wind park, such as expansion or repowering, which could influence individual WTG stress and remaining useful life.

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Minimal investment

Low system and installation costs keep investment to a minimum.

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Easy data use

Pre-processed load measurement data enables possible synchronization with existing SCADA data.

Bachmann LiTEplus as a Retrofit

As a leading specialist in wind turbine automation and condition monitoring, Bachmann is perfectly positioned to support WTG owners, operators and accredited experts responsible for the analytical and practical LTE assessment throughout the LTE process.

Bachmann's highly accurate Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) solutions provide reliable data in a user-friendly format for easy analytical assessment by load experts during the LTE process.

Bachmann LiTEplus is easy to install and will continue to operate throughout the remaining service life of the turbine, delivering invaluable data for optimized operation and maintenance and controlled continuing operation - with minimal risk.

 

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