Load curtailment is often implemented under specific wind conditions aiming to protect the lifetime of the wind turbine, however, it is often not optimised for the turbine-specific operating condition.
The previous article presented the most frequent types of wind turbine curtailments in onshore wind farms. In this article, we will share an example of load curtailment optimisation using Windfit to independently verify the load curtailment plan and implement the necessary adjustments to increase production.
Optimising wind energy assets is critical when operating under load curtailment, especially when curtailment plans are too restrictive due to overly cautious pre-construction assessments. Overly restrictive curtailment plans can significantly reduce energy production from wind turbines, so it is important to optimise them.
With this in mind, Sereema worked with a client, the wind farm owner, on evaluating the removal of the load curtailment to increase the production of the wind turbines.
Composed of 4 Vestas V90 2MW turbines, the wind farm had all turbines operating with a reduced load mode (reduced nominal power of 1.8MW) due to the complex terrain and the high wind speeds.
All turbines were equipped with a Windfit system to acquire high-frequency data (up to 100 Hz) to capture turbine vibrations and the external conditions independently from the SCADA system.
The campaign lasted for six months, split into two periods of three months:
During the first period, the vibrational behaviour of turbines was characterised as a function of their operational status and the measured wind speed. Once enough data was compiled, the load reduction mode was lifted.
In the second period, the same analysis was conducted without the load reduction mode for the following three months. The objective was to compare the before/after vibration levels under the same external conditions.
The campaign yielded the following findings:
Although there was a slight increase in overall vibrations after removing the load restrictions, the vibrational behavior in relation to wind speed remained largely consistent for all turbines. This indicates that removing the curtailment on the turbines would have no significant impact on turbine loading or lifetime.
Furthermore, lifting the load restriction resulted in a 3% increase in Annual Energy Production.
Key Takeaways on Load Curtailment Optimisation
This case study illustrates the importance of verifying the curtailment plan adequacy with the internal and external constraints as it can significantly impact the assets' productivity. The Windfit solution provides you with tools to independently and effectively verify your curtailment plans and offers you support in implementing the necessary corrections.
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