Bachmann Interview: ROMEO Project
The ROMEO Project is a European initiative, targeting the reduction of O&M costs of offshore wind farms by sponsoring research and innovation to develop advanced technological solutions.
Bachmann, one of the partners working on this initiative, is putting into practice its many years of experience in Condition Monitoring Systems.
What is the company’s role in ROMEO Project? What are Bachmann’s main responsibilities?
Bachmann is involved in several work packages. Our focus is on developing advanced technologies to monitor the health of drive train components, such as the main bearing and gearbox. The results will help to detect failures and to identify damage stages, e.g. of bearings, at a very early stage.
What are the main challenges Bachmann must face to achieve ROMEO Project targets?
A probable major challenge for each partner is the impact of delays whenever dealing with operational offshore environments. So far, all partners have managed this challenge very well and we are on track within the project.
What technical expertise is Bachmann using and developing to address the ROMEO project goals?
As a wind turbine control system and wind turbine condition monitoring manufacture, Bachmann is developing several technologies within the project. These can be separated into online and offline approaches. Online approaches can calculate the parameters on a turbine in real-time. These results can be used for turbine control to reduce dynamic loads or for integration into SCADA visualisation. Offline approaches will run outside the offshore wind farm on a server and will automatically determine failure modes and stages based on many data sets and parameters.
Why is it so crucial for the ROMEO Project to provide advanced algorithms capable of recognizing failures and damages on wind turbines?
Approximately 25-30% of the life cycle costs are related to maintenance, repair and inspection. When compared to onshore turbines costs, offshore logistic costs are much higher. Additionally, offshore turbines cannot be accessed year-round. The components’ health is the key factor in reducing this part of the lifecycle costs and the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE). Thus, the advanced algorithms and developed technologies will help reduce the LCoE.
The initiative began in June 2017. What progress has been achieved since the project kick off?
Bachmann has already launched a product for model-based rotor unbalance calculation, which significantly decreases the effort expended in rotor blade balancing inspections and measurements. A second product, supporting a new hardware module in providing continuous rms values according to ISO10816-21, is shortly before launch. This product can be used to reduce dynamic loads within the turbine control and for SCADA integration.
What is your perception of the project’s progress after this first two years?
The project partners have bonded and enjoy working intensively together. This is particularly important for such a complex project.
Which key benefits have resulted from the ROMEO Project that will have an impact on the offshore European industry? And on society?
Offshore is still a challenging business with harsh weather conditions. It’s important to plan resources carefully and hopefully the project results will help improve this. If we can increase availability of offshore wind turbines with less man power and logistic effort, this will finally reduce the cost of energy and we will all benefit from this.
Why is important for Europe to invest in R&D projects like ROMEO?
I think all of us are aware of climate change. ROMEO is a project which will really help us to reach the goal of economically low-carbon energy. The journey from conventional power plants to renewable energy is a major task we need to accomplish in this century. R&D projects such as ROMEO, bring companies together and help us to reach this goal.
We are glad to be part of the project and to have the chance to work for climate protection and a green future.
Photographs by Bachman