Considering that O&M of offshore wind assets account for 30% of life cycle costs, it becomes pertinent to apply the most effective strategies for operational management

Offshore wind power is becoming more and more competitive in various regions around the globe. Its increasing contribution to the overall energy mix emphasizes the requirement to comply with standards ensuring energy security at a price of electricity acceptable for a society (European Commission, 2014), and produced in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner. In the early years of offshore wind deployment, this demand was often not met, because they only delivered approximately 60–80% of the electricity that could have been produced had the assets continuously fulfilled the desired function.

Condition-based maintenance is applied in various industries to monitor and control critical assets and to optimize maintenance efforts. Its applicability to the offshore wind energy industry seems promising as it can result in the development and implementation of solutions that contribute to lower cost of maintenance and increased asset availability. The challenges towards enabling more efficient operation of assets are discussed in the last “Ocean Engineering” paper, titled “A systematic Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis for offshore wind turbine systems towards integrated condition based maintenance strategies” by Matti Niclas Scheu, Lorena Tremps, Ursula Smolka, Athanasios Kolios and Feargal Brennan. In this paper, the results of a systematic risk assessment is reported with a view to inform condition based maintenance strategies through qualification of the most critical failure modes and associated methods to monitor the underlying failure mechanisms.

Currently, there is no public domain guidance available that provides the information required to prioritize systems for which integrity monitoring would generate highest value and to understand the parameters that need to be monitored by a specific system from failure cause to failure mode. Both items, providing a clearly structured, risk-based assessment methodology and corresponding results for state-of-the-art offshore wind turbines, are addressed in this paper.

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