DEIF’s V80 solution contributes to delivering on the performance promises of BW Ideol’s floating technology

A DEIF retrofit turbine controller for the Vestas V80 delivered the extensive and detailed data that French floating offshore wind leader BW Ideol needed to confirm the performance of its promising floating platform concept for offshore wind farms. In addition, the DEIF retrofit controller for the V80 has contributed to increased turbine performance and availability.

When you are working to develop and operate efficient wind energy solutions, detailed performance and status data is crucial. No one knows this better than French renewable energy company BW Ideol which has designed a market-transforming floating wind technology and co-develops floating wind farms across the globe. The concept and technology are still new even though the technology has already been implemented on 2 full-scale demonstrators in France and Japan operating since 2018; many technical challenges need to be overcome, and IT Manager Olivier Martinet of BW Ideol knows what it takes to fully understand such challenges.

“We need to understand the load on the turbine and foundation for the entire lifetime of a project, and for that we need data”, he says. “In addition, once the turbine is in production, it’s important to get performance data in order to know how to do even better”.

At an early stage of its prototype development work, BW Ideol therefore chose to optimise its Vestas V80 test turbine with a retrofit controller developed by DEIF. The purpose? Collecting as much, and as detailed, data as possible.

Complete overview with 300 variables

The retrofit V80 controller from DEIF is compliant with offshore requirements. It easily integrates with the existing turbine control system and displays approximately 300 variables about all key aspects of turbine health and performance. The data is easily available over an Ethernet connection and enables BW Ideol engineers to verify the operation of the turbine and platform, and to identify technical issues that need to be addressed.

“The data allows us to make correlations between power production and rotor speed, for example, and compare that with sensor information such as the load on the tower and foundation”, explains Olivier Martinet. “The software is very well made, and I’m a developer; I know what I’m talking about! It is a good solution.”

With the original controller in the V80, BW Ideol’s full-scale demonstration project would have been a more complex task, as it would have been difficult to get the same amount of data with the same level of detail.

Olivier Martinet PNI

“The data allows us to make correlations between power production and rotor speed, for example, and compare that with sensor information such as the load on the tower and foundation”, explains Olivier Martinet. “The software is very well made, and I’m a developer; I know what I’m talking about! It is a good solution.”

Olivier Martinet

IT Manager, BW Ideol

Floatgen 3 Credits Ideol BYTP ECN V PNI

Increased availability and performance

The retrofit V80 controller from DEIF has not only assisted during prototyping; it has also contributed to remarkable turbine performance since being commissioned in 2018: In 2020, the test turbine produced 14% more power than in 2019, and availability over the past three years has been 96% on average, exceeding 98.5% in some winter months. These results are a clear indication that data-based turbine optimisation can lead to AEP improvements.

In addition, the detailed data from the DEIF controller allowed BW Ideol to troubleshoot electrical issues with the V80 turbine by pinpointing exactly what was wrong, and where.

Good cooperation with DEIF

The retrofit V80 controller from DEIF was developed in cooperation between BW Ideol and DEIF. Technical issues and challenges were resolved in a timely manner, and BW Ideol is very satisfied with the partnership. “We are very happy with the collaboration we have with DEIF”, says Olivier Martinet. “After the initial installation, the support provided by DEIF was very good. If there is an issue, I know that I can ask the DEIF support engineer; he’s always available to give us an answer, and we really appreciate that”.

Ready for large-scale deployment

Floating wind power has enormous potential. When turbines do not need to be installed directly on the ocean floor, you can generate power at any water depth. By doing so, you vastly increase the sea area available for power production; in fact, some of the world's best wind resources are located far offshore at depths beyond 50 m. In addition, wind farms on floating platforms can easily be placed at a safe distance from fishing areas and shipping lanes.

BW Ideol’s platform concept has now been proved to work. Any turbine brand can be used, and the turbine will work exactly the same on the floating platform as it would onshore or in a fixed-foundation offshore solution. Data from the DEIF retrofit controller for the V80 played a key role in the successful development project. Marie Bayard-Lenoir, Communications Manager at BW Ideol, concludes by summing up the role that DEIF has played.

“DEIF has helped us demonstrate the consistently great performance of our foundation for floating wind turbines, thanks to the excellent turbine availability and the good production figures recorded since commissioning”, she says. “The solution is now ready to be deployed at a large scale”.

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