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Back to La industria eólica avanza hacia una gestión más eficiente y sostenible con el proyecto WILLOW

The wind industry moves towards a more efficient and sustainable management with project WILLOW

18 | 03 | 2024

Ceit leads the project WILLOW, which seeks to revolutionize the management of offshore wind farms through an integrated solution based on data and open source.

With a budget of €5.8 million, the project is expected to contribute to a 50% reduction in inspection costs, a 5-year extension of the lifetime of offshore wind farms and a reduction in noise pollution and levelized cost of energy.

From March 20 to 22, 2024, Ceit will participate in the Wind Europe 2024 international trade fair where it will present its solutions for the wind industry.

Wind power is gaining ground in the energy market and wind farms are playing an increasingly important role in the stability of the electricity system. A new perspective is being explored in which wind farms not only maximize energy production, but also actively contribute to the stability of the power system by adjusting their production more intelligently.

Currently, conventional methods of adjusting power output, such as uniformly reducing the output of all turbines or shutting down some turbines completely, may not be optimal and can shorten asset lifetimes. In addition, the complexity of integrating wind power into network and the division of responsibilities between turbine manufacturers and farm operators make it difficult to implement changes.

Balance between production and useful life

In this context, arises the project WILLOW, a European initiative led by the technology center Ceit that has as goal revolutionize the management of offshore wind farms through an integrated solution based on data and open source, which seeks a balance between energy production and the life of the Structures.

Specifically, WILLOW aims to design a novel structural health monitoring system capable of providing high quality and reliable data to perform an accurate assessment of the lifetime of offshore wind farm turbines. For this purpose, physical models and artificial intelligence methods will be used for decision making and scheduling of wind turbine maintenance activities. This will help to reduce costs and increase both the production of the farms and their operational life beyond fifty years.

Lines of action with a focus on efficiency

The project focuses on several strategic lines to improve the efficiency and safety of offshore wind farms. An integrated monitoring system will be designed to enable accurate detection of structural damage, along with cybersecurity strategies to ensure the integrity of the systems in operation. In addition, an Artificial Intelligence tool will be developed to improve the diagnostic capability of the Structures, the concept of "virtual sensing" will be investigated to reduce the issue of deployed sensors and a methodology will be defined to assess the lifetime of the turbine fleet. Finally, models will be developed to predict degradation and fatigue of Structures, and a tool will be designed for fleet-wide decision making.

Ceitleader of the project

Ceitin addition to coordinator of project, is leading the work package that focuses on the design structural monitoring system that combines different sensing technologies, physical models and models based on data. In addition, the center will work on the design of the cybersecurity strategy applied at different levels in offshore wind farms.

Cost reduction and life extension

WILLOW, with a budget of €5.8 million subsidized at framework from the Horizon Europe program, is expected to contribute to a 50% reduction in inspection costs, a 5-year life extension of offshore wind farms and a 4% reduction in noise pollution and up to 10% reduction in the levelized cost of energy.

The project WILLOW is composed of a consortium gathering 12 partners from 4 European countries: Ceit, Flanders Make, SINTEF, SIRRIS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, ALERION, C-CUBE, TSI, WÖLFEL, 24SEA, NORTHER and the Euskadi Energy Cluster.

Wind Europe 2024

Ceit will present the project WILLOW and other solutions it is working on from March 20-22, 2024 at the Wind Europe international fair, where it will have a prominent presence from its stand (Hall 1 - A80) next to the Energy Cluster of Euskadi. From this space, Ceit will present its solutions for the energy sector, ranging from the design and development of new mechanical, structural and electronic components, through the digitization of operations and maintenance, such as, for example, the implementation of new remote monitoring systems or corrosion detection and communications in hostile environments such as underwater, to the recycling of components, promoting the circular Economics .