Introduction

As the renewable energy market continues to grow, so is the demand for continuous asset optimisation. Owners need to think about investing in the long-term health of their green assets to maximise their performance. A renewable asset generally has the life expectancy of 20 to 25 years (for wind turbines). However, this can be extended through the implementation of proper maintenance procedures, proactive solutions and proper asset management. Here are 8 aspects of renewable asset management to consider in order to get the most from your renewable energy assets.

 Monitoring

A professional asset manager will ensure that each site is monitored 24/7. This is done to identify any potential faults and insure if any H&S issue arise an effect Emergency Rescue Plans (ERP) is activated efficiently. In the event of asset downtime, it is common practice to wait for a short time to allow for the wind turbine or solar panels to potential carry out an automatic reset. However, if that doesn’t happen, the manufacturer and the client are notified immediately. Analysis must be completed on all stops regardless of severity to look for trends and with proactive planning try to reduce downtime.

In addition, status and production are checked multiple times daily. It is then no secret that assets are monitored and scrutineered around the clock ensuring all issues are resolved efficiently.

Data Analysis

Various analytics tools are used to pull together the raw data from wind and solar farms to accurately populate a detailed report of the various systems. This data shows exactly how the asset is doing and highlights underperformance, such as underlying warnings. Data analysis is performed in order to identify any patterns that could lead to potential issues and prevent them before they occur. It is essential to navigate through data and perform estimations to assess the reliability of assets. By completing data analysis you are able to proactively react to potential issues before they result in sufficient downtime.

Health & Safety

In the renewable energy industry, health and safety (HSE) is always a top priority, and Greensolver is no exception. Identifying potential issues that could affect the safety of people and equipment is at the forefront of every procedure. Health and safety pose unique challenges at every stage of the project and it’s important to perform HSE audits at the highest standards. Some of the HSE tasks include HSE compliance checks, drafting and management of HSE plans, Emergency Rescue Plans (ERP), and correction follow-up of HSE issues.

Reporting

Renewable asset management tracks power plants throughout their lifecycles and reports asset performance. Reporting can be done weekly, monthly, quarterly, six monthly or annual, depending on client requirements. For instance, a monthly portfolio performance report can include the presentation of KPIs, list of monthly events, losses analysis and so on. The data can be presented in multiple forms, such as graphs and tables, in order to offer an easily-digestible summary at glance. Additionally, at Greensolver, these can be tailor-made for every individual client.

Site inspections

Site inspections are carried out in order to check site maintenance, identify HSE risks and any non-conformities that may be present. A formal report is then prepared for the client. This highlights site inspection findings and any recommendations for the future. A high number of clients generally request quarterly inspections, while some prefer them to be done on a monthly basis.

A site is dynamic, meaning the surrounds can change quickly potentially posing before unseen risks.

Turbine inspections (for wind assets)

The goal of turbine inspections is to ensure the assets are being maintained by O&M to the standard expected by the client. Generally carried out annually, these inspections include a thorough visual turbine and blade inspections, analysis of the gearbox and a detailed technical report which is shared with the client. Any identified issues will be raised with the O&M provider and dates for rectification agreed.

HV

Another important factor that asset managers need to consider is high voltage (HV) systems/equipment. Actions such as protection, circuit breaker, transformer need to be monitored and assessed to ensure they are functioning correctly and there are no issues present. To ensure the above, procedures are being fully implemented and followed and a comprehensive report detailing all actions will be submitted to the client.

Balance of Plant (BOP)

Managing the balance of plant (BOP) is vital to keep the plant operating. Often overlooked but the BOP is one of the most important part of the asset infostructure. Asset managers are additionally tasked with carrying out work related to other elements and installations on site except for the turbines and solar panels themselves. These often include project management, ground condition surveys, works on the foundations, substation and electrical components.

How can Greensolver help?

If you are unsure about how efficient asset management can greatly benefit your renewable energy assets, get in touch with our team of accredited experts now. Alternatively, visit our operations page, which details all of the technical asset management services Greensolver can provide.