Owners share operations tips through online network

SWEDEN: An online peer-to-peer networking site dedicated to operations and maintenance information is enabling wind turbine owners to learn from the experience of others.

Benefits of sharing maintenance experience. Pic: Dong Energy

The o2owind International site started as a forum with seven Nordic wind asset owners, and has now grown to 21 members.

The founding members are: Statoil, Acciona Energia, Skelleftea Kraft, Vattenfall, EDF Luminus, GasNatural Fenosa & RWE Innogy. Members so far are European based, but three US companies are in the process of joining up, according to o2o.

Access to wind farm operational data has hindered many turbine owners endeavours to improve their project operations.

"The better way forward is to connect the right people and then second to share data," said Marten Nilsson, who runs o2oWind International from its head office in Sweden.

Wind turbine owners are not competitors in operations and maintenance (O&M) he said. The bigger the group, the greater the competence and experience, and the solutions, he added.

Membership is restricted to wind asset owners only, and members create a profile giving information on the turbine models and operational conditions they know, and the components and O&M skills they are interested in learning about.

"The whole point of o2o is to be able to be open, to have members who don't see other members as potential competitors or clients," he said.

Owners who work with their own O&M teams selling service agreements to others would not be included.

But companies, such as Vattenfall, whose asset operators have no relationship with the service agreement division are accepted, Nilsson explained.

"We had one Spanish member who posted a query about new EU standards on fault protection systems, because he was concerned he may need new equipment. The next day he received an answer sharing a document that compared the old and new standards. Within one day the information was shared from north to south Europe," said Nilsson.