The PowerPlus upgrade replaces the legacy control system, enabling owners of the V47-660kW turbines to increase output to 710kW, and continue operating the turbine beyond its original 20-year life expectancy, according to Vestas.
The upgrade represents an improvement of up to 4.5% to the annual energy production, said the manufacturer.
According to Windpower Intelligence data, there are around 15,000 models operating across the US, having been installed from 1997. The upgrade is available for other Vestas models in North America.
In replacing the legacy control system with modern electronic boards, Vestas can run a full-load assessment on the turbine, plan and prepare for parts replacement, and optimise the operation of the machines for maximum output and safety. The system also increases the cut-out speed from 25m/s to 28m/s.
"When you have a controller with more advanced processing power you can run more advanced algorithms," said, Vestas vice president of service product management, Anders Hvashoj. "It is critical that older turbines are equipped to deliver the most performance."
"With the site-specific operating plan, inspections and spare parts availability, we can safely operate some for up to 30 years. With a site-specific analysis, based on historical data and real-time monitoring, it is possible," Hvashoj added.
The PowerPlus service is already available across Europe for the newer 2MW Vestas models.