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Case Study

BayWa r.e. pulls out all the stops to increase energy yield

Setting the scene

The continuous technical and operations maintenance of windfarms is essential to achieving peak efficiency and optimising yields.  

For owners and investors, having the right services team in place is crucial to ensure their investment in renewable energy provides sustainable and reliable returns.

The 16.8 MW Hamwiede windfarm, located in Northern Germany, was commissioned by swiss based utility and renewable energy provider, IWB (Industrielle Werke Basel).

Today the wind farm, configured with seven Nordex N117 turbines, operates with an impressive long term annual yield of 42,879 MWh. This yield was achieved through the analytical approach undertaken by our service team, who quickly set about to identify areas to improve the wind farm’s efficiency.

Meeting the Challenge

After identifying that Hamwiede was not reaching its full potential, our expert services team began by performing a forensic examination of the turbine data, whereby we reviewed the efficiency of the turbines using our integrated monitoring system and looked for any other unusual activity. 

We identified that the N117 turbines were suffering from multiple stoppages throughout the winter months. Since the winter winds create ideal generating conditions, these stoppages were having a significant detrimental effect on the overall annual energy yield from Hamwiede.

The first part of the solution was a question of hardware. The original ice detection system installed by the client was causing multiple unnecessary stoppages and needed to be upgraded. As soon as we had finished the complex installation of the new ice detection system all the false errors and alarms stopped. These false alarms had created a yield loss of 2.8% - a significant amount over the course of a year.  

The second part was also complex, since it was a question of amending the software. In addition to the faulty ice detection system, the turbines were malfunctioning due to multiple short stoppages throughout the day (named “LV Grid Frequency not Val For Startup”).

Our engineers worked hard to find the cause and finally discovered that the parameters in the turbine control device were set up incorrectly. These caused a defect when the turbines were started up to the national grid.

Our service team managed to adjust the parameters according to national law, that way the start-up settings of the wind farm matched the national grid-requirements. Putting an immediate end to the stoppages.

Client transparency is integral to the service we supply. We kept IWB fully up to speed by delivering monthly reports, and real time energy generation data straight to their phones and desktops throughout the whole improvement process.

Getting the result

We have been operating and managing IWB’s Hamwiede windfarm for nearly three years. We take care of every aspect of its technical operations as well as the maintenance and the interface between IWB and their service companies.

As a result of our 24/7/round-the-clock central monitoring, our inhouse rotor service team, forensic data analysis and our dedicated project managers, we significantly reduced the number of stoppages at Hamwiede and achieved a 100% safety record.

We are IWB’s eyes and ears and our services team’s dedication and expertise has not only protected, but enriched their investment.

Especially in complex and challenging phases of cooperation, we could always count on the honesty of BayWa r.e. employees, their openness and commitment. For us that is a great basis for cooperation.

Michael Rückert
Technical Head of Asset Management, IWB Industrielle Werke Basel

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