Assessment of yearly available days for

wind turbine installation in the western sea of Taiwan

Hsiang-Chih Chan, Meng-Hung Chang, Ai-Tsz Liu, Cheng-Hsien Chung, Chen-Hsing-Cheng, Forng-Chen Chiu
Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center
14F, No. 27, Sec. 2, Zhongzheng E. Road,
Tamsui Dist., 2517 New Taipei City, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Abstract- Offshore wind farm is a renewable energy that has
been commercially operated in Europe over 3.8 GW capacities in
2011 and will be targeted upon 150 GW in 2030. Taiwan also
plans to install 3 GW offshore wind farms in 2030. Thus, a
number of condition assessments and engineering designs are
being studied, such as the site selection, the wind turbines layout,
the environmental impact assessment, the maritime engineering,
the installation and maintenance fleets. In this paper, we carried
out the winds and waves as the critical conditions of sea status for
the installation of offshore wind turbines. The winds and waves
data were collected by a data buoy which was deployed near the
entrance of Taichung Harbor. The wind speeds were measured at
15 m above the sea surface. In the case study, we assumed a jack-
up vessel will be used for installation of wind turbines. Then,
some benchmarking conditions are filled into the assessment. For
example, the conditions for operated criteria were suggested as
wind speeds below 15 m/s and significant wave heights below 1.5
m in a water depth of 30 m. Moreover, a continuous working
duration is considered as 15 hours for installation of a wind
turbine from a tower, a nacelle, and blades. Eventually, the
yearly available days for the wind turbine installation were
assessed about 175 days. Different working modes, such as piling,
cable laying, and maintenance, were discussed those yearly
available days as well. From the operation and maintenance
(O&M) supporting vessels working days (260 days), an offshore
wind farm owned 50 wind turbines and each needs maintenance
of 260 hours every year that was a benchmark scenario. The
supporting vessels require 6 at least that had been estimated.
I. INTRODUCTION
Offshore wind farm is more economic than the other
renewable energy, and it thus becomes extremely developing
engineering and technology in the recent years. The
commercially operated capacities for offshore wind turbines in
Europe have been carried out over 3.8 GW in 2011, and will
be targeted upon 150 GW in 2030 [1]. Taiwan also plans to
install 3 GW offshore wind farms in 2030. Thus, a number of
condition assessments and engineering designs are being
studied, such as the site selection, the wind turbines layout, the
environmental impact assessment, the maritime engineering,
the installation and maintenance fleets. We know that a
number of successful experiences on offshore wind farm in
Europe, such as offshore engineering and wind turbines, jack-
up vessels, power grids and substations. However, some
nature disasters increase the risks of the offshore wind farms
in Taiwan, for example there were 3-4 typhoons struck
Taiwan every year that is not a momentous risk of maritime
engineering in Europe. Reference [2] indicated that the wind
turbines have to consider the loads during a typhoon eye-wall
passage, which carries very high wind speeds and various
wind directions. The design and manufacture of blade, tower,
and foundation can increase a higher safer factor, but the cost
will be expanded as well.
A challenge to the development of offshore wind farms is
the sea conditions. Because the wind energy in the offshore
wind farm had been assessed enough before developing, this is
also meaning the high wind-driven waves occurred frequently.
Moreover, the monsoon starts to affect Taiwan in October and
continuously impact until the next March. So the high sea
status is the main limitation of construction on the offshore
wind farms, which is discussed in this study. We consider the
winds and waves as the critical conditions of sea status for the
installation of offshore wind turbines.
The scenario is assumed a jack-up vessel will be used for
installation of wind turbines and assessed available working
days limited by the wind speeds and the significant wave
heights. We demonstrate the data of winds and waves
collected by a data buoy, which are represented the sea status
in the offshore wind farms in the western sea of Taiwan. In
addition, we carried out the statistical results for yearly
available days, which is able to estimate the annual installation
numbers of wind turbines as well.
II. DATA COLLECTION
Before construction of offshore wind farms, the ambient
environments need data collections for engineering assessment
and feasibility study. In this study, we used the data of winds
and waves measured by a data buoy, which was deployed for a
long-term by the Institute of Harbor and Marine Technology
(IHMT), the Department of Transportation.
A. Location of measurement
A data buoy attached with an anemometer and a wave
gauge, which was deployed near the entrance of Taichung
Harbor. The exactly deployed position of the buoy is 120°E
28.54', 24°N 18.00', which was illustrated in Fig. 1. The water
depth of buoy deployment was about 25 m deep. There are
many potential offshore wind farms distributed in the western
sea of Taiwan, and the buoy was closed to those offshore wind
farms shown as Fig. 1 as well. Thus, the data of winds and
waves were represented as the sea conditions in those wind
farms for this study.
978-1-4673-5948-1/13/$31.00 ©2013 IEEE

Figure 1. A buoy for data collection of winds and waves was deployed near
the entrance of Taichung Harbor, which is the second largest harbor in
Taiwan. Many potential offshore wind farms are also marked in this map.

B. Wind and wave data
The wind speeds and directions were measured by an
anemometer at 15 m height above the sea surface. Wind data
were collected and calculated as hourly average of wind
speeds from 2005 to the end of 2010, which were presented in
the top panel of Fig.2. The significant increasing of wind
speeds has high correlations with the effects of typhoons and
monsoons. The typhoons occurred timeline in the middle of
Fig.2 were from the disseminated alerts of typhoon by the
Central Weather Bureau (CWB) of Taiwan. There were totally
34 typhoons struck Taiwan during 2005-2010.
The hourly significant wave heights are also shown in the
bottom panel of Fig. 2. The curves gaps of wind speeds and
significant wave heights might be due to instrument
breakdown and repair. The best yearly data received rates on
anemometer and wave gauge were above 99%. The monthly
losses in hourly data of winds and waves have statistical
results shown in Fig. 3. The monthly total loss data were
divided by 24 hours, which is represented by days in the
vertical axis. While the monthly data lost in few days, for
example from January to September in 2007, which might be
caused by instrument itself. Another situation was instrument


Figure 2. Top panel is the hourly average of wind speeds from 2005 to the end
of 2010. Middle timeline is the typhoons struck dates. Bottom panel is the
hourly significant wave heights. The curves gaps mean data lost.

Figure 3.Statistical days of monthly data loss on winds and waves collected in
2005-2010.

breakdown and needed to repair, such as the wave data loss
from September 2008 to the next June.
III. ASSESSMENT METHOD
The wind farm installation vessels might have multiple
working purposes that are like transportation, assembly and
installation of wind turbine [3]. Jack-up vessels design is suit
for those requirements. Reference [4] reported that a third
generation installation vessel can operate in significant wave
heights of 2.5 m. We know that some criteria of operation and
survival conditions for vessel design are relative to wind
speeds and significant wave heights. For example, jack-up
vessel MPI Resolution is able to transport 10 wind turbines of
3.5 MW and operates in maximum depths of 35 m, wave
heights of 3.0 m, and wind speeds of 15.3 m/s [3].
We demonstrated a study case for assessment of yearly
available working days by a jack-up vessel, which might be
purposed to operate in the western sea of Taiwan. The
benchmark is describing as following: The maximum
operation water depth is 30 m; the maximum wind speeds are
15 m/s; the maximum significant wave heights are 1.5 m.
Moreover, significant wave heights of 2.5 m are considered as
a survival condition in the sea status.


Figure 4.Demonstration of wind speeds and significant wave heights are used
for assessment of yearly available days with the limited conditions of 15 m/s
wind speeds and 1.5 m significant wave heights.

Figure 5. Top panel is yearly available days from the statistic results by the
limited conditions of wind speeds of 15 m/s and significant wave heights of
1.5 m. Bottom panel is yearly data loss of winds and waves for looking over
the available days.

When we concerned the wind speeds and wave heights for
the assessment, both of those data had to be exactly received
and filled in Fig. 4. In Fig. 4, the scatter plots of hourly
average of wind speeds and significant wave heights indicate
that their correlations were positive but not high actually. Thus,
both of data should be evaluated simultaneously in this
assessment. The red box shows the limitation of wind speeds
of 15 m/s and significant wave heights of 1.5 m. Another
important criterion was the continuous working hours, which
was considered as 15 hours for the installation of offshore
wind turbines here.
Fig. 5 is the results by above limited conditions. Top panel
of Fig.5 indicated the totally yearly available days and the
largest was about 175 days occurred in 2007; the similar days
in 2010 as well. The total days is calculated by the cumulative
available hours divided by 24 hours. We had observed that
available days in 2008 and 2009 were below 100, and thus we
looked over the data loss between winds and waves shown in
bottom panel of Fig. 5. While the data losses were increased,
the available days were decrease that is a pitfall of assessment.
However, the maximum yearly available days of 175 were
acceptable, because this is better than the assessment of
approximate 120 days (4 months) in the northern Europe
reported by reference [4].


Figure 6. Demonstration of available durations and continuous days
distributions was corresponding with Fig. 5.
TABLE I
AVAILABLE DAYS WITH DIFFERENT WORKING MODES
Working modes
Limited conditions
Available
days
Wind
speeds
(m/s)
Sig. wave
heights
(m)
Working
hours
Wind turbine
installation by jack-up
vessel
15 1.5 15 175
Jack-up vessel
survivability
25 2.5 - 266
Piling 10 2.0 12 190
Cable laying* - 2.0 - 234
O&M supporting
vessels
- 2.5 8 260
* needs more conditions, such as the DP (dynamic positioning) spec and sea
currents limitations.

IV. DISCUSSIONS
We carried out a study case on the assessment of yearly
available days for installation of offshore wind turbines by a
jack-up vessel. However, the actually available working dates
could be displayed in Fig. 6. A very clear feature in the
assessment is the available durations often occurred between
April and October in 2005-2010 and the longest continuous
days were over 18 days. If it can avoid the typhoon effects, we
believe those continuous days should be extensive possibly.
Moreover, there were a couple of available dates during
monsoons (i.e., October to the next March) and those days
might be prepared for the maintenance of offshore wind farm.
Offshore wind farm generally needs various vessels for
different engineering and construction, such as survey,
transportation, installation, maintenance, and inspection.
During the phase of survey and construction for an offshore
wind farm is 1-5 years approximately. A lifecycle of offshore
wind farm is usually over 20 years [5]. The cost estimation
and risk assessment are key factors for the design of maritime
engineering and the arrangement of the installation and
maintenance fleets. In the previous chapter, we demonstrated
the yearly available days for a jack-up vessel to installation of
wind turbines. If a wind turbine needs 3 days for installation
of a tower, a nacelle, and blades, a jack-up vessel may install a
few tens offshore wind turbines at least in one year. It is also
important for the survivability of a jack-up vessel, especially a
jack-up vessel may transport between offshore wind farms and
ports during the high sea status. Thus, more studied cases of
working mode with various vessels were analyzed in Tab. I.
Under the survival conditions of a jack-up vessel, the available
days was 266.
In addition, the available working days for the vessels of
piling, cable laying, and maintenance had been assessment as
well. Cable laying vessels need ROV (remotely operated
vehicle) to trench or inspect and thus DP (dynamic positioning)
are usually required. DP ability is limited the sea currents,
waves, and winds. The criteria in Tab. I on a cable laying
vessel neglect DP specifications and sea currents. The
limitation of operation and maintenance (O&M) supporting
vessels are significant wave heights of 2.5 and working hours
of 8, which obtained yearly available days of 260. To assume
an offshore wind farm owned 50 wind turbines and each needs
maintenance of 260 hours every year. Eventually, we can
estimate that supporting vessels require 6 at least.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Economic
Affairs for the project support. The authors also thank the
Institute of Harbor and Marine Technology for providing the
data of winds and waves and the Central Weather Bureau for
typhoons information.
REFERENCES
[1] K. Veum, L. Cameron, D. H. Hernando, M. Korpås, Roadmap to the
deployment of offshore wind energy in the Central and Southern North
Sea (2020 - 2030), Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN),
July 2011.
[2] S. Ott, Extreme Winds in the Western North Pacific, Risø-R-1544(EN)
Risø National Laboratory, Roskilde, Denmark, 2006.
[3] J. Bard and F. Thalemann, Offshore Infrastructure: Ports and Vessels,
WaveEnergy Centre.
[4] H. Wedel, “Installation vessel concept for wind turbines,” WÄRTSILÄ
Technical Journal In Detail, Issue No. 2, pp. 36-40, 2011.
[5] J.R. Nedwell, and D.Howell, A review of offshore windfarm related
underwater noise sources, Subacoustech Report ref: 544R0308, 57 pp,
2004.

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