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Power and Energy Solutions (PES) Magazine is a leading renewable energy magazine, reporting on wind and solar energy news throughout the industry. The April issue features an article by Daniel Hope, SGS Global Business Development Manager, Renewable Energy, entitled ‘Seven Steps of the Project Lifecycle’.

The global economic crisis meant that securing financing for renewable energy projects became dramatically more difficult than in the past. Nevertheless, the wind energy industry enjoyed another record year in 2009 with 37.5 GW installed globally.

The trend towards larger projects with increased energy output has spurred demand for larger capacity turbines of the multi-megawatt class. In this respect wind turbine-rated power has increased dramatically over the past two decades and this in turn has influenced the loads that the turbines and their components must withstand. The substantial increases in loads on wind turbine components drive up investment and operational costs and have proved challenging for manufacturers, project financiers, developers, owners and operators.

It is essential to recognize that the overall performance of a turbine is not only dependent on the design stage, but also on each stage throughout its operating life. In order to minimize down-time while predicting and limiting potential damage locally, preventing secondary damage of other components and appropriately scheduling turbine down-time to meet maintenance requirements, Design Verification, regular monitoring and condition inspections of wind turbines are indispensable.

In order to prevent or mitigate major hurdles encountered throughout the project lifetime and to reduce the risk profile for the project, the SGS Competence Centre Wind Energy provides Project Lifecycle, which covers the complete development of a wind farm project, from initial conception to operation.

SGS Wind Farm Project Lifecycle Project Lifecycle provided by the SGS Competence Centre Wind Energy ensures that the wind farm will perform successfully throughout its intended lifetime and consists of seven phases: Conceptual Phase, Design Basis and Site Assessment, Site Specific Design of Wind Turbine and Foundation, Manufacturing, Transportation and Installation, Commissioning and In-Service.

The Conceptual Phase focuses on ensuring that projects which proceed through to initial design are indeed viable.

During the Design Basis and Site Assessment SGS determines the suitability of the wind farm location by evaluating the site characteristics with specific attention being paid to the wind, geotechnical and environmental conditions.

The Site Specific Design of Wind Turbine and Foundation in turn focuses on the verification of loads and response, the wind turbine, electrical systems, installations and commissioning as well as the Operation and Maintenance.

Once the verification of the detailed wind turbine design is completed, the Manufacturing phase commences. In this wind farm project phase SGS experts visit and inspect the manufacturers, supervise and examine the production of components and undertake assembly checks.

The objective of the next phase Transportation and Installation is to ensure that quality and safety of the project is maintained, from components leaving their manufacturing facilities through to their correct and prompt installation on site.

In the final Commissioning phase SGS checks all systems and equipment for compliance with approved documentation and commissioning procedures.
Crucial for ensuring the condition of the turbine and its operational availability throughout its service life are In-Service inspections.

During the In-Service phase the wind turbine, tower and foundation are regularly surveyed. SGS provides a variety of services for the In-Service phase, including periodic inspections, gearbox analyses, rotor blade inspections, coating inspections and Condition Monitoring (PDF 192 KB), which ensure that the condition of the wind farm is maintained over time and that the project certificate remains valid.

Carrying out Lifecycle Services is critical not only to ensure financially-viable and operating wind turbines, but also to reduce down-time due to detectable failures. The Lifecycle Services allow for the adequate certification, verification, testing and inspection of wind turbines by using information gathered at each stage of development of the wind farm project.

About SGS Wind Energy Services SGS Competence Centre Wind Energy offers a large variety of services and solutions for the wind energy sector throughout the whole project lifecycle, from design and development to In-Service inspections.

As the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, SGS is the preferred international partner for onshore and offshore wind farm projects. Our strength comes from our experienced staff who have the required technical expertise in wind technology.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Industrial Services
SGS Competence Centre Wind Energy
Daniel Hope
Global Business Development Manager Renewable Energy
SGS Group Management Ltd.
Raboisen 28
D - 20095 Hamburg
t: +49 40 30101-538
f: +49 89 12504068-538

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.