Maintenance: an extraordinary challenge
Maintaining and repairing moving infrastructures on the high seas is an extraordinary technical and logistical challenge. The aim is to ensure the safety of operators and reduce maintenance costs. Here's a look at the R&D challenges involved in maintaining floating wind farms.
How to replace monumental components more than a hundred kilometres from the coast? How to ensure the safety of technicians during offshore operations? How to remotely monitor the infrastructure? These are just some of the questions that fuel the work of R&D.
The subject of floating wind farm maintenance is complex, especially since EDF does not currently have any floating wind turbines in service. On the other hand, EDF has advanced expertise in fixed offshore wind farms, notably with the operation of the Teesside and Blyth wind farms in England. In theory, the maintenance of floating wind turbines is like that of fixed wind turbines. "It consists of light maintenance through regular monitoring, inspection and maintenance of all the elements of the wind turbine and heavy maintenance when it comes to intervening on large components such as the mast, blades, generator and electrical connection cables," explains Marie Berthelot. In practice, these heavy operations are made more delicate in the open sea, given the moving nature of floating wind turbines, the depth of the water and their distance from the coast.