Offshore wind farm managers are under increasing pressure to minimise life cycle costs whilst maintaining reliability or availability targets, and to operate within safety regulation. This paper presents a risk based decision-making methodology for undertaking run-repair-replace decisions with the ultimate aim of maximising the Net Present Value (NPV) of the investment in maintenance. The paper presents the methodology developed for the risk based life management of Offshore Wind farms under the remit of the CORLEX (Cost Reduction and Life Extension of Offshore Wind Farms) project funded by DTI (Department of Trade and Industry, UK) Technology Programme on Renewable Energy. Unlike traditional approaches to decision-making that consider either the probability of failure of a component or the consequence of failure in isolation, a risk-based approach considers both these aspects in combination to arrive at an optimal solution. The paper builds a basic Qualitative Risk Analysis methodology to highlight high-risk components that are then investigated further by a Quantitative Risk Analysis. The risk is now quantified in monetary terms and the time of action — replacement or maintenance — indicated by the model is such that the NPV of the action is maximized. The methodology is demonstrated by considering offshore wind turbine tower as the critical component and corrosion as the damage mechanism.

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