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Another great article from Wind Farm Realities — Degrading performance of IWT’s

Wind Farm Realities — September 20, 2012

Some History/Background

About 6 months ago John Harrison started calculating how the performance of wind turbinesdegrades over time.  He noted that as projects are in place over a number of years that their Capacity Factor (the percentage of their nameplate capacity that they actually generate) annually decreased somewhere in the 1-2% range.  For example, a project that operated at a CF of 30% initially could be expected to be operating in the 15% CF range after 10 years of a 1.5% annual decline.

There are 3 main reasons the CF might decline: (1) a change in wind speed or direction, (2) dispatching (being told to turn them off) and (3) wear and tear.  In Ontario and most other areas #2 is never done, per political fiat.  #1 is calculated by taking the historical wind records from a nearby weather station and adjusting  the actual output for the change in wind speed.  And that leaves #3, which is what is left over after the changes in wind speed have been factored out.

I took his method, applied it to Denmark and found a similar decline.  And as you can see from the comments, others are reporting similar observances.  But it takes a stable environment (with the same turbines in place and aging together, with no more being added) to be able to observe the decline, at least from public information.

 (To continue reading, click here)

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