Supportability Engineering in Wind Power Systems - Who Cares? : Considering important stakeholders and their requirements

Abstract: Wind power is one of the fastest growing energy sources, which have advantages in terms of delivering clean, cheap and fast energy. Many actors and organizations have realized this potential, which has lead to exponential growth of the wind power over recent couple of years. Despite promising future of clean and green energy through wind there are still areas to be improved to tackle main hinders for further development on a larger scale. The larger scale development of wind power has up-to-date been reached in only few countries such asDenmarkandGermany. The most potential can be found through offshore wind turbines due to, among other, lesser height and noise restrictions than inland wind turbines as well as better wind resources.This thesis is mainly characterized by the mixed-method method, which is in its turn characterized by mixing different research methods such as induction, deduction and abduction as they might be suitable to apply during the different stages of the research process. In this thesis the system approach will be considered to model the scope of this study’s context. As this thesis was constructed as a theoretical study the systematic literature review was used as the main source for data collection. The synthesis of the reviewed articles was initially performed in a broad manner to show overall picture of research related to the scope of this thesis. In the following step, the adopted LCM tool was used to extract study specific data from the reviewed and additional articles. This enabled to link some of the current problems, in wind power area, and ‘unfulfilled’ stakeholder requirements.   This thesis aim was to identify important stakeholders and to address their respective requirements within the scope of supportability engineering applied in the wind power context, particularly stakeholder requirements that have not been considered by previous research. The purpose of it was to compare different requirements with current issues in the wind power sector. Conducted systematic literature review showed significant and costly (development) issues related to the supportability engineering such as reliability, availability, maintainability, accessibility problems etc. This was fully in line with the stakeholders’ requirements, which in several cases demanded higher dependability i.e. availability performance and its influencing factors. The thesis also included definition of supportability engineering framework, through comparing several widely accepted and standardized theoretical concepts. This comparison enabled definition of more focused approach with requirements on the ‘supported system’ and to lesser extent the ‘support system’. These requirements are usually mixed within the different theoretical concepts. The main findings from this study are that application of supportability engineering framework would lead to earlier identification of important stakeholders and their requirements. Considering these requirements, for instance availability and maintainability of the wind turbines, at earlier stages of the life cycle through better design and improved supportability infrastructure could potentially decrease amount of current problems in the wind energy sector in particular for the offshore part. Another result was that different stakeholders and their requirements were identified. Thesis contribution overall was a new ‘refined approach’ to deal with supportability issues through supportability engineering framework, whose main focus is the ‘supported system’.