Erneuerbare Energien

Lifetime Extension for Wind Turbines

Services for continued operation of wind turbines

Services for continued operation of wind turbines

Continued operation of wind turbines after 20 years

Life cycle of wind turbines: make the most of your wind turbine’s extended lifetime potential

The probability of relevant damage due to material fatigue increases drastically after a wind turbine comes to the end of its design life. However, this does not necessarily mean the turbine has to be withdrawn from operation and decommissioned. In practical terms, many turbines still have reserves after the usual 20-year design life, which can be used for continued operation. Identification of these reserves can help to unlock additional potential for energy generation beyond the 20-year period for owners and operators of wind parks.

Once lifetime extension of a turbine after 20 years has been identified as an interesting option, diverse aspects need to be considered for its realisation. Type certification is used as a basis for verifying and evaluating fundamental safety with respect to the design life of the wind turbine model. This and other factors must take maintenance and operation requirements and the appropriate wind and climate conditions at the chosen site into consideration. When the operational design life reaches its end, an expert analysis for continued operation must be prepared to identify and confirm the remaining reserves for extension of the wind turbine life.

Analysis and evaluation for the continued operation of wind turbines – Our lifetime extension services for wind turbine operators and owners

TÜV SÜD’s expert analysis for continued operation establishes the basis for any application to authorities and insurance companies for continued operation of your wind turbine. Our expert analysis for continued operation is based on internationally recognised standards as well as the requirements of the BWE (Bundesverband Windenergie e.V. - German Wind Association) and DIBt:2012.

Procedure of the expert analysis for continued operation:

  1. Inspection of the wind turbine by our expert engineers: examination of the technical condition of the turbine as well as evaluation of damage and potential for further damage
  2. Determination of loads throughout the turbine’s operating life: analysis of site-specific wind conditions over the years and their effects on the turbine
  3. Analysis and calculations: computer estimate of turbine loads under site-specific conditions as well as design conditions, determination of available reserves of the turbine components and determination of the remaining period before essential replacement of components

After completion of our structural integrity analyses and evaluations, a detailed evaluation report is created that transparently presents the boundary conditions for safe continued operation of the turbine. For potential future turbine transactions, the evaluation report can additionally be used as a basis for a valuation and/or rating of the turbine and its condition. The evaluation report contains information including:

     - Potential period of continued operation

     - Required replacement of components and parts

     - Required recurring inspections of foundations, tower, machinery and rotor blades in
       the continued operation period

Why choose TÜV SÜD – Expert analysis for continued operation

TÜV SÜD’s expert analysis for continued operation offers wind park operators and owners various advantages:

     - They receive a clearly understandable and detailed evaluation report, which delivers a
       transparent basis for decision-making over continued operation of their wind turbine

     - The TÜV SÜD evaluation report for continued operation can be used to apply for
       extension of the operating approval by the authorities or to maintain insurance validity
       during the continued operation period

     - TÜV SÜD is an accredited certification body for wind turbines (IEC 61400 series, IECRE
       and others) and issues evaluation reports for continued operation which are
       recognised by all relevant authorities, insurance companies and other parties
       worldwide for extension of operating approval for your wind turbines

Exploit the maximum potential for continued operation of your wind turbine– with TÜV SÜD’s expertise and know-how! Our experienced wind turbine experts provide detailed information about the available services on request.

Any questions? – Read our FAQs:



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