Design for Reliable Power Performance (D4REL) is an R&D project aiming at developing innovative technology & tools for reducing uncertainty in both the design and operation of offshore wind farms.

Limiting the design uncertainty makes it possible to reassess and reduce the safety factors which are used in the design of wind turbines to account for the modeling uncertainty in the design process. More accurate modeling allows for lower safety factors, which in turn makes it possible to achieve less conservative (and, hence, cheaper) turbine design.

The operational uncertainty will be reduced by using fault tolerant and condition-based control methods. Fault tolerant control aims at accommodating simple, non-critical failures in the wind turbine by reconfiguring the control algorithm to prevent unnecessary shutdowns (missed production). Condition-based control, on the other hand, employs health monitoring techniques that signals an approaching critical component failure, and adapts the control algorithm to reduce the load of that component and delay/avoid failure. Hence, the fault tolerant and condition-based control methods will lead to less unplanned maintenance and higher supply certainty.

Altogether, reducing design and operational uncertainty is expected to have a significant contribution to the reduction of Cost of Energy of offshore wind farms.

The project is partially sponsored by the Dutch subsidy program TKI Wind op Zee. It is coordinated by ECN, and is partnered by TU-Delft, Siemens, Ballast-Nedam, Van Oord, IHC Hydrohammer and Eneco.