The useful life of a large number of European wind farms will come to an end by the end of this decade (2020-2030). In view of this situation, and driven by high decommissioning costs and the impossibility to recycle many of the components, the industry is focusing on life extension and repowering of existing machines.

Repowering Capacity of Existing Wind Farms (2021-2030)

Source: Wind Europe


This trend poses a major challenge, since it forces the sector to combine used and new components in existing machines, all with both technical and safety guarantees. To this end, it is essential to determine the structural reliability of the most critical components, not only at the end of their useful life but throughout their entire operating period, in order to plan maintenance and/or replacement operations with the ultimate aim of extending the useful life of wind turbines.