Intelligent asset management with True Digital Twins

Ursula Smolka

Senior Engineer

T: +49 (151) 58015-127

Ulf Tyge Tygesen

Development Manager, Global Service Areas, Jackets

T: +45 5161 7398

Reduce operation costs and extend lifetime

Offshore structures such as platforms and wind turbines are billion-dollar investments, and it usually takes a lot of hours and manpower to keep them running optimally, for as long as possible.

With True Digital Twins, operation and maintenance costs can be reduced, and decisions on whether to extend the lifetime of an offshore structure can be based on a genuine understanding of the structures. This is what we call intelligent asset management.   

Challenges offshore

In the North Sea, more than 600 offshore structures are on the verge of exceeding, or have already exceeded, their original design lifetime. This means that the industry is facing extensive investments to upgrade or reinforce the current structures, in order to maintain the present oil and gas production in the future. 

In the offshore wind industry, wind farm operators are facing different challenges:  the offshore environment is harsh, and the structures need to withstand waves, wind, soil conditions and other environmental factors. To continue safe and reliable operation at the lowest possible cost, the wind farm operators must ensure that the structures they have designed are strong enough to carry the load.  

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True representation of structures in real-time

To address these challenges, Ramboll developed a so-called True Digital Twin.  This is a digital model that continuously monitors how the structure is doing and is updated with real-time information about the loads affecting the structure. Instead of using countless manhours checking up on the structure, the True Digital Twin does it automatically and alerts the client if any issue arises that needs to be addressed. 

The digital model was originally developed for the oil & gas sector, but now the experience can benefit the offshore wind industry with equal weight. 

Reducing maintenance costs and increasing lifetime 

Lorena Tremps is Scottish Power/Iberdrola’s project manager of an industry-driven EU-backed initiative, called ROMEO, which aims to reduce the operation and maintenance costs of offshore wind power. She explains:

“The main challenge of offshore wind operators is to deal with massive amounts of information from the assets that are in operation. The benefits that the digital twin can provide are very clear to us. Firstly, improve our understanding of our offshore wind assets, lowering the costs of operation & maintenance, and ultimately, exploit the opportunities for lifetime extension. 

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New monitoring strategies to reduce operation and maintenance costs for offshore wind farms

As part of an international consortium, Ramboll is involved in the ROMEO research and development project. The project intends to advance the energy transition in Europe and reduce the costs of offshore wind energy.