Maintaining offshore electrolyzers coupled with wind turbines is expensive and requires careful planning (3 % of CAPEX). The working environment is very aggressive and the platform would not be easily accessible. Hence, there is a need of remote maintenance and control based on online data collection.
The idea is to optimize remotely the EL maintenance schedules in conjunction with Wind Turbine maintenance schedules. The project involves a planning tool and an e-maintenance and support module that allow malfunctionning detection in real time and optimal maintenance (prognosis based) with remote access that will allow to save costs through improved durability.
The first issue is the following : develop an offshore maintenance center (which would be located in the same place as the one for Wind Farm maintenance to avoid to duplicate costs) that uses an advanced decision tool. The decision tool is based on a digital twin (physical based model) of the EL coupled with the wi nd farm, online data transmitted to the maintenance center, and historical data. The main difficulty is to evaluate the effect of corrosion and marine environment on EL degradation. To achieve this, one will use data from different wind farms, which will consider wind, atmospheric and air conditions (e.g. Belgium, Netherlands, Germany/Denmark or Scandinavia), and design a classification/estimation tool to evaluate the Remaining Useful Life.
On another hand, The partner will conduct researches on the evaluation of long-term membrane degradation under conditions that replicate saline/marine environment. A next step consists of finding membranes and general configuration with improved durability. The partner will benefit from the development of an embedded optimal Control Unit to improve the efficiency and durability of electrolyzers.
Our skills are multiphysics system modelling, diagnosis, prognosis and control. We already have a model for diagnosis and dynamical behavior of EL , albeit not in marine environment, from a previous Interreg 2 seas (E2C) project.