In comparison with their onshore counterparts, offshore wind farms and their life cycle operations provide a number of different aspects to consider. Nowadays, different technological solutions are being tested for the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. Still the challenges are quite diverse and mostly relate to: design of electrical infrastructure; structural design and material choice for aggressive environmental and seasonal conditions; site assessment and optimal set-up; substructures; installation methods; logistics; technical service access; operations and maintenance, etc. Firstly this paper reviews the technical and physical aspects of the mechanical, electrical, and structural subsystems and their critical failure scenarios as a stand point for assessing the current technological solutions and industrial applications. The second part of the paper attempts to map the status quo within offshore wind industries and assess the current status with respect to expected optimum performance criteria. It critically reviews, in particular, the technical and operational integrity concepts which have some influence from systems design process, cost-optimal maintenance approaches, and supportive decision-making applications, intelligent remote diagnostics prognostics techniques and their feasibility, etc. Thus this paper contributes in many different ways, bringing a multi-disciplinary perspective, and leading the way toward further research and industrial applications from an integrated asset management point of view.


This section provides an overview of the asset management approach and the whole life cycle philosophy which have been used for building this review. Taking such narrow a perspective within wind power applications will be confined to the reactive tasks of repair actions or component replacement triggered by failures. Geraerds (1972) has a more recent view of maintenance as "all activities aimed at keeping an item in, or restoring it to, the physical state considered necessary for fulfillment of its production function."

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