Asset Management is about realising value for the organisation that owns or manages them; therefore, rather than simply purchasing and managing assets, organisations should think more strategically about the management of their assets in order to derive value. A key factor in an organisation’s ability to optimise the value from its asset investments, is establishing their life expectancy and the risks associated as the asset degrades.
Due to the rate of growth seen in the renewable energy sector, not all installations were built with equipment that is able to stand up to the conditions they are being exposed to, both electrically and environmentally. Some investors and O&M providers are therefore looking for ways to limit their risk exposure from assets that may not fulfil their predicted life expectancy that their investments are based on. It is therefore crucial for owners and operators of renewable energy sites to understand the value of these assets and what impact their failure will have on the wider site output and the return on their investment.
To help maximise the outputs of renewable energy sites, Investors and O&M providers need to make strategic asset management decisions on a portfolio wide basis, rather than the parochial view of singular generation sites. It is also vital for investors to understand their investment throughout the asset’s whole lifecycle and to monitor the asset to ensure that the predicted life expectancy will be realised. Optimising each phase of an asset throughout its entire lifecycle is an effective way of increasing returns through:
- Designing, specifying and purchasing assets that will withstand the electrical, environmental and operational demands that will be placed upon them;
- Driving asset management decisions through data;
- The proactive planning of costs, and the limitation of reactive costs through preventative actions;
- Understanding where an asset is along its ‘operate and maintain’ phase of its lifecycle, through knowing its condition, and understanding what this means in regard to life expectancy (asset health);
- Understanding an asset’s common failure modes and the effects of these failures;
- Pro-actively monitoring assets to help prevent failures;
- Learning from failures, and;
- Planning the time and method of disposal.
Using strategic asset management methods within the framework of an ISO55000 compliant asset management system will ensure that the organisation will consistently maximise the value it receives from its asset investments, by developing an understanding of the balance between cost and risk within a framework that plans, reviews and improves all work carried out.
Instrumental in achieving an effective asset management system is the monitoring of assets and systems to try and prevent issues from arising in the first place, or learning from failures. Renewable energy sites typically reactively monitor their assets through the use of metrics such as plant availability and actual performance ratios; however, the problem with these methods, in regards to failures, is that the event has already happened.
The advantage of using data collected on a regular basis, to proactively monitor an asset’s health, is that any required work can be planned rather than reactionary. The obvious effect of carrying out planned work is that it can seriously reduce labour costs, plus preventing failures (especially catastrophic ones) seriously reduces any further need for capital investment.
EA Technology has worldwide experience in assisting organisations create, develop and implement an ISO55000 compliant asset management system through conducting gap analysis assessments, which provides an asset owner with a maturity score for each part of the asset management system against the requirements of ISO5001. This scoring and the provision of recommendations to close any identified gaps between the asset management system and the requirements of ISO55001, provide a roadmap that lays out how an organisation can achieve ISO55000 compliance and certification.
EA Technology also has a wealth of experience in assisting clients with strategic asset management, which has helped asset owners in making investment decisions, to optimise the life expectancy of their assets. This can be achieved by:
- Understanding asset condition and the causes of asset degradation;
- Carrying out an asset portfolio assessment using established methodologies for asset Health Index determination;
- Identifying risks associated with asset ownership/operation, their financial quantification, and what can be done to guard against them;
- The identification of investment need, and consideration of a wide range of potential intervention strategies and their benefits;
- Assessing the technical and financial feasibility of asset intervention;
- Determining asset inspection, condition assessment and data capture techniques
EA Technology’s asset management proposition can help organisations optimise the life of their assets through technical advice and support; asset management system GAP analysis audits; review of asset management implementation plans; strategic asset management; optimising asset data/information to assist decision making; specification of an asset management system; and optimising maintenance regimes.
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