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Full- Load Hours

 
If the annual yield of a WTG is divided by its rated output, the number of hours is obtained that the WTG would theoretically have to be operated at full output in order to achieve its annual energy yield in the balance sheet. These so-called full-load hours make it possible to compare different locations, plants or years by standardizing on the output. According to preliminary data, German onshore wind turbines reached around 1801 full load hours in 2018 (see figure below), well above the result of the previous year's low yield (+ 1.3 percent) or the 5-year (+ 8.2 percent) and 10-year averages (+ 9.1 percent). The provisional full load hour figures for 2017 are based on the extrapolation data of the TSOs. In the past, the actual yields were both significantly underestimated and overestimated by the extrapolation data. The influence of the capacity installed during the year leads to an uncertainty of around 4 percent in 2018.

 

 

 

 


 

Development of the onshore full load hours for the whole of Germany

Data sources: 

[UeNB], [Keiler and Häuser], [BNetzA][Hochrechnung 50Hz][Hochrechnung Amprion], [Hochrechnung TenneT TSO]

 [Hochrechnung TransnetBW]

 

 

 

The figure below shows the mean historical full load hours in the control areas of the TSOs compared to the provisional full load hours in 2018. WTGs operated in the control area of the TSO TenneT reached their highest values of 1691 full load hours on average over the years 2012 - 2017. With an average of 1660 full load hours, plants in the control area of 50 Hertz achieved the second highest full load hours. The reason for the differences between the various grid operators lies primarily in the different location quality and the installed system portfolio. For example, TransnetBW's control area is exclusively made up of inland locations. In the past, the few older wind turbines there only reached low full load hours due to the comparatively poor wind conditions. Due to the strong increase in the number of low wind turbines installed, the average full load hours in TransnetBW's control area have risen significantly.

 

 

 

Full load hours in in the four TSO control zones
Data sources: 

[Keiler and Häuser], [BNetzA][Hochrechnung 50Hz][Hochrechnung Amprion], [Hochrechnung TenneT TSO]

 [Hochrechnung TransnetBW]

 

 

 

A clear contrast to the full load hours achieved by the German plant portfolio is formed by the expected average full load hours of the wind turbines newly erected in 2018. At 2788 hours, the expected full-load hours of the new wind turbines are 1.67 times higher than the 10-year average of the existing wind turbines.