Provider of predictive maintenance solutions to the wind industry Onyx InSight has partnered with 8.2 Monitoring to provide advanced sensing technology and engineering consultancy services to the wind industry in Germany.
Courtesy of NREL
Currently, a large proportion of German wind turbines lack either a factory-fitted or aftermarket condition monitoring system (CMS) that would help owners and operators to reduce their operational and maintenance (O&M) costs and increase productivity.
Nearly 85 percent of operational wind turbines in Germany are more than 5 years old, and so are not covered by manufacturer warranties. Until recently, operators struggled to justify the high cost of installing and running CMS hardware on older turbines against turbines’ lifetime value, even when accounting for savings in repairs and improved availability and capacity factors.
However, by using advanced sensing technology to reduce the cost of retrofitting monitoring hardware to aging wind energy assets, Onyx InSight has transformed the return on investment for both geared and direct drive wind turbines.
As permitting restrictions and a troubled transition to a merchant market continue to hamper new builds, wind farm owners and operators in Germany are increasingly looking to maximise revenue and minimise operations and maintenance costs for their existing assets. ecoCMS provides an effective and economical aftermarket turbine monitoring solution. This is particularly the case on the market’s workhorse sub-2MW turbines – where previous CMS hardware options have not been considered cost-effective.
The German market has a mix of turbines using direct drive and gearbox technology. Although direct drive turbines contain fewer moving parts than their gearbox equivalent, vibration monitoring improves the accuracy of fault detection and prediction in both systems. Failures can be considerably costlier with direct drive fleets due to the larger size and more critical role of components.
Predictive maintenance is essential across both technologies if wind farm operators are to extract maximum value over the lifecycle of their turbines. Collecting and analysing vibration data is one of the most effective approaches available to asset owners and a study by Onyx Insight shows that operators with better wind turbine data analytics save up to 17 percent on their OPEX costs. Crucially, combining multiple data streams, such as vibration, oil and temperature, improves diagnostic accuracy – these data sets can all be collected via ecoCMS advanced sensing technology.
“8.2 Monitoring and Onyx InSight complement each other, and the German wind market now has access to the best predictive maintenance solutions from both companies” said Sven Thiesen, European sales director for Onyx InSight.