Onyx Insight partners with Windcluster to extend the life of one of the UK’s oldest wind projects

Digital and engineering solutions provider Onyx Insight has partnered with UK wind energy company Windcluster to support the life extension strategy of its aging assets at one of the UK’s oldest wind projects.
Onyx Insight partners with Windcluster to extend the life of one of the UK’s oldest wind projects
Courtesy of Reading Tom

The five-year partnership has seen Onyx Insight install ecoCMS, its market-leading condition monitoring system, to monitor the condition of the four, 850kW V52 wind turbines at Windcluster Haverigg III, located at Haverigg airfield in Cumbria.

WindEurope estimates that across Europe, more than 34,000 turbines – representing 36 GW of capacity – are now over 15 years old, with the designed operational lifetime of turbines generally being between 20 and 25 years, at which point repowering, life extension or decommissioning become the choice of options for owners.

Digitalisation is set to be key to wind farm owners and operators seeking to extend the life of aging assets and develop lifetime extension strategies. Understanding a turbine’s remaining life, as well as continuously monitoring the condition of turbines in which the lifespan has been extended, so that interventions when faults occur can be made quickly, will be essential in maximising the return and effectiveness of the continued operation of aging assets.

In this case, Onyx Insight’s ecoCMS, which uses the latest in advanced sensing and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology to provide real-time data and trending analytics on each wind turbine, will help to extend the lifetime of the Haverigg III turbines through to 2040.

By retrofitting both vibration and oil monitoring systems to the wind turbines at Haverigg III, a complete picture of the condition of each wind turbine and its oil health will be provided. The combination of vibration and oil provides better analytics and a more complete condition of the machine health and oil health.

“We are delighted to have developed a life extension strategy which will keep the turbines spinning at one of the UK’s oldest commercial wind projects” said Colin Palmer, Founder, Windcluster. “To do this, it has been critical to gain a better understanding of our turbines. We chose Onyx Insight because we wanted a credible and innovative partner. Onyx has offered a flexible approach to enable us to maximise our investment and has already shown great value. Digitalising our turbines during this next phase of their operational life is going to be key in ensuring they generate power at full capacity. We will be using the vibration and oil monitoring data analysis and reporting by Onyx to ensure we can extend the life of our assets to 2040. We look forward to Onyx Insight’s continued support in this endeavour.”

Keiran Knowles, Business Development Manager – UK & Northern Europe, Onyx Insight,  added that across northern Europe thousands of wind projects are coming to the end of their operational life, and will need to either be repowered, undergo life extension or be decommissioned.

“With our combined engineering know-how and cutting edge technology, we use our advanced analytics capabilities to detect early signs of failure” said Mr Knowles. “Detecting an incident in a wind turbine before it occurs prevents downtime and production losses, saving time and money, whilst ensuring optimum power production. This is even more pertinent for aging assets – where data visibility to continually plan life extension strategies is invaluable and Onyx, by retrofitting their technology, can provide this capability and insight even where this has not been economically viable previously.”

Haverigg airfield’s use as a wind farm dates back to 1988, when it was the second commercial wind project to be commissioned in the UK. In 2004, Haverigg I’s five, original V27 1.125MW turbines were dismantled and in 2005 were replaced by the four, larger V52 turbines.

Consent to extend the life of these four turbines beyond 2025 was granted in October 2020.

For additional information:

Onyx Insight


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