Onyx Insight wins major grant to accelerate the adoption of blade sensing technologies for the wind industry

Nottingham-based Onyx Insight has been awarded funding by the UK’s Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), part of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, to further develop its world-leading blade sensor technology in a bid to reduce downtime for wind operators across their turbine fleets. 
Onyx Insight wins major grant to accelerate the adoption of blade sensing technologies for the wind industry
Courtesy of NREL.

As a global provider of condition monitoring services (CMS) to the wind industry, Onyx Insight uses advanced sensing technology and data analytics to support wind farm operators to optimise their fleets by empowering them to identify potential faults and plan maintenance effectively.

The awarded funding will support a major project over the next 18 months which will see Onyx Insight expand its market-leading predictive maintenance solutions from the drivetrain into the blades. The project will build on the success of Onyx’s wind turbine drivetrain condition monitoring product, ecoCMS, which is used by operators around the world.

“The funding from OWGP provides us with a welcome grant to accelerate the development of advanced sensing for the blades” said Bruce Hall, CEO, Onyx Insight. “It also acknowledges the work we have been doing to develop holistic approaches to CMS that provide ever more detailed and wide-ranging data insights for our customers.”

Onyx Insight collects data directly from more than 14,000 turbines across 30 countries across the globe. Catastrophic blade failure in onshore settings can cost upwards of £300,000 in materials, equipment, labour and unscheduled downtime, and can be many times higher in an offshore setting. However, if this same fault is predicted and remedied when it is less severe, repairs can be significantly less.

It is anticipated that the adoption of blade monitoring technologies will increase over the coming years, delivering significant financial and time savings for wind operators, with blade failure being one of the leading contributors to offshore and onshore asset downtime after gearbox faults.

“Identifying when and where maintenance for wind blades is needed has been traditionally difficult for the industry, with operators often having to rely on drone technology, manual maintenance by technicians, or having to act once a fault occurs” said Henry Tanner, Product Manager, Onyx Insight. “Blade failures can incur expensive blade repairs and replacements, result in secondary damage to the wind turbine structure, not to mention huge safety implications for the industry. Predictive maintenance allows operators to tackle progressive blade faults sooner at a relatively low cost, which means they can put in place predictive maintenance strategies lowering turbine downtime and cost savings through lost production. The grant will enable us to continue our to develop holistic approaches to CMS that provide ever more detailed and wide ranging data insights for our customers.”

OWGP funding is provided to projects that focus on the commercialisation of technologies, products and services that will either support offshore wind decarbonisation or improve the reliability and robustness of offshore wind developments.

For additional information:

Onyx Insight

Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP)

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