Innovative condition-monitoring put to the test

Posted on 06 Jun 2018 and read 691 times
Innovative condition-monitoring put to the testA collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has enabled Nottingham-based GyroMetric Systems Ltd to develop a new product that will improve the efficiency of offshore wind turbines.

The company — a spin-out from Nottingham Trent University — partnered with the ORE Catapult to develop and prove an innovative condition-monitoring technology for use in offshore wind.

Already an established presence in the maritime sector, GyroMetric ( saw an opportunity to transfer its drive shaft monitoring technology and use it to improve the efficiency of offshore wind-turbine drivetrains.

GyroMetric’s product has been put through its paces during the commissioning of ORE Catapult’s Blyth-based 15MW drivetrain facility — the largest and most powerful of its kind in the world.

Installed on ORE Catapult’s 7MW nacelle, it has collected data from the bearings, gearbox and couplings, which will improve the understanding of how these components behave, with a view to increasing the efficiency and output of the turbine, while reducing the requirement for unplanned maintenance.

GyroMetric has sought to overcome the challenge that the dynamic torque of rotating devices, such as those found in large-scale wind turbines, is notoriously difficult to measure.

The company has developed an ‘incremental motion encoder’, which uses a unique algorithm to calculate shaft position and torsional twist, helping operators to measure drivetrain efficiency more accurately.

In addition, the system can alert turbine operators to faults in the drivetrain.

GyroMetric chief executive David Orton said: “We are delighted that we have been able to run our new digital monitoring technology collecting data on the 7MW nacelle at ORE Catapult.

"Improving the operating efficiency of wind turbines and reducing maintenance will enable increased output and reduced energy costs, which is good news for both operators and energy customers.”

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