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Odal wind farm commentary

Dr John Coultate, VP of Advanced Sensing at ONYX Insight said:

“It is still unusual for blades to be instrumented with sensors for condition monitoring. In fact, the current situation is reminiscent of the way drivetrains were operated and maintained 10-20 years ago. At that time, condition monitoring systems (CMS) were relatively uncommon – mainly due to the high hardware cost back then, coupled with the fact that the return on investment delivered by drivetrain CMS had not been fully recognised yet.

“However, today is very different. Almost every new turbine is supplied with CMS installed, and many sites in the field have undergone or are undergoing retrofit. Consequently, we used to see news stories about sites experiencing a punishing number of unexpected gearbox failures, but today these are rare – most sites have gearbox reliability well under control and the drivetrains are well maintained.

“Blade CMS is still in its infancy, but we expect this to change dramatically over the next few years. We anticipate that the deployment of sensors for blade monitoring will accelerate – driven by the prevalence of blade quality issues, the unexpected, rapidly developing nature of blade failures and the high consequential cost.

“In fact, there is huge value left on the table. If blade failures can be detected early, the consequential cost changes by an order of magnitude – from a blade replacement costing many hundreds of thousands of dollars, new technologies for blade CMS have the capability to enable uptower repairs costing tens of thousands of dollars.

“As a result, we expect to see a rapid shift in blade O&M over the coming years, and an uptake of new technologies which will reduce blade O&M costs and drive stability – exactly as we say for the drivetrain.”

About ONYX Insight

ONYX Insight is a leading independent provider of predictive analytics, offering software, advancing sensing and engineering services across the wind industry. Monitoring more than 20,000 turbines across 30 countries, ONYX is trusted by seven of the top ten wind asset owners globally to deliver efficiency to operations. To date, ONYX has shipped over 10,000 advanced sensing units to the aftermarket.

ONYX Insight has a comprehensive suite of award-winning products which combine predictive analytics with real-world engineering expertise. This approach is designed to offer wind asset owners cutting-edge technology to effectively optimise asset performance. Further endorsement comes from GE, who recently selected ONYX as the sole provider of condition monitoring solutions for its onshore platforms.