Offshore renewables projects are relentless producers of big data. While the sector’s turbines are generating clean electricity, a complex network of sensors and systems are generating and logging information about the condition and performance of everything involved – from the turbine’s blades down to its oil levels in the gear box.
One challenge that the industry is tackling is the availability of real-time data for oil degradation parameters such as oxidation, contamination and additive depletion. Current industry practice involves taking sample of the oil and sending to a laboratory, which can often take a few weeks before analysis is completed.
Having a long delay from oil sampling to oil result can lead to a failure to respond to any major changes in the lubrication that could be detrimental to the equipment.
To combat this industry challenge, Spectrolytic is expanding its operations into the offshore wind sector and has developed an inline oil condition monitoring system that measures a comprehensive array of key parameters within the turbine. The Spectrolytic solution provides results of any oil degradation at a fraction of the speed of current industry practices. The results from Spectrolytic’s analytics are available instantaneously, assisting asset owners in their decision-making and allowing operators to monitor trends and plan maintenance, ultimately increasing early intervention and reducing turbine downtime.
Spectrolytic’s analysis is remotely accessible in real-time, with turbine oil data streamed directly to a cloud dashboard. As the offshore wind industry becomes more dependent on interconnectivity and access to real-time data to aid decision-making, Spectrolytic offers an automated monitoring system of lubrication within the turbine, that could have the potential to reduce costs for owner/operators.
Spectrolytic is working with ORE Catapult to install its oil condition monitoring system on the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine to verify the technology’s capabilities within the offshore wind sector. Installing the system at the turbine will enable Catapult engineers to have access to the data from wherever they are working in real-time.
Neil Conway, Applications Manager for Spectrolytic, said:
“Installing the inline oil condition monitoring sensor on the Catapult’s Levenmouth turbine will provide us with the perfect platform to showcase how technology developed in Scotland can benefit the offshore wind turbine industry.
“We envisage the collaboration with ORE Catapult to be the catalyst for further installations in the offshore wind turbine arena and that our systems will become the oil condition monitoring sensor of choice for remote applications”
The Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine is the world’s most advanced, open-access offshore wind turbine dedicated to R&D. Unique among offshore wind testing facilities, the towering 7MW machine plays host to some of the industry’s most exciting innovations for testing and validation.