Nottingham, UK, 30th June 2020 – Ventient Energy, one of the largest European renewable power producers and ONYX InSight, a leading provider of predictive maintenance solutions to the wind industry are partnering to optimise output and extendthe life of a large fleet of the UK’s onshore turbines with new technology.
As a fast advancing company with wide operational expertise and strong merger and aquisition capability, Ventient is acquiring onshore wind assets to achieve sustainable portfolio growth and deliver greater rewards for investors. As part of a strategy to improve the reliability of its fleet, over 300 turbines across 17 wind farms will be retrofitted with ONYX InSight’s condition monitoring system (ecoCMS) advanced sensing technology and cloud-based predictive analytics, fleetMONITOR. This will enable a transition to proactive maintenance, aiming to reduce downtime and major component refurbishment costs.
With the retrofit, the turbines will be ‘data-rich’, enabling predictive analytics and optimised repair planning. Dr Evgenia Golysheva, Head of Engineering, ONYX InSight, explains:
Once we get the equipment installed, we can identify bearing failures routinely six to 24 months in advance of repair . To ensure efficient installation, we’ve streamlined the process and have a strong quality assurance/ and control process. We have piloted on several sites already to iron out any potential technical challenges and make the scale-up easy.
Martin Vox, Asset Reliability Engineer, Ventient, said:
We operate some of the oldest windfarms in the UK, which up until now have run with no vibration monitoring of drive train components. This has led to major component failures being discovered at a late stage of damage progression, requiring unplanned work to restore to an operable condition. Some of our oldest wind farms do not have ethernet data transmission available within the nacelle and ONYX InSight has developed a robust 4G solution to allow retrofit on these turbines.
Where operators implement this Industry 4.0 solution, it yields better data that helps diagnose issues early and allows them to solve real-world problems, from a cost reduction and power production point of view.
ONYX InSight’s advanced sensing solution has transformed the market through its use of affordable and effective Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) sensors and analytics have demonstrated that predictive maintenance is invaluable for the wind energy industry.
Steven Heath, Lead Mechanical Engineer, Ventient, comments:
Whilst ecoCMS is only one part of our overhaul of drive train maintenance, we anticipate it will facilitate a substantial reduction in our major component repair and refurbishment spend, with many repairs being able to be completed up-tower or, where component replacement is necessary, the component can be proactively scheduled for replacement before catastrophic damage and associated downtime occurs. On sites where we currently have fully inclusive service agreements, ecoCMS will allow us to ensure our contractors are performing to the required standard whilst enabling us to make well-informed decisions at the end of service agreements.
Sven Thiesen, Sales Director – Europe, ONYX InSight, comments:
This technology will play a key role in the near- and long-term success of wind energy in the UK and around the world. And in the current circumstances, when operators have restrictions on where and when to send teams on-site, insight that allows owner-operators to manage their assets and maintain revenues will be invaluable. We are pleased that ONYX InSight is proving that the return on investment calculation for adding advanced sensing on older turbines can be turned on its head.