The world’s newest and most powerful offshore wind turbine drivetrain test facility has enabled GyroMetric Systems Ltd. to develop a new product that will improve the efficiency of offshore wind turbines.
GyroMetric has partnered with Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to develop and test an innovative condition-monitoring technology for application in offshore wind. Already a presence in the maritime sector, GyroMetric saw an opportunity to use their drive shaft-monitoring technology to enhance the efficiency of offshore wind turbine drivetrains.
GyroMetric’s product was tested during commissioning of ORE Catapult’s Blyth-based 15-MW drivetrain facility, reportedly the largest and most powerful of its kind in the world. Installed on ORE Catapult’s 7-MW nacelle, the GyroMetric team has collected data from monitoring the bearings, gearbox, and couplings.
Working with ORE Catapult’s drivetrain experts, GyroMetric’s technology has been tested to improve the understanding of the behavior of the components in use, with a view to increasing the efficiency and output of the turbine while reducing the requirement for unplanned maintenance.
GyroMetric sought to overcome the challenge that the dynamic (or input) 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 that includes a unique algorithm to calculate shaft position and torsional twist, helping operators measure drivetrain efficiency more accurately. The system can alert turbine operators of faults in the drivetrain as well.
“We are delighted that we have been able to run effectively our new digital monitoring technology collecting data on the 7-MW nacelle at ORE Catapult,” GyroMetric Chief Executive David Orton said. “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.
“The move into monitoring wind turbines is an important strategic decision for GyroMetric Systems, and being able to work with ORE Catapult and using their turbine test facilities has provided us with a seriously useful stepping stone,” Orton added.
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