Successful installation by Transmission Dynamics of remote in-situ bolt monitoring devices on the ORE Catapult Levenmouth offshore demonstrator turbine in Scotland has been completed. This 7-bolt installation will remain in place for the remainder of the asset life, providing globally accessible, directly detected data on bolt tension for these critical fasteners, with automated alarms and stakeholder reporting.
Manual checking and tightening of all bolts and fastening on on-shore and off-shore wind turbines presents a significant operational challenge and cost. To address this, Transmission Dynamics’ Smart Bolt technology provides online remote tension reports on critical fastenings. Battery powered and with a design life of five years between changes, the Smart Bolt module is added to the critical bolts before they are installed. The bolts are calibrated under known loads before being deployed in their final application to ensure precision and accuracy of tension measurements in operation.
With Smart Bolt, bolt tension is directly measured, to remove any risk of incorrect translation from torque, or loss of tension in the installation process. Any change to tension over time is plotted, and a tension alarm threshold (typically 60-70% of the design tension) is set. A loss of tension where total tension falls below this alarm threshold results in an automated alarm via SMS and email to a list of pre-defined recipients and key stakeholders to action and rectify the issue without waiting for the next inspection. A live-streaming option allows installation teams to monitor bolt tension during tightening, checking that the design tension is achieved, removing errors commonly associated with installation tools.
Bolt tension data is displayed on Transmission Dynamics’ Global Data Network, with data updated at predefined periods (once per day for example), and displayed in a clear and user-friendly interface. Access to this resource is secure and can be disseminated by clients to subcontractors and other users conveniently and quickly.
Bolts over M20 are suitable for instrumentation, and any number of Smart Bolts can communicate with a single transceiver to provide access to the Global Data Network. This technology represents a change in mindset in monitoring fasteners in several industries including the wind sector, and will form a key part of instrumented IoT wind turbines now and in the future.
News item from Transmission Dynamics