GyroMetric, a spin-out of the Nottingham Trent University, has developed a turbine drivetrain monitoring technology for application in the offshore wind industry.
GyroMetric partnered with Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to conduct testing of the technology during the commissioning of the centre's 15MW drivetrain facility in Blyth, UK.
The UK-based company installed the product on a 7MW nacelle, which enabled the research team to collect data by monitoring the bearings, gearbox and couplings.
According to ORE, the tests were carried out to improve the understanding of the behavior of the used components, with the objective of increasing the efficiency and output of the turbine, while also reducing the requirement for unplanned maintenance.
GyroMetric aimed at overcoming the difficult measurement of the dynamic, or input, torque of rotating devices, such as those found in large-scale turbines, ORE said, adding that the company has developed an incremental motion encoder, which calculates shaft position and torsional twist, helping operators in measuring drivetrain efficiency more accurately and alerting turbine operators to faults.
“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," Chief Executive of GyroMetric, David Orton, said.
“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.”
During the testing, GyroMetric secured an investment which is expected to help the company further grow and develop the technology.