A leading provider of predictive maintenance to the wind industry, is working with Castrol, one of the leading experts in industrial lubricants, on a multi-phase study designed to uncover the potential of combining oil and vibration data on the accuracy of wind turbine health monitoring.

With the objective to bring the most innovative and advanced predictive maintenance solution to the wind industry market, ONYX InSight and Castrol have completed laboratory testing to measure the effectiveness of sensors to the changing conditions of oil in a simulated wind turbine environment. The tests were carried out using a range of oil sensor technologies, with each sensor type tested in multiple oils from three separate vendors to ensure comprehensive results.

The second phase is now in progress and has seen a rigorous programme of oil sensor installations in a commercial wind farm. Data from the field shows excellent correlation between oil sensor and vibration condition monitoring system (CMS) outputs relating to a developing gearbox bearing failure – giving operators even more confidence in the detection algorithm. The trials are helping ONYX InSight and Castrol refine new approaches for an advanced, integrated CMS by combining data from oil condition, vibration sensors and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

The pioneering study comes in response to the industry’s need to increase efficiencies to help lower levelized cost of energy.

By Jake Frith