Offshore wind power offers huge potential as part of a more sustainable energy mix for Europe. But harsh conditions and remote locations make reliability and resilience a challenge. Solutions that support remote maintenance, operation and repair are needed to ensure high levels of wind turbine availability.
KAStrion has developed an independent condition-monitoring system (CMS) for both the electrical and mechanical parts of the wind turbine drive train. Thanks to its multi-modal spectral monitoring technology and advanced algorithms for analysing current and vibration data, it provides pre-diagnostics and early fault detection for each turbine – without human intervention.
The KAStrion project started life at both Grenoble-INP in France and EC Systems in Poland.
EC Systems recognised the monitoring system it was developing could be adapted and upgraded for use by wind farm operators and turbine manufacturers. Following InnoEnergy’s assessment process, the project was considered to have strong commercial potential and was funded for three years by InnoEnergy.
Because of their extensive industry connections, Grenoble INP and EC Systems were able to put together the consortium of partners and took responsibility as the commercialising partner. EC Systems also took responsibility for testing the hardware and software at the premises of its industrial partners, VALEMO and MECAL. The signal processing research provided by leading research institutes in France, including Grenoble INP, Toulouse INP and CETIM.
After three years, the KAStrion project developed the VIBstudio solution, which EC Systems is selling to customers around the world. The VIBstudio platform enables wind farm operators to reduce the number of failures and downtime by up to 70 per cent, decrease maintenance costs by up to 20 per cent, and increase the lifetime of monitored machines by up to 30 per cent.
“KICInnoENergy is more than just an anonymous funding body. We have support regarding intellectual property rights, and we can engage with experts who can discuss the market potential of our projects – this is very important during project execution. They really focus on the final product and have a real interest in getting new solutions to market.”
“When you work with InnoEnergy, there’s a lot of consultation – a lot of collaboration.” Thanks to the involvement of InnoEnergy, we have been able to create an innovative product which is now part of our offer.”
InnoEnergy and EC Systems are now collaborating on two new innovation projects: Xsensor to develop wireless sensors for increasing the efficiency of power generation equipment; and FOGA, which is developing an interconnected, long-life smart battery system for off-grid applications.
- CETIM Centre Technique des Industries Mécaniques
- EC Systems
- Grenoble INP
- INP Toulouse