New Tech for Inspections, Servicing, and Condition Monitoring

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Romax InSight is launching two products to reduce cost and increase the effectiveness of wind turbine operations and maintenance (O&M).

EcoCMS is a new, low-cost condition monitoring system (CMS) for wind turbines. EcoCMS is aimed at making high performance CMS more affordable for wind farm owners, operators and OEMs. EcoCMS interfaces with Romax InSights’ Fleet Monitor software — a hardware independent platform for condition monitoring and reliability analysis. Romax uses its Fleet Monitor software to deliver condition-monitoring services to more than 3.5 GW of assets worldwide and offers technology transfer, training, and condition monitoring services to new ecoCMS users.

Romax’s focus continues to be implementing a step change in the value of predictive maintenance for the wind industry.

“Romax has been working in the field of condition monitoring for many years and in vibration engineering for decades, and we understand the requirements of CMS users very well,” said Ashley Crowther, global vice president – InSight. “In fact, almost everyone we spoke to was frustrated at the high cost of CMS in the marketplace and need the improved ROI from more affordable CMS hardware.”

Through a multi-year rollout, ecoCMS has built a strong track record of installation and fault detection on a large number of wind turbine types including GE 1.5 MW, Vestas V80 2 MW, Siemens 2.3 MW, and many sub-megawatt machines around the globe. This track record has given Romax 100 percent confidence in the hardware and its damage detection capability, including class-leading performance for main bearing and planet bearing faults.

“Over the last few years, a lot has changed in the field of CMS and data acquisition,” said John Coultate, head of engineering development. “Firstly, the idea of putting ‘intelligence’ in the data acquisition box or in the sensors has proved to be unnecessary — this just drives up cost and the limitations on data storage and transmission are not relevant these days. Secondly, the explosion in embedded computing means that high performance systems can be deployed at very low cost, particularly compared to other condition-monitoring systems in the market — most systems today rely on an older and high-cost approach to architecture.”

Field Pro

Field Pro is a new a mobile/web application for wind-farm inspection and servicing to bring the wind industry further toward data-driven O&M. In the current O&M practice, there is a large volume of valuable data flowing in from the field including service and inspection reports, problem resolution, checklists, and photos. Much of this data is unused or lost, so the value is not leveraged, and so much money and time is wasted on administrative tasks for reporting and record keeping.

With the release of Field Pro, a step- change is possible for managing wind farm data by transitioning to mobile and cloud technology. Pen-and-paper-based checklists and work instructions become obsolete. Software organizes maintenance and inspection data automatically as soon as data is collected by smartphone. Synchronized devices and streamlined data transfer remove the tedium and error from transferring data from borescopes, thermal cameras, and other O&M tools. Managers and technicians can access data in the cloud from anywhere in the world using the web portal.

“Although wind turbines are a progressive technology, O&M data management is largely stuck in the previous century,” Crowther said. “Field engineers still use pen-and-paper checklists, and the quality of work depends entirely on an individual’s experience; consistency is lacking. Adding this release to our InSight platform, we enable our customers to implement data-driven O&M practices, to maximize productivity and to increase quality.”

“Field Pro makes it possible for all trained technicians to perform service and inspection to the highest standards, regardless of their expert experience,” said Won Shin, Field Pro product manager. “With a mobile device, the technician can follow detailed step-by-step guidance built by relevant experts while performing the required procedures. With just a few taps, a report is automatically generated and uploaded to the cloud. By having the entire team’s reports on the cloud, a manager has real-time access to field data, facilitating instant communication between the office and the field team while they are still uptower. Managers can also visualize and track any issues for the entire wind farm using the Field Pro web portal with no extra effort, allowing decisions driven on accurate data from the field.”

As a result of the two new technologies, Romax InSight expects to improve O&M quality and reduce O&M costs. 

Source Romax Technology

For more information, go to www.romaxtech.com.