Kongsberg Maritime is the owner of the 'Windsense' project, which aims to develop a new and flexible instrumentation system for wind turbines. The system will help to make wind power more economically competitive. The project, which amounts to 22 million NOK, has been initiated through collaboration within the instrumentation cluster NCEI (Norwegian Centres of Expertise Instrumentation).
Windsense will develop a system that will make wind turbines more effective by reducing unplanned shutdowns, thus achieving higher reliability of the power plant. The system also makes it possible to temporarily run the turbines at a lower capacity in anticipation of required maintenance, which further reduces expensive downtime.
"We hope that this project will help to make offshore wind power more competitive and thus help to facilitate a green Norwegian economy in the future," says project manager, Oddbjørn Malmo from Kongsberg Maritime, Lade. The project has been awarded a total of 10 million NOK from The Norwegian Research Council's RENERGI program.
A key challenge is the adaptation of equipment and methods for maintenance from the maritime and oil and gas industry, for use on offshore wind turbines. Cost-effective operation of offshore wind turbines will require new technology that enables a greater degree of remote control and remote monitoring of the turbines. It also requires durable and reliable instruments to monitor the operation and components in harsh environments at sea.
"This system will primarily be an instrument for monitoring the technical condition of the wind turbine and the life cycle of the components used. It will make it possible to more accurately predict when the equipment must be replaced. Today, such assessments are usually done by operators using handheld inspection equipment," says Malmo.
Windsense is a collaboration project between some of the strongest wind power and instrumentation companies within Wind Cluster Mid-Norway, mainly located in the Trøndelag region of Norway. The project has been awarded 40% funding from The Research Council of Norway for a 3 year project period starting in February 2012. Kongsberg Maritime is project owner with Oddbjørn Malmo, Kongsberg Maritime, Lade as project manager. Other participants are Statoil, NTE, Light Structures, Trollhetta, NTNU, HiST, SINTEF Energy Research and MARINTEK.
The project is one of many projects that have been initiated by the Norwegian Centres of Expertise Instrumentation. The general manager of the cluster Torbjørn Akersveen is very pleased with the project. "We are very pleased that the cluster again delivers an exciting project with a large commercial potential. Our goal is to be a spearhead in Norwegian instrumentation, and together with Norwegian industry develop solutions to the challenges the industry considers to be relevant," comments Akersveen.