KONGSBERG to collaborate with Ricardo on wind farm bearing monitoring technology

Ricardo and KONGSBERG have today announced that they have signed a framework agreement that will see Ricardo support the development of the Kongsberg Wind Farm Management System (WFMS) as well as related condition monitoring systems for a range of other industrial sectors.

Wind farm management

The Kongsberg WFMS is a turbine independent decision support system. It surpasses the functionality found in wind farm supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and offers a modern and intuitive user interface based on KONGSBERG's wide ranging experience in automation and decision support systems for the defence, maritime and offshore oil & gas sectors.

KONGSBERG selected Ricardo to support the development of the WFMS not least due to the company's expertise in wind turbine drivetrains. Crucially, this includes a deep understanding of the physical mechanisms of failure of drivetrain bearings, and Ricardo's extensive research into advanced sensor techniques.

A significant aspect of the collaboration between KONGSBERG and Ricardo will be investigating the potential integration of the new Ricardo SensorLifeTM technology – to be launched formally later this month at WindEnergy Hamburg – into KONGSBERG's WFMS. Ricardo believes that SensorLifeTM could result in significant reductions in the cost of energy of wind farms. These savings would be realised through the more accurate prediction of the remaining useful life of key components and the consequential ability to reduce cost through proactive maintenance.

In addition to the framework agreement, KONGSBERG has contracted Ricardo to further prove the SensorLifeTM technology, including sensor testing and development of feature extraction techniques.

"Ricardo's experience in drivetrains and KONGSBERG's experience in system development, sensors and automation systems are an excellent basis for this new cooperation. Ricardo provides an innovative approach to some of the key challenges in condition monitoring combined with extensive experience ranging back almost 100 years," comments Kristian Holm (General Manager Wind).

"Ricardo's expertise and our own advanced methods and algorithms will lift our Wind Farm Management System to a completely new level, providing energy and cost savings for the client", adds Holm.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to announce this framework agreement with KONGSBERG ahead of the formal launch of our suite of drivetrain innovation technology products later this month," commented Paul Jordan, Ricardo's Global Head of Clean Energy and Power Generation.

"KONGSBERG is a highly respected company within the wind energy, defence, maritime and offshore oil & gas sectors, and we are excited that it has selected Ricardo to support the development of the WFMS, including the integration of the SensorLifeTM technology. Accurate condition monitoring of wind turbine drivetrains using systems such as these is an important enabler for proactive maintenance and ultimately, for reducing the cost of wind energy."

Ricardo's advanced condition monitoring enabler, SensorLifeTM, is part of a suite of technologies to be presented by Ricardo at WindEnergy Hamburg, which will also include the MultiLifeTM bearing management system and TorqLifeTM, which prevents overload and non-torque loads from damaging the driveline.