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FEATURE SPONSOR ADVANCES IN REMOTE SENSING & MONITORING


WORLD FIRST WIRELESS REMOTE MONITORING SYSTEM FOR BOLTED JOINTS


For the first time ever it is now possible to implement true continual remote monitoring of bolted joints with wireless transmission of data.


As wind turbines increase in size and their locations both on and offshore become increasingly remote, maintenance and safety checks are requiring increasing resources, growing in complexity and as a result becoming increasingly costly.


REVOLUTIONISING MAINTENANCE REGIMES An award winning British invention however is set to revolutionise maintenance regimes particularly where important bolted joints are difficult to access because of location or operational environment.


The system, which has taken over five years to research and develop, is capable of automatically monitoring bolt preload over extended periods of operation. If the preload drops below a pre-determined level, a report will be automatically sent via email or SMS to key stakeholders. This ensures maintenance is only conducted on bolts requiring attention and allows immediate action to be taken on bolts installed in mission critical applications.


SPECIFICATIONS


Each monitored bolt contains micro instrumentation, a coin-cell battery and a wireless transmitter. The instrumentation periodically reads bolt tension, critical to the integrity of the joint, wirelessly transfers the information to a local transceiver, which collects the data from


The system is the product of technology and thinking of two UK companies, combining established RotaBolt tension measurement bolting technology from James Walker with state of the art instrumentation and data automation from Transmission Dynamics.


INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT Whilst originally designed around the needs of the wind energy industry to potentially allow monitoring of all the important bolted joints in an offshore windfarm from your desk or a single mobile phone, the system has also attracted significant interest from industries as varied as rail, nuclear power and offshore oil & gas, where similar issues of carrying out checks and maintenance in remote or hazardous locations is a costly and time consuming activity.


ADDITIONAL BENEFITS Outside the obvious benefits to maintenance programmes, operators and manufacturers of turbine structures and


any number of bolts and then transmits the report via the internet, or GSM network, to a secure server. Dependent on the frequency of data transmission, the battery should provide up to 5 years of continuous unattended operation.


key components are also being attracted to the monitoring system for its capability to provide data which can indicate the behaviour of other components; for example the chance to gain an understanding of the stresses and forces at work on blade roots and turbine tower joints under different loads and wind conditions -all from the comfort of a desk without the need to install, maintain and check specialised monitoring equipment on site.


James Walker


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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