South Korea wind deal for predictive maintenance firm

ONYX InSight, a provider of predictive maintenance in the wind energy industry, has been chosen by Dongkuk S&C to replace one of the three main bearings at its Shinan project in South Korea.

The result of a competitive tender, ONYX InSight will be working on a turbine model largely unique in South Korea, with only three others in operation in the country.

On this particular turbine an abnormal sound and vibration was initially detected by a Dongkuk service engineer. After the detection of this condition, ONYX was requested to conduct a full site inspection. As a result of the inspection, ONYX recommended Dongkuk stop operations on the faulty turbine immediately and replace the main bearing to avoid a potentially catastrophic failure.

Kyunghyun Lee, prediction team leader at ONYX InSight, said: “Regular technician inspections are important for tracking turbine health. However, because data is only collected intermittently, some health indicators can get overlooked, reducing the amount of warning maintenance teams might get of failure. A condition monitoring system (CMS) installed in the turbine and capable of collecting continuous data on drive train vibration would likely have identified the fault sooner.”

“In this instance, without more warning of the failure, ONYX InSight had to recommend the complete replacement of the main bearing for the wind turbine,” continued Mr Lee.

ONYX InSight has developed a new methodology, which allows the replacement of wind turbine parts quickly and efficiently and therefore presents a saving of up to 50 per cent on this replacement project.

With main bearings operating in harsh environments, wear and tear is an unavoidable fact and, if ignored, it can be catastrophic. Proper installation and condition monitoring of the main bearing is essential if a wind turbine is to be safely operated and reach its expected useful life.

Seiwoong Oh, director of Asia Pacific, ONYX InSight said: “This main bearing replacement will allow Dongkuk S&C to improve the lifespan of its assets and future profitability of its wind farm. We are pleased to be working with the team at Dongkuk and to be supporting South Korea’s aim to increase renewable energy generation to 20 per cent.”

With a target to increase the amount of renewable energy it produces from 6 per cent to 20 per cent of total energy production by 2030, South Korea will need to both build new renewable energy sources and maintain and improve the efficiency of older renewable energy generators in the country.

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