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Scottish firms testing sensor technology for Levenmouth offshore wind demonstration turbine

Published 26 February 2018

Three Scottish innovators are testing sensor technology that could be deployed on offshore wind farms on the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Levenmouth offshore wind demonstration turbine in Fife.

The programme, supported by £220k funding from the Scottish Government, is the fourth project to feature in a series of case studies showcasing those pioneering British companies developing solutions that will support growth in the offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors – and bolster the UK supply chain.

The three companies are among nine successful companies from 30 that responded to an ORE Catapult competition to develop their sensor technology for offshore wind, and prove it in real-world conditions.

Glasgow’s Turner Iceni and Livingston-based start-up Sensor-Works have joined forces to validate their technology on the turbine, using a combination of low-energy Bluetooth sensors and sophisticated algorithms to predict and prevent equipment failures.

Hydrasun, meanwhile, is aiming to validate its globally patented Intelligent Condition Monitoring System, developed for the oil and gas sector, for use on wind turbines as it aims to build its renewables’ portfolio.

ORE Catapult engineering head Peter Macdonald said: “These three companies have developed technology that could be game-changing for the offshore renewables sector, allowing operators to remotely monitor wind turbines that are far offshore and potentially saving significant costs and downtime.”

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Given it now looks likely that 2017 will be a record year for renewable electricity generation for Scotland, it’s great to see the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine helping to further reduce offshore wind development costs by providing unique facilities for SMEs to test and prove cutting-edge technologies.

“As the name suggests, ORE Catapult is acting as a ‘catapult’ for good ideas to become viable energy solutions. The potential long-term benefits of this programme for Scotland are considerable.”

The Backing the Game Changers website is home to a series of films showcasing the work of high-growth, innovative companies and individuals who are making their mark on the offshore renewable energy sector. Whether they are transferring technologies from other industries or creating revolutionary new solutions, all of these companies hold huge promise for the future.

This project follows spotlights on Edinburgh-based tidal energy developer Nova Innovation; Glasgow’s Wideblue, the imaging company – formed from Polaroid’s R&D lab – behind a world-first optical imaging that reduces the need for blade inspections; and Limpet Technology, the Edinburgh business that developed a crew transfer system that increases access to far offshore installations from 50% to 80% of the year.

Turner Iceni’s general manager David Hatfield said: “Accessing a working offshore wind turbine to help validate or develop new technology isn’t a simple task – and that can be a costly barrier to innovation. We are grateful to ORE Catapult and the Scottish Government and for recognising our potential as a game changer and giving us this opportunity.”

Source: Company Press Release