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Onyx Insight and UL are working together on new wind energy solutions

Onyx Insight, a supplier of data analytics as well as engineering knowledge to the worldwide wind sector, has strengthened its relationship with UL, a global safety science organization that specializes in the technical development, assessment, and enhance of renewable energy ventures.

The companies are working together on an enlarged life evaluation program, combining UL’s wind prediction and structural evaluation with Onyx Insight’s operations and maintenance knowledge and experience and predictive technology to assist operators to get the most out of their maturing assets and generate more clean energy.

In the year 2022, upwards of 15% of wind farms are going to be operational for more than two decades. Assets grow less reliable as they age, giving operators with three choices for safeguarding their investment: decommissioning, repowering, or life extension. Advanced analysis and surveillance technology are helping to revolutionize the economics of life outgrowth and generate ongoing income for asset owners at a reasonable cost by reducing ambiguity surrounding critical maintenance choices.

The collaboration between Onyx Insight and UL includes a study of more than 100 GW of assets around the world. It also includes technical acquisition consulting services like target site evaluations, turbine technical reviews, and operating expense predictions. Recent life evaluation initiatives involving hundreds of turbines from a variety of brands and models have built on the companies’ collaboration. Through Onyx Insight’s sophisticated sensing solutions and analytics, UL’s in-house structural analysis will be enhanced with powertrain evaluation features and structural health tracking for turbines, towers, and foundations.

Structure assessment — encompassing tower, turbine, and foundation — to establish turbine capabilities and estimations of a turbine’s useful life is part of UL’s extensive track record of life assessment work. Data on critical structural components, like tower and foundation health, is needed by operators to assess risk levels and predicted maintenance costs, enabling them to properly assign budgets and account for key decisions to investors. The foundation monitoring hardware from Onyx Insight unlocks new data streams for analysis, allowing for a more educated predictive maintenance approach and lower operational and maintenance expenses.

“When assets reach the conclusion of their original lifespans, operators will focus on two essential goals: sustaining safety and profitability,” stated Jeremy Tchou, who serves as the Director of UL’s North American Wind Advisory. “We’re excited to work with Onyx Insight to assist asset operators to reach these goals by providing them with the insights they require to execute for their stakeholders through in-house structural analysis plus advanced monitoring technologies.  We look forward to working with Onyx Insight in the future as we work to assist the energy transition with creative solutions.”

Dr. Ashley Crowther, Onyx Insight’s Chief Commercial Officer, stated that successfully prolonging the life of a program can result in lower long-term operating costs as the project matures.

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