Intelligent bolt monitoring solutions to eliminate the need for periodic bolt inspections.
Solutions for the offshore wind industry
A closer look at InterBolt
Bolt inspection accounts for around 30% of the annual maintenance cost of Offshore Wind turbines. These inspetions carry significant health and safety risks for technicians operating at height and with cumbersome equipment. InterBolt is a novel sensor solution that integrates bolt load monitoring directly into bolts or threaded studs, providing accurate, real-time measurements remotely via an industrial internet of things (IIoT) network.
With remote bolt load monitoring, the mechanical integrity of bolted connections is measured autonomously, 24/7, 365 days a year. If a bolt begins to loosen, an alert is generated through the InterBolt Cloud system. This is sent to Operations teams who can then conduct any subsequent maintenance.
Ultimately the technology enables Operators to eliminate the need for periodic bolt inspection which leads to significant reductions in maintenance cost, asset downtime and H&S risks for technicians.
Impact of the support
Before engaging with OWGP, InterBolt was a start-up organisation not yet operating in the Offshore Wind market. The company provided bolt integrity data to operators in the renewables, mining, oil and gas and construction sectors, allowing them to optimise their bolt maintenance and inspection activities. The company was seeking ways to enter the Offshore Wind market through the development of its InterBolt technology.
After securing funding through OWGPʼs grant funding scheme, InterBolt undertook a nine-month project to conduct the first operational field trials of its InterBolt technology in the Offshore Wind sector. The product design was then refined according to detailed feedback from wind turbine technicians, resulting in a complete bolt load monitoring system that is fully optimised for the sector.
OWGPʼs support enabled InterBolt to quickly progress through the governmentʼs recognised Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).
InterBolt is now at TRL9, having undergone DNV-GL type approval. The technology is now being rolled out across the Offshore Wind industry.
“The funding from OWGP allowed us to accelerate the development of our InterBolt technology to address the unique challenges of the Offshore Wind sector – a process we estimated to take two years instead took nine months.
This has allowed us to maintain our competitive advantage over other solutions from Europe and the USA, as well as enabling us to achieve product sales in this rapidly growing industry.”