An international OEM found particles building up in the lube oil system. This was the off-set to an industry innovation.
Environmentally Concerned Innovations Commercialized to Operate in the Wind Industry
Jens Peder Thomsen, founder and Managing Director of Ocean Team, created his company in reaction to the idea that operators in the North Sea were provided with a “one size fits all” style of service package. He recognised that individual operators had differing requirements and challenges, and sought to provide bespoke solutions specifically tailored to their needs.
Building upon that initial concept, Ocean Team Group’s supply chain has expanded globally to follow the growth of its clients and support them locally, wherever they do business, and Jens Peder noted:
– ”Collaborating locally provides our client with a sentiment of stable daily operation. On a further note the industry benefits from a technology transfer from specialised solutions created in the wind hub.”
The concept of a globally trading entity such as the Ocean Team Group, providing local tailored solutions to its customers has been very successful. So much so that recently the Danish Embassy invited the Group’s wind energy subsidiary (Ocean Team Windcare) to Boston in the US to fulfil the role of local partner to the regions wind industry.
The SOCOT Solution Expands the Wind Industry
The Ocean Team Group entered the wind energy markets in 2000 and immediately started working closely with its new clients. A major OEM noted that wind turbine performance was deteriorating as particles built up, resulting in systems shutting down as bearings failed. The solution was to flush the lubrication systems; however the decisive breakthrough came in 2009 when Ocean Team launched its SOCOT system. SOCOT or Safe Oil Conversion for Offshore Turbines is a tailored solution developed around several significant patents for changing lubricating oil for wind turbines.
Today, the patented SOCOT principle is designed to support both on and offshore wind farms, and provides flexible logistics for operations in various climatic belts. The system can deal with climates ranging from the tropics through to the Polar Regions, coping with the environmental hazards they present.
One innovation common to all the SOCOT variants are the patents surrounding the break-away system, ensuring the umbilical connection breaks away from the nacelle in case of tensions from the vessel and include a safety device system which lowers the umbilical in a controlled manner avoiding any oil spillage.
– “The solutions meeting customer demands today are not necessarily those fitting the future turbine type”, says Jens Peder Thomsen backed by an academic confirmation of the OTG innovation capacity:
– “Analyzing and comparing three alternative oil exchange methods, it is evident from a system’s point of view, that the SOCOT method from OTW is the simplest system and reduces a complicated process with many repeating process system elements.” – Excerpt from an AAU study 2016: Operational Hazard in Offshore Wind Turbine Oil Exchange, MSc. Risk and Safety Management.
Environmental Certifications and Additional Benefits
As an off-shore operator, Ocean Team Group’s equipment conforms to the established IMO standards, and as such the various SOCOT units all meet the requirements for IMDG transport 2.7.1. In addition to meeting industry standards, Ocean Team continues to develop and register industry leading patents, such as those surrounding the Bearing Grease Replenishment Program. The system dissolves hardened grease surrounding bearings, and does so with a turbulent flow flushing system utilising a biodegradable solvent which doubles as a corrosion inhibitor. The cleansing process is coupled with a parallel monitoring and analysis system which looks to extend the operating lifetime of the system being serviced. By combining these factors, the program lowers energy costs, system down time and long-term maintenance costs too, and all in an environmentally secure fashion.
By specializing in areas such as driving down costs in maintenance or energy generation, Ocean Team fosters peace of mind for its clients (especially OEM solution providers), and their confidence helps propagate the company’s commercialized innovations throughout the industry.
– “Grid parity numbers are in mind when reducing costs and/or time of operation meanwhile supplying a ‘greener’ service solution.” Lars Juul Jensen, Head of Business, Ocean Team Windcare.
The article was featured in IndepthNRG magazine.