Gearbox Sensor

Real-time Condition Monitoring

Other Technologies


Our technology is a valuable novel method for constantly monitoring the health of a gearbox, allowing a user to predict when a gearbox may fail or need refurbishment - particularly relevant for offshore wind applications where early fault detection is critical in increasing reliability as well as lowering operational costs, maintenance costs and reducing downtime. The technology can also be downscaled or upscaled depending on the application to fit into any type of gearbox or shaft, thus creating multiple future market opportunities.

Market Outlook

Gearbox monitoring and O&M (Operations and Maintenance) is a rapidly growing market with many companies requiring the need to offer clients with warranties and assurances that their technologies will not fail and contribute to downtime.

Key applications are within:

1) Wireless monitoring of Wind turbine gearboxes
2) Health sensing for Aviation, Aerospace and Marine
3) Industrial gear systems e.g. Mining and Oil & Gas exploration machinery
4) Automotive gearbox monitoring both retail and industrial vehicles.

An obvious example of an industry that is plagued with gearbox failures is the wind sector, with experts valuing this industry at £4.5 billion alone. Current gearbox monitoring systems monitor the state of the oil, variations in transmitting torque, abnormal vibrations, or the acoustic emissions to diagnose the overall condition of the gearbox. However these methods of monitoring do not offer sufficient data to provide any warning before a gearbox failure occurs. Thus, once failure has inevitably happened there is a period of downtime and zero energy generation from each affected turbine whilst O&M crews are scheduled to replace the gearbox.

Key Points

Our novel sensor offers a number of significant benefits

Improved Accuracy

- Improved detection horizon through direct diagnosis of the gear surface and any changes due to micro pitting, macro pitting or stress cracking

- Multiple other sensors may be used in conjunction to provide an extra failsafe


- Ability to provide engineers with real-time data and early warning of gearbox health and condition

- Robust design for use in hostile and contaminated environments where other sensing technologies can fail to perform reliably

Bearing wear

- By its design it can inherently also monitor essential bearing wear reducing the number of sensors required across the whole system

Co-funded by Innovate UK

Invented by the University of Oxford