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Iberdrola launches startup challenge to improve wind farm O&M

Wind farm maranchon

Wind farm developer Iberdrola announced yesterday that it is launching a Startup Challenge to find innovative and competitive solutions that will help improve monitoring systems on wind farms.

Monitoring systems for wind turbines extend the life of the wind farms, as these systems collect data that make it possible for better operations and maintenance (O&M) planning and early fault detection.

Pablo Collado, Iberdrola’s Director of Global Renewable Development, said, “Through this challenge we hope to discover new solutions that will help us to extend the life of our assets, which means more clean megawatts of power for homes and businesses, and continued cost reductions.”

Submissions are due by August 31, 2020. The company says it is looking for solutions that meet the following requirements:

  • Low cost solutions or sensors.
  • Low-powered or self-powered.
  • Sensors can be implemented in already operating farms with turbines from different suppliers.
  • Wireless and autonomous sensors — that do not need external power.
  • Long-distance wireless data transmission protocols (such as LoraWAN).
  • Need of on-edge data processing to reduce the bandwidth to transmit the data.
  • Opening interfaces for the post-processing and sending of raw data.
  • Multifunctional sensors and combine, for instance, temperature, pressure, humidity and triaxial vibration data.

Projects should include a detailed description of the proposed solutions and any supporting information regarding feasibility and cost effectiveness and should fall in one of the following categories:

  • Innovative sensors and systems for monitoring the components of the drive train (main bearing and gearbox).
  • Low-cost wireless sensors for measuring the temperature of rotor bearings.
  • Wireless sensors for measuring gear tooth wear, etc.
  • Wireless acoustic sensors and innovative monitoring systems for monitoring the breakage of components inside the rotor.
  • Low-cost wireless sensors for monitoring the structural behavior of foundations, by capturing tilt, tension and low-frequency vibration (<100 Hz).

The awardees will sign a collaboration and testing agreement with PERSEO and/or with another Iberdrola group company. The signatory company will assume costs of all activities and will provide awardees the necessary technical support, as well as a real environment and data to test the solution. If the trial or concept testing is satisfactory, Iberdrola could offer the participants the chance to scale up the solution by adopting it through commercial agreements.