Startup challenge: Wind turbine monitoring

Sensors to improve wind farm monitoring

Spanish startup XmartSense won the Wind turbine monitoring challenge with a wireless, self-powered sensor capable of measuring temperature, moisture, pressure, etc, to improve systems monitoring on wind farms.

The winner will sign a collaboration agreement and be able to try out their project.
The winner will sign a collaboration agreement and be able to try out their project.

Part of Iberdrola's commitment to the development of wind energy lies in the constant search for greater efficiency and the reduction of operating and maintenance costs to increase competitiveness. In this sense, monitoring systems for wind turbines and the associated electrical infrastructure are a key element in extending the life of the wind farms.

Spanish startup Xmart Connectivity Solutions (XmartSense) offered the winning solution for the Wind turbine monitoring challenge, which they will be able to test alongside Iberdrola International Startup Programme - PERSEO: a wireless, self-powered sensor which can measure ambient and fluid temperatures, relative humidity, pressure, gas concentration, spatial position and more.

This sensor can be applied to acoustic detection, rotor bearing temperature, torque measurement, vibration monitoring, and gear tooth wear measurement. 3D printing makes this a flexible platform that adapts easily to different scenarios by adding and combining new sensors.

It therefore meets the main requirement: solutions that can be implemented quickly, simply and economically at older farms.

What kind of solutions did we seek?

The challenge was to find innovative and competitive wind turbine monitoring solutions that meet the following requirements:

 They are low cost solutions or sensors.

 They are low-powered or self-powered.

 They can be implemented in wind farms already in operation with turbines from different suppliers. Special consideration will be given to the speed of installation and to making as few modifications as possible to the existing hardware.

 They have few wiring requirements (power/communications). Wireless and autonomous sensors — that do not need external power — will be appreciated.

 They use long-distance wireless data transmission protocols (such as LoraWAN), which enable centralised data collection at the substation or the operations and maintenance base.

 They have On-edge data processing to reduce the bandwidth needed to transmit the data.

 They have open interfaces for the post-processing and sending of the raw data.

 They are multifunctional sensors and combine, for instance, temperature, pressure, humidity and triaxial vibration data.

The deadline for registration was between 1 July and 15 September 2020. The winner was announced in October 2020. 

What is the prize?

 The prize will consist of us signing a collaboration and testing agreement with PERSEO and/or with any other Iberdrola group company. PERSEO or the signatory company will assume the costs of these activities and will provide the winner with the necessary technical support, as well as a real environment and data to test the solution, giving them access to equipment, infrastructure, high-tech sites and joint work areas.

 If the trial or concept testing is satisfactory, Iberdrola could offer the participant the chance to scale up the solution by adopting it through commercial agreements.

 PERSEO may also consider investing in the participating company and/or in the winning solution.

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