Wind turbine listening device prepares for commercial launch

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To begin, final trials of listening devices that check the health of wind turbines. These devices are more importantly using satellite communications to send data. Therefore, all takes place in the coming months. More noteworthy, that’s ahead of a commercial launch mid year.

Adelaide-based startup Ping awarded an $170,000 Australian Government Accelerating Commercialisation grant last week. A grant to help trial, upscale, connect and launch its device on domestic and international markets. All after six years in research and development.

So the Ping Monitor is a world-first application of aero-acoustic analysis. One to help continually detect wind turbine blade damage.

It has the potential to replace or cut drones and maintenance crews that routinely inspect wind turbines, sometimes long after a problem has occurred.

So a first, portable, Ping Monitor launched in September 2018. However a new solar-powered version that fixes magnetically is in play. Yes connect it to the turbine pole about two-metres above ground.  As well, it sits off the ground along the turbine. Most importantly, that launches mid year.

As well, the 2.0 version also benefits from a collaboration. One collaboration between Ping and South Australian IoT satellite communications company Myriota. It seems this collaboration enables the acoustic check to send data. Data into the cloud from almost anywhere on Earth regardless of cellular network connectivity.

A Ping Monitor version 2.0 and associated solar panel will use magnets to affix to turbine towers.

More noteworthy, there are about 400,000 active wind turbines in the world. All with blades up to 80-metres long that spin up to 300km/h.

Ping CEO Matthew Stead said pilot trials of the updated check conducted in Australia. Thereby the United States and follow extensive version one trials last year. Trials that tested analytics and fault detection algorithms.

Finally, he said the South Australian company had already generated interest. Interest among a number of local investors.

The key piece of technology in the patented device is the algorithm that can rate the health of the turbine based on its acoustic signature on a scale of one to five and monitor changes over time.

Ping monitor on wind turbines

Stead said there were 3800 blade failures globally per year.  That’s  causing around $5 billion damage annually.

Furthermore, he also said sources of damage included the following items. They are lightning strikes, hail, sand, rain, wind and accelerated wear in coastal environments.

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Finally, this is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia.

That’s a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia.