RGU Partners with Silicon Valley Tech Firm to Boost Wind Farm Efficiency

RGU Silicon Valley

The project could help to reduce the downtime of turbines and greatly improve the efficiency of wind farms throughout the UK.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has announced a partnership with a Silicon Valley technology company, Flicq, to improve windfarm output as part of a new project.

Long-term, the project could help to reduce the downtime of wind turbines and greatly improve the efficiency of farms throughout the UK.

Flicq provides “innovative edge computing solutions” for the IIoT market (Industrial Internet of Things). The company’s smart sensors and software help organisations to monitor assets, reduce operating expenses and improve efficiency.

RGU and Flicq will collaborate to better predict failures at windfarms through the analysis of sensor data and ensure that onshore and offshore sites generate the maximum possible capacity.

With the number of offshore windfarms rapidly increasing, questions are being asked over the logistical challenges of inspection and maintenance – which can often be fraught with difficulty.

Roddy Urquhart, managing director at Flicq UK, the company’s Aberdeen-based subsidiary, emphasised the importance the project could have on minimising downtime at offshore sites.

He said: “With heavy investment in offshore wind, it is important that the condition of wind turbines is accurately monitored to minimise downtime.”

Currently, wind farm operators deploy highly-sophisticated data systems to identify turbines which could be in an unhealthy condition or operating inefficiently. For maintenance to be carried out, a particular turbine must be shut down until inspection and repairs are carried out.

The costs of deploying maintenance crews in the case of a false alarm can be costly when combined with the lost electricity production due to downtime.

Andrei Petrovski from RGU, said: “Our collaboration with Flicq UK will see us apply powerful computational approaches to improve wind turbine condition monitoring, tackling a significant challenge to the renewable energy industry.

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