ACCIONA Energía has signed an agreement US industrial software firm Sentient Science to extend the working life of its global wind turbine fleet.

The agreement, signed at the WindEnergy Hamburg fair, which is being held in the German city at the moment, covers the possible use and validation by ACCIONA of Sentient’s DigitalClone Live technology to anticipate possible failures in key components of wind turbines years before they occur, leading to operation and maintenance strategies that will lower the cost of energy for Acconia.

ACCIONA Energía CEO Rafael Mateo said: “We are very proud to be the first major European wind power operator to use the Sentient Science’s reputed technology in our assets. This represents a big step forward in our Turbine for Life program to obtain the maximum performance from our turbines and be ever more competitive.

Ward Thomas, CEO & President of Sentient Science, said: “Digitalization of ACCIONA’s fleet with DigitalClone Live will provide life extension and lower their cost of energy.

“We are excited to be working with Mr. Rafael Mateo and his team to achieve ACCIONA Energía’s business goals to have 50-year life machines through life extension supply chain actions.”

Innovative technology

The main feature of the DigitalClone Live simulation technology developed by Sentient Science, based on its research in the field of materials science, lies in its all ways on, smart testing technology. It is based on software that creates digital clones of each turbine model and is able to predict the risk of current and future failure of the main components and their expected working life, based on operational data provided by the wind power operator.

The agreement signed today is for a long-term collaboration following the phase I started in Q4 2015. 

ACCIONA Energía operates over 9,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity owned by the company or installed for third parties. The company is firmly committed to improving the efficiency of its turbines and extending their working life beyond the 20-25 years usually applied in the sector, under optimal conditions of safety and reliability.

Both factors have a direct impact on the cost of the energy produced and, therefore, on the economic yield of the installations. To achieve this, good management of the assets and the O&M procedures is necessary, within a long-term vision.

ACCIONA is currently involved in a process of digital conversion of a number of its management system. The contract signed with Sentient Science makes complete sense within the framework of both strategies.