Australian global mining giant Rio Tinto has partnered with Sumitomo, a Japanese energy company, to explore hydrogen production and use at its Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone, Australia.

Sumitomo has been conducting a study on hydrogen production in Gladstone and, with the letter of intent signed with Rio Tinto, will apply its findings to conduct a pilot at the refinery.

The pilot will be implemented as part of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem, an initiative established by Sumitomo in partnership with academia, government agencies, and utilities to develop Gladstone as a hub for hydrogen production for the global market by 2030.

Parties Sumitomo collaborated with include Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Regional Council, Australian Gas Networks and CQUniversity Australia.

The announcement follows bp releasing a study confirming that large-scale production of green hydrogen and ammonia is technically feasible in Australia.

Commenting on the partnership with Sumitomo, Kellie Parker, chief executive at Rio Tinto, said his company is expanding its partnership with the Japanese company “to explore the possibilities of hydrogen, not only for our own refinery but for Sumitomo to supply industry more broadly in Gladstone.

“Reducing the carbon intensity of our alumina production will be key to meeting our 2030 and 2050 climate targets. There is clearly more work to be done, but partnerships and projects like this are an important part of helping us get there.”

The increased adoption of hydrogen in Australia will help strengthen the countries economy through the export of energy and will ensure a secure energy supply to meet local demand, whilst reducing carbon emissions.

Thousands of jobs are expected to be created by expanding Australian hydrogen capabilities. Collaboration with international companies is expected to help accelerate the growth of the market.

Sumitomo is also expanding its portfolio of green projects by deploying hydrogen initiatives to achieve the 2050 carbon neutrality goal.

Sumitomo Corporation’s Energy Innovation Initiative Director, Hajime Mori, added: “Sumitomo has commenced the Design Study and Preliminary Master Planning to build the Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem and we will continue to work towards future hydrogen exports from Gladstone.”

Minister for Water Glenn Butcher, reiterated: “Gladstone’s world-class deep water port, water security through Awoonga Dam, and industry attraction via the local State Development Area have set Gladstone up to become the hydrogen capital of Australia, providing massive employment and supply chain opportunities both locally and in the Central Queensland region.”

Originally published by Power Engineering International.

As the world races towards energy transition, abandoning fossil fuels left, right and centre, we take a look at some of the key renewables technologies and whether or not they are really sustainable.

This is not about naming and shaming, as clearly an inclusive energy mix is desirable and renewables, as well as nuclear energy offer much cleaner options than their dirtier generation counterparts.

However, it is vital that in our haste to next zero, we don’t forget to keep a check on all aspects of the renewables value chain, minimising environmental and human impacts as much as possible.

How sustainable is solar power?

Solar panels have revolutionised the energy sector, providing massive decarbonisation gains across the board. However, there is more to solar than simply erecting the panels and waiting for the sun to shine. We have to consider where PV panels come from and what happens to these panels once their lifecycle comes to an end.

According to, in order to make a solar panel, several elements are required, such as Silver, Copper, Nickle, Amorphous silicon, Cadmium telluride and Copper indium gallium selenideone. These minerals need to be extracted and chemically separated, processes that lead to emissions.

Polysilicon is a semiconducting material used in the production of solar panels. It’s refined from quartzite, a dense rock created when sandstone is crushed between tectonic plates. The material is baked in giant ovens and treated with chemicals until it condenses into ingots of near-pure polysilicon. Those ingots are sliced into wafers using diamond-edged saws, and then cut into squares to make solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity.

Polysilicon can become a problem as many countries lack regulatory controls concerning the dumping of waste silicon tetrachloride, a by-product of polysilicon processing.  Normally the waste silicon tetrachloride is recycled but this adds to the cost of manufacture.

And what happens when a solar panel dies? According to Wired, by 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. Proper recycling procedures are needed to ensure the valuable elements are extracted and the toxic elements, like lead, don’t leak out in landfills.

The fact is that few countries have effectively mandated these recycling measures. In the EU, the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) law mandates proper measures however, many wealthier countries ship their e-waste to developing nations for re-use.

And it’s not just about recycling and reducing emissions…In terms of the impact on wildlife, increased numbers of bird deaths have been associated with solar farms. Utility-scale solar farms around the US may kill nearly 140,000 birds annually, possibly the result of the glare generated by the panels.

Clearly, solar power has a lot to offer the energy industry in the future however, it is clear that governments and industry need to collaborate on sustainability strategies around the deployment and decommissioning of PV.

How sustainable is wind energy?

The benefits of wind power are salient to say the least. Besides providing a reliable source of power, community investment schemes can benefit the public, larger turbines are seen as maximising land use on areas such as farms and employment opportunities are rife in the sector, with 3.3 million jobs expected over the next five years (according to GWEC). One of the most important features of wind energy, of course, is the emissions free power it produces, vital in today’s emissions sensitive climate.

However, as with solar power, there are some disadvantages to this renewable energy source.

In order to maximise the turbine’s ability to access the wind, they need to be higher than the nearest surrounding structures. This can have a negative impact on the environmental aesthetic, interrupting landscape views valued by the community. Dwellings within 130 degrees either side of north relative to a turbine can be affected by shadow flickering and noise can be intrusive in quieter, rural areas.

Building and erecting wind turbines requires hundreds of tons of materials — steel, concrete, fiberglass, copper, as well as neodymium and dysprosium used in permanent magnets, resulting in a carbon footprint yet to be fully understood.

However, one of the more salient concerns around wind turbines is the impact on local fauna. Here are three examples in this regard:

  1. According to a report published in the journal Ecology and Evolutionby a team of researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research in Trondheim, birds and bats are indeed at risk from turbine blades in motion. The planning stage must emphasise the avoidance of habitats to minimise avian deaths.
  2. Regarding offshore wind farms, scientists are still studying the potential impact on marine ecosystems. comsuggests that certain species of sharks and rays that use electromagnetic fields to navigate and hunt for food; could react to electric energy leaking from offshore wind installations.
  3. Marine biologist and consultant Victoria Todd believes the loud sound pulses during the construction phase can affect some species for up to 12.5 miles. For up to six weeks, construction can push out marine mammals from large areas of their habitat, Todd said, although the animals return reasonably quickly once construction ceases.

It is clear that when constructing wind farms, whether on- or off-shore, the environmental impact must be accounted for and mitigated from the planning phase as far as possible.

How sustainable is nuclear?

You might be wondering why nuclear power has made its way into this feature. The fact is that nuclear is a source of clean energy and will indeed play an important role in the future decarbonisation of our planet.

Nuclear power, an emissions free energy source, needs what is considered minimal land to operate, according to the US DoE. A typical 1,000MW nuclear facility in the United States needs a little more than 1 square mile to operate. And in terms of the waste produced, due to its dense nature, all of the used nuclear fuel produced by the U.S. nuclear energy industry over the last 60 years could fit on a football field at a depth of less than 10 yards!

However, the extremely toxic nature of nuclear waste means that proper disposal methods must be employed, and if not, the outcomes could be disastrous. Unfortunately, it seems that one of the most dangerous aspects of nuclear power is the length of time it takes for governments to decide on the ultimate disposal site.

While politicians um and ah about the best patch of rock in which to bury the waste, millions of liters of radioactive liquid waste from weapons production and power generation sit in temporary storage containers. The containers age and begin leaking.

Deep geological repositories seem to be the answer, says C&EN (Chemical & Engineering News). However, while governments decide on the site for the repository, waste accumulates mainly where it’s generated—at the power plants and processing facilities. Some of it has been sitting in interim storage since the 1940s.

One example of a working deep repository is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, near Carslbad, New Mexico. The site is licensed to host transuranic, or TRU waste in stable formations, such as deep salt beds.

Waste vitrification is another well known disposal method, that involves blending waste materials with glass precursors, heating the mixture to above 1,000 °C to melt the components, pouring the molten glass into a storage container, and letting it cool and solidify, locking the harmful constituents in the glass matrix. “Vitrification of nuclear waste seems to be well established by now, but actually it still faces complex problems,” says Ashutosh Goel, a materials scientist at Rutgers University. The plant at Hanford in Benton County in the U.S. state of Washington, for example, calls for entombing nuclear waste in borosilicate glass and encasing the glass in stainless-steel canisters. Yet the exact formulation of the glass, or glasses, is still under investigation. It is likely, scientists suggest, that after 1000 years the steel containers surrounding the glass could begin corroding. Recent studies further suggest that the presence of water may accelerate corrosion between the steel and glass interface.

Perhaps one word that sums up the risks surrounding nuclear is ‘Fukushima’. A number of lessons were learned concerning the importance of collaboration, proper planning and public perception. However, no matter what lessons were learned, Japan has continued to announce that 1.25 million tonnes of potentially contaminated wastewater from the decaying Fukushima nuclear power plant will be pumped into the ocean.

How sustainable is biomass?

Opposite of nuclear on the power generation spectrum is Biomass. This benign, environmentally friendly, and reliable source of renewable energy can effectively reduce waste and emissions. It seems like a winning recipe of feedstocks. However, collecting, transporting and storing that waste has its own carbon footprint and biomass for large-scale energy production requires a great deal of land.

Besides that, unsustainable biomass practices can result in deforestation over time, as some companies clear forests to create feedstock for biomass power production. According to, “clearing plants and organic material from the earth can also impact the health of surrounding soil that requires biomass for compost and fertilization”. These practices, in turn, negatively impact or deplete natural habitats for animals and birds.

Companies that grow crops for the sole purpose of biomass can also pack an environmental punch. The water and irrigation needed can upset water balances causing drought in other areas. This has led to the need for a balance to be achieved between growing crops for energy and crops for food.

But what about emissions? The process can release pollutants into the air, such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Not only could this cause an unwanted smell, coupled with the smell of the feedstock (depending on the waste product being used) but could also result in the presence of pests and bacteria.

How sustainable is tidal power?

When it comes to the environmental impact of tidal power, not much is actually known. The manipulation of this potent force of nature for the production of energy is still in its infancy, and although some studies have been conducted, scientists are only now starting to scratch the surface.

What we do know for sure, however, is that the scientific community is looking closely at two main causes of concern: noise and vibration, and the impact on sea life. A good example is the 2010 report commissioned by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and titled Environmental Effects of Tidal Energy Development, which identifies several environmental effects. These include the “alteration of currents and waves”, the “emission of electro-magnetic fields” (EMFs) and its effects on marine life, as well as the “toxicity of paints, lubricants and anti-fouling coatings” used in the manufacturing of equipment. Unfortunately, this is but one report, when a lot more research needs to be done in order to properly understand the full impact. And it seems that only time will tell what impact the development of these projects will have on marine ecosystems.

How sustainable is Hydrogen?

Many people are getting tired of the ‘H’ word however, it is undeniable that green hydrogen holds great potential in supporting the planet’s decarbonisation.

But what exactly is the carbon footprint associated with hydrogen production? The answer to that is determined by the fuel used to produce the hydrogen.

Until clean hydrogen can be scaled up, producing hydrogen remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Currently, there are three main sources of hydrogen:

  • Natural gas – When the methane in natural gas is heated, the molecules split into carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The carbon monoxide can then be treated to produce water gas, from which hydrogen can be extracted.
  • Oil – can either go through the same process as natural gas or, if it’s heavy fuel oil, can be turned into hydrogen via partial oxidation. This involves using high pressures and temperatures to oxidate the oil which, in turn, produces a synthesis gas partially made of hydrogen.
  • Coal –can also be turned into gas, and during the process its molecules are broken down into their hydrogen and carbon monoxide parts.

If the emissions used to create hydrogen are trapped and stored underground (a process called carbon capture and storage, or CCS), the fuel is called blue hydrogen, a cleaner option than coal gasification or steam methane reforming.

However, in order for hydrogen to be the poster child of the clean energy revolution, only green hydrogen, achieved by electrolysis will do. Electrolysis uses electricity to split the hydrogen from water and if this is powered by renewable energy, it has zero emissions and is known as green hydrogen.

The production of hydrogen today is a “climate killer” according to Carlo Zorzoli of Enel Green Power. He said some “98% of it is produced from steam reforming and gasification, which equates to yearly carbon emissions comparable to that of Indonesia and the UK combined. Just 2% is produced from electrolysis.”

“Today, hydrogen is anything but clean. That 98% produced today is an industrial feedstock. Just 2% is produced from electrolysis. Hydrogen today is not a solution to decarbonisation: hydrogen is a part of the problem. So the very first thing to do is convert grey hydrogen to green.”

This statement clearly shows there is work to be done in order to ensure hydrogen can have the decarbonising effect the sector is hoping for.


The fact is that no matter how flat the pancake, it will always have two sides. Therefore, let us not forget that as we innovate and adopt new renewable and clean energy technologies, there could be hidden impacts on the environment and on us, now and for generations to come. The good news is that industry and governments around the world are becoming more aware of sustainability, prioritizing it in strategic plans, as well as reducing carbon footprints across the value chain. The future is indeed bright, almost as bright as a few hundred solar panels reflecting sunshine into your eyes.

Originally published by Power Engineering International.

Australian hydrogen research and development company, Star Scientific Limited, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Philippines Department of Energy to help drive the country’s energy self-sufficiency and development of green hydrogen as a fuel source.

For the Philippines, which is largely reliant on imported fossil fuels, this agreement heralds a shift to hydrogen and provides an opportunity for energy security and self-sufficiency in an environmentally sustainable way.

At the heart of the MOU is Star Scientific Limited’s technology, the Hydrogen Energy Release Optimizer or HERO®. The technology is a catalyst that converts hydrogen and oxygen into heat and water, without degrading the catalyst. There is no combustion, and the only outputs are heat and pure water. The HERO® can generate temperatures beyond 700 degrees Celsius in just over three minutes, and it is being used as the heat source in the heat exchanger system.

The objectives of the MoU include:

  • Studying the retrofitting of existing coal-fired power plants to run on the HERO® system powered by green hydrogen;
  • Exploring the utilisation of green hydrogen production in the Philippines using offshore wind resources;
  • Investigating decentralised scalable power systems for all of the Philippines’ inhabited islands utilising green hydrogen, HERO® and the new breed of supercritical CO2 turbines;
  • Using the HERO® system for decentralised desalination of ocean water.

As part of the MoU, the Star Group will assist the Philippine Department of Energy with the development and implementation of funding models to attract global financing for the different aspects of all the projects as they develop.

Global Group Chairman of Star Scientific Limited, Andrew Horvath, said he was proud that an Australian innovation had captured the attention of a national government.

“This agreement with the Department of Energy of the Republic of the Philippines represents a significant milestone in the development of the global hydrogen economy. Thanks to this bold and visionary step by the Philippines, we can begin to see the reality of whole economies turning over to hydrogen and a rapid acceleration to sustainable energy on a global scale. This is just the start,” said Horvath said.

“This will represent the largest single boost to Australia’s role in developing the global hydrogen economy, heralding a new era of research, development and deployment in the manufacture and installation of all parts of the hydrogen supply chain. We are particularly grateful and excited to be part of the next phase of the Philippines’ economic growth.”

Originally published by Power Engineering International.

Hydrogen Renewables Australia (HRA) has made progress on its 5000MW Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project, by announcing a partnership with fund managers Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

The Murchison Project is a large scale, export-oriented green hydrogen project that is located on the 126,000 hectares Murchison House Station, near Kalbarri in the mid-west of Western Australia. The project will be powered by combined wind and solar power generation and utilise desalinated water.

The project aims to provide large scale hydrogen export to the Asian markets – notably Japan and Korea – and will be developed in stages:

  1. A demonstration phase providing hydrogen for transport fuels;
  2. An expansion to blend with natural gas in the nearby Dampier to Bunbury pipeline;
  3. A large expansion to produce hydrogen for the Asian markets, notably Japan and Korea.

Originally published by Power Engineering International.

Spanish multinational energy company Iberdrola has commenced construction of its $500 million hybrid wind and solar project in Australia.

The 317MW hybrid wind and solar farm near Port Augusta is Iberdrola’s first project in Australia.

The project is expected to take 18 months to reach completion.

Around 200 jobs will be supported during construction, with 20 full-time jobs based on-site once construction is completed in 2021.

The project is expected to generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 180,000 Australian homes.

The announcement follows Iberdrola signing agreements with Vestas for the supply and installation of 50 wind turbines with a 4.2MW capacity and Longi for nearly 250,000 solar PV panels.

Spanish engineering firm Elecnor will construct the storage areas and access roads, as well as deliver the export transmission line, the substation and wind farm balance of plant, while Sterling & Wilson will build the solar farm.

Iberdrola country manager, Fernando Santamaria, said the project signified the company’s commitment to the Australian market.

“We have seen quick progress in challenging times, so it is great to have spades in the ground already on our first ever project in Australia. Port Augusta is a major commitment in terms of investment and clean energy capacity, both for the Australian renewables market and for Iberdrola’s global project portfolio.

“The South Australian Government has worked closely with us during the construction planning, and we were happy to be able to show the Premier and Energy Minister the progress at the site today. The project is delivering jobs and significant economic value for the local region.

“The Australian renewables sector as a whole offers great potential and, as a long-term operator, this flagship project highlights our commitment to invest in countries where we see good conditions for clean energy to grow.”

Iberdrola says it is also progressing well with its friendly takeover offer for Infigen Energy. In total across Australia, Iberdrola and Infigen together have more than 800MW of operating capacity, 453MW under construction and a development pipeline of over 1,000MW.

Originally published in Power Engineering International. 

Rolls-Royce is to deliver 15 gas gensets to an iron ore mine in Australia.

The deal is between Rolls Royce, its agent Penske Australia, and Contract Power, which builds power stations in remote locations.

The 15 medium-speed gensets will power the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project in Western Australia, an unincorporated joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB.

The deal marks Rolls-Royce’s first project with medium-speed engines for stationary power supply in Australia.

The gensets are based on the new Rolls-Royce Bergen 20-cylinder B36:45 gas engine, which was introduced to the global market at the end of 2018.

Through the Pilbara Generation Project, the gensets will be integrated with a 150MW solar PV farm and battery storage. The hybrid energy system will be connected to a new transmission network Fortescue is building in the Pilbara.

Jon Erik Røv, managing director of Bergen Engines said the gensets are “well suited for remote locations and have excellent capability to meet quick and frequent load changes, which is essential in microgrids”.

The engines will be shipped from Bergen in Norway in the spring of 2021.

Originally published in Power Engineering International. 

GE Renewable Energy and Walcha Energy have signed an agreement to jointly develop the 500 MW Dungowan pumped hydro storage project in the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Under the agreement, GE Renewable Energy’s Hydro Solutions business will provide Walcha Energy with technical and commercial support to accelerate the development of the Dungowan pumped hydro storage power plant which plays a pivotal role in the energy transition for New South Wales and Australia.

The Walcha Energy Project has the potential to produce more than 4GW of stable electricity from renewable sources. The Dungowan pumped hydro storage power plant is intended to anchor the broader development and ensure that the additional wind and solar resources can be reliably and safely fed into the grid.

With intermittent renewables, it is no longer possible to turn on or off generation nor to adjust their power output at the request of power grid operators. Hydropower is a key contributor to frequency response thanks to its flexibility in operation and ability to increase or decrease its active power. In addition, hydropower is the only renewable energy source providing inertia to the Grid.

“The Dungowan Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant will help facilitate new wind and solar projects and provide firming and grid support services at a critical point on the Australian National Electricity Market. The project represents a unique opportunity to tap into a high-head site, in close proximity to an existing reservoir. It is strategically located between retiring coal capacity to the south and emerging wind and solar capacity to the east, west and north,” said Simon Currie, managing director at Energy Estate, one of the partners in Walcha Energy.

Pascal Radue, CEO of GE Renewable Energy Hydro Solutions, said: “Nearly half of the more than 8GW of hydropower capacity operating in Australia today is powered by our turbines, generators or both. However, it has been many years since new hydro capacity was built in Australia, so GE Renewable Energy is excited and proud to be at the forefront of the next generation of Australian hydropower capacities.”

The New England REZ is one of the largest renewable energy zones in Australia and has been designated as a strategic priority by the NSW Government. The Walcha Energy project has the potential to provide up to 15% of NSW’s power requirements. The Dungowan pumped hydro storage power plant would provide about 2% of that power, enough to supply roughly 125,000 households with electricity.

Originally published in Power Engineering International. 

Siemens has entered investment and framework agreements with Berkeley Energy Commercial Industrial Solutions (BECIS).

Together, they will provide customers access to distributed energy solutions via a flexible ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ (EaaS) model, allowing customers in the Asia Pacific market to pay for energy services without the need for any capital investment. This will address customers’ energy cost and sustainability challenges.

Under the agreements, Siemens’ financing arm – Siemens Financial Services (SFS) – becomes a major shareholder in BECIS.

At the same time, Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) will contribute technical expertise from its existing footprint in energy and performance services (EPS) projects to BECIS, complementing the latter’s experience in distributed energy generation solutions.

BECIS will act as the investor, developer and operating partner, holding the assets on the balance sheet, while SI will be the technology provider.

EaaS is a business model that allows customers to partner with a solutions provider such as BECIS and pay for an energy service over time, without the need for any upfront capital investment.

The long-term asset ownership resides with the solutions provider in this business model, in addition to the responsibility of deploying, constructing, operating and maintaining the assets. This offers the ability for end-to-end management of a customer’s energy infrastructure, typically utilizing a variety of elements, including renewable energy resources, waste heat recovery, storage systems, energy metering and beyond.

Cedrik Neike, managing board member of Siemens AG and CEO of Siemens Smart Infrastructure, said: “Energy systems are changing along with the business models that underpin them. We want to accelerate more sustainable and distributed systems. Together with BECIS, we can support our customers with cutting-edge technology and flexible financing solutions.

“We’re creating a solution that mitigates risks, reduces operating costs, while driving adoption of sustainable energy options.”

Headquartered in Singapore, BECIS provides distributed energy solutions to
commercial and industrial customers globally with a substantive footprint within the Asian market. It currently operates a large portfolio of distributed energy solutions assets across countries such as India, Indonesia and Thailand with teams to serve customers based in Delhi, Pune, Bangkok and Surabaya.

The partnership with Siemens will support further growth in BECIS’s current markets, as well as immediate expansion into other markets in the region, such as the Philippines, Vietnam, China and Malaysia.

TC Kundi, CEO of Berkeley Energy and Chairman of the Board of BECIS, adds: “BECIS has been successfully supporting customers’ energy transition by offering distributed energy solutions. Together with Siemens we will be able to significantly expand our integrated solution offerings including renewable energy, combined heat and power, storage systems, hybrid solutions and energy management solutions to better support our customers to meet their key energy challenges of reducing costs,
improving security of supply and enhancing their sustainability credentials.”

The agreements will also see the formation of a ‘Solutions Forum’ where SI and BECIS convene to explore business opportunities and technology to drive forward distributed energy solutions, energy optimization and EaaS.

Originally published by Power Engineering International. 

Sulzer & Schmid announced that Vestas has extended the use of its new DJI drone-based blade inspection technology to offer enhanced inspection services across wind farms in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sulzer & Schmid, a Swiss company pioneering UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology for wind rotor blade inspections, teamed up with Chinese drone specialist, DJI, to provide this solution.

The new technology enables wind turbine manufacturer Vestas to expand its expertise and offering for blade servicing and maintenance.

The solution combines autonomous flight function, exceptionally high-resolution imaging, and an advanced software interface enabling Vestas to reduce blade inspection time and maximize turbine uptime.

To bring this new solution to the market, Sulzer & Schmid and DJI have combined their respective expertise to develop a new flight technology stack which enables the industrial grade UAV DJI Matrice 210 to autonomously inspect wind turbine blades.

The autonomous flight hardware and software are sub-components of the 3DXTM Inspection Platform of Sulzer & Schmid. This cutting-edge platform supports the entire inspection workflow, which includes data capture, processing, and result exploration. The high-quality images captured by the drones are analysed aided by Artificial Intelligence, and data mining across entire wind energy portfolios are performed via Sulzer & Schmid’s proprietary 3DX™ Blade Health Platform.

“We are convinced that our 3DXTM Inspection Platform will make wind energy more cost effective, as it leads the way in providing the essential data foundation needed to optimize repair campaigns through predictive damage progression analytics,” said Tom Sulzer, CEO of Sulzer & Schmid.

Vestas has initially deployed the solution to interested customers in Australia and, will now be expanding the service to other countries in the Asia Pacific Region.

“At Vestas, we are constantly pushing the envelope to provide the most cost-efficient energy solutions to our customers. Partnering with Sulzer & Schmid and DJI for autonomous rotor blade inspections enables our in-house blade engineers to offer comprehensive and timely blade assessments, and therefore recommend more suitable repair solutions for the ultimate longevity of our customers’ assets,” explained Clive Turton, President of Vestas Asia Pacific.

Drone technology has tremendous potential to drive digital transformation across a range of industries. “Vestas’ adoption of this new blade inspection technology is a perfect example to show how technology leaders can innovate together, and demonstrate the efficiency of autonomous aerial inspection technology in the wind energy industry and beyond,” said Jan Gasparic, Director of Strategic Partnerships at DJI Enterprise.

Originally published on Power Engineering International.

Join our mailing list

Join Our Community