Intelligent sound analysis for hydropower plants with Voith OnCare.Acoustic

Uwe Wehnhardt, CEO of Voith Hydro

With OnCare.Acoustic (formerly known as HyGuard), Voith supports hydropower plant operators in discovering potentially dangerous incidents by detecting sound anomalies, classifying them into warnings and alarms as well as allocating them to specific equipment, which enables the derivation of information for smarter recommendations and decisions with regard to maintenance and operations.

OnCare.Acoustic is based on Voith’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform OnCumulus and can be extended with more functionality by adding OnCumulus.Suite to the package.

Hydropower plants today are already highly automated. As hydropower plants are often located in remote areas, problems might remain undetected and can cause severe damage to equipment. Many hydropower plants are unmanned, relying on regular service cycles and monitoring systems to discover any occurring anomalies that could lead to dangerous incidents.

Without monitoring systems and advanced analytics, hydropower plant operators risk possibly dangerous conditions, especially with equipment that has no condition monitoring or is not continuously surveilled.

Modular packages for individual requirements

The new modular OnCare.Acoustic offering supports hydropower plant operators in becoming aware and discovering potentially dangerous incidents by detecting sound anomalies. The sound monitoring system contributes to ensuring the reliability, availability and safety of hydropower plants. It is equipped with an acoustic sensor and the BlueBox for connecting data to the cloud. The offering includes different modular packages.

Plant operators can be informed about suspicious, detected sounds which are already pre-classified in warnings and alarms. This supports customers in deciding whether they need to take action. By classifying the events and allocating them to specific equipment, plant operators get further insights into their hydropower plant and thereby increase the chance of identifying possible dangerous conditions, ahead of other alarms.

Additionally, Voith experts offer consulting services which include the analysis of inspection and maintenance reports in combination with operation and condition monitoring data. As a result the customers receive recommendations on how to improve their maintenance and operations.

Cloud-based application and highest security standards

OnCare.Acoustic is based on the IIoT platform OnCumulus and therefore offers the possibility of benefiting from bridging information from different sources and applications. The acoustic monitoring system meets the highest industry standards and best practices in regards to privacy, security and compliance. The cybersecurity experts at Voith ensure end-to-end security at all times.

Landsvirkjun and Voith launch joint pilot project in Iceland

Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, and Voith have launched a joint pilot project on intelligent noise analysis in hydropower plants. Voith is installing the OnCare.Acoustic monitoring system in the Budarhals hydropower plant in Iceland that detects sound anomalies which deviate from normal conditions to prevent potential shutdowns. In addition, the continuous analysis of machine data is designed to facilitate an optimised mode of operation and the intelligent scheduling of maintenance work. The system is set to go into operation by the end of 2018.

“The risk of major accidents and plant unreliability as well unavailability that urges power plant operators to take action has increased,” stated Uwe Wehnhardt, CEO Voith Hydro. “With OnCare.Acoustic Voith delivers critical actionable information for intelligent hydropower to overcome the challenges through value-driven intelligence as well as to optimise availability and the use of resources.”

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