University of Edinburgh start-up REOptimize Systems, has completed a seed funding round to accelerate the commercialisation of its ground-breaking wind turbine improvement technology. Enhanced by proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, this breakthrough innovation will maximise energy production on commercial wind turbines.
REOptimize has concluded a GBP300,000 equity seed funding made by a group of investors including Ian Marchant, the former CEO of the utility giant SSE and Johnnie Andringa, a serial entrepreneur in wind energy and other renewable energy technologies.
REOptimize Systems has recently deployed their technology in several commercial projects, achieving an increase in annual energy production in excess of 6 per cent in two medium scale wind turbines and promising initial results in utility scale turbines.
The medium scale turbines were modern 60kW and 100kW direct-drive models located in Italy and in the UK, and, in addition to an improved energy production, REOptimize also achieved significant reductions in vibrations, and in unplanned shutdowns.
The company is now engaged in a pilot project on a Siemens 2.3 MW turbine in Germany. The initial results have been promising which will now enable REOptimize to roll out the technology out to the fleet of Siemens’ turbines later this year.
The REOptimize software uses a combination of AI and expert modelling techniques to analyse huge amounts of high-resolution turbine performance data.
The technology then finds new settings for the wind turbine controller which boosts the energy production without increasing loads or other negative effects in the turbine. This is achieved with no hardware or software modifications to the turbines, instead only making finely tuned changes to the existing controller settings.
REOptimize Systems Managing Director, Richard Crozier, says: “This is an exciting time for the company as we transition from a heavy R&D focus, to launching our product in the market. Our successful medium scale wind projects have proven that our patented loss-minimisation technology works for our customers. The pilot project on the Siemens 2.3 MW turbine is demonstrating it also works for multi-MW turbines and utility scale customers.
“With our technology we can make a huge difference to turbine owners’ bottom line, and ultimately have a really significant impact on climate change.”
The REOptimize technology was developed over seven years by Dr JP Echenique, the company’s Chief Technical Officer and other colleagues at The University of Edinburgh, a recognized European hub for Artificial Intelligence.
REOptimize lead investor, Johnnie Andringa, an experienced entrepreneur in Wind Energy and Renewable Technologies, comments: “From the start I could see that JP and Richard were very skilled experts in the field of AI and wind turbine controls. Initially, I wasn’t sure whether this proprietary technology could be integrated into working turbines. However, the first commercial projects confounded my scepticism. The uplift in performance is real and the loss minimization assured that the loads did not increase. During the projects even some control resonances were smoothed which means considerably less downtime and a reduction in fatigue loading!”
REOptimize Systems is a trading name of Power Enable Solutions Limited. The development has been supported by Innovate UK ICURE funding and further grant funding through the Scottish SMART programme from Scottish Enterprise.