Ping Monitor concept by Adelaide company to listen and give alert on wind turbine damage

The Ping Monitor can pick up damage to the blades of a wind turbine by listening to its acoustic signature.
Image courtesy The Lead South Australia

The Ping Monitor, developed by an Adelaide startup company, is a world-first in applying aero-acoustic analysis to help continually detect wind turbine blade damage.

There are about 400,000 active wind turbines in the world with blades up to 80-metres long that spin up to 300km/h. The 3800 blade failures globally per year  – from causes such as lightning strikes, hail, sand, rain, wind and accelerated wear in coastal environments – cost up to $5 billion.

The Ping Monitor has the potential to replace or reduce drones and maintenance crews that routinely inspect wind turbines, sometimes long after a problem has occurred. The acoustic monitor has been developed into solar-powered version that’s fixed near the base of the wind turbine. This 2.0 version benefits from work between Ping and South Australian IoT (Internet of Things) satellite communications company Myriota, enabling the acoustic monitor to transmit data into the cloud from almost anywhere on Earth.

The key piece of technology is the algorithm that can rate the health of the turbine based on its acoustic signature. Ping’s listening devices would monitor the health of wind turbines and use satellite communication to transmit data.

Ping was awarded a $170,000 Australian Government accelerating commercialisation grant to help trial, upscale, connect and launch its device on domestic and international markets after six years in research and development. Its intelligent listening platform could also be applied to a whole range of scenarios such as surveillance, listening for aircraft or drones or monitoring the presence of predators such as wild dogs on farms.

Ping has been part of the first cohort of the venture catalyst space program run by the University of South Australia at its innovation and collaboration centre.

* Information from The Lead South Australia.

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