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  • Active safety systems to offset electrical risks

    CONTEXT

     

    The world wind power market has quadrupled in size over the last decade and has consolidated itself as one of the most competitive energy sources in the world in cost terms, reaching 743 GW in installed capacity.

    ACCIONA Energía builds, operates and maintains wind farms in 25 countries worldwide. With installed capacity of 8,759 MW (2021) and 230 plants in service, wind power represents 80% of the electricity generated by the company every year.

     

    OPPORTUNITY

     

    In an electricity generation plant the main risk factor for people (personnel, maintenance technicians and others) is electrical contact. Even though the plants comply with design regulations and standards, defective use -or not following established safety standards- can lead to accidents and serious risk of injury to people. The fact that electricity cannot be perceived by the senses (it has no odour, does not emit noise and cannot be seen) is an aggravating risk factor.

    Training is a key element in the prevention of electricity-related incidents, as the human factor is usually involved in 3 out of 4 accidents of this type. ACCIONA therefore considers it important to improve its equipment and systems to help people identify the presence of electric current in both interior and exterior installations, e.g. overhead and underground power lines. 

     

    WHAT ARE WE SEEKING?

     

    Despite designs that conform to standards, training and improving signage to warn about risks, electrical risk exists both for people working in a wind farm and those outside it.

    Therefore, we seek solutions (hardware, software, new materials…) that detect and signal magnetic fields and warn of the electrical risks associated with them. These solutions could be applied to:

     

    • Closed and controlled areas that workers access to carry out operation and maintenance tasks
    • Open, uncontrolled areas, for example, where there are underground power lines that third parties could come into contact with accidentally.

     

    The solution could consist of a direct warning of an electrical risk (e.g. a buzzer or a flashing light) or an indirect one (change of status in the presence or absence of current).

     

    SDG 3. Good health and well-being.

    SDG 7. Affordable and clean energy.

    SDG 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

  • 6

    months development time

    Up to 50.000€

    budget

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