Last week, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hosted a “Shark Tank” styled session at its annual O&M and Safety Conference in San Diego, CA.
AWEA solicited presentations from advanced data analytics companies in advance of the event, and selected five companies to present the benefits of their respective technologies to the wind industry.
After each company gave a two-minute pitch on their technologies, three finalists were selected to advance. Each of the three finalists then gave a 10-minute presentation on their technology to a panel of four “sharks.”
These decision-making sharks were executives from leading wind companies, including:
- Andrea Miller, VP Asset Management, Apex Clean Energy
- Chris Shugart, SVP Operations, Pattern Energy
- Gerrud Wallaert, VP Regional Operation, E.ON
- Krys Rootham, VP Operations, Acciona Energy
The winner: Ensemble Energy, a predictive analytics company located in Palo Alto, CA.
Ensemble Energy provided a detailed description of their hybrid approach, which combines data science with wind-turbine expertise, maximizing the benefits to wind operators. Case studies discussed in Ensemble Energy’s presentation included main-bearing failure prevention and pitch-bearing failure detection.
“With all of the great companies that competed in the Shark Tank session, it is an honor to have been selected by this distinguished panel as the winner,” said Ensemble Energy Founder and CEO, Dr. Sandeep Gupta. “We are looking forward to partnering with our customers to reduce cost and increase energy production.”
Dr. Gupta is a 15-year wind industry veteran, and a leading expert on wind-turbine controls, loads analysis, and performance optimization.
The company was co-founded by Rob Budny, who also has worked in wind for the past 15 years. Budny is an expert on gear and bearing failure modes, and he serves as VP of Reliability Engineering at Ensemble Energy.
“Dr. Gupta and I saw an opportunity to combine the latest Silicon Valley artificial intelligence and machine learning methods with our combined 30 years of wind experience to prevent wind-turbine component failures, reduce operating costs, and increase energy production,” shared Budny.
“The response from the wind industry has been outstanding, and our Shark Tank win provides further confirmation of the value of our approach,” he added.
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