Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) recently awarded Sentient Science Corporation with the “New Energy Pioneers Award” at the Future of Energy Summit 2016.
A panel of industry and technology experts recognized Sentient as a “game changer” in the clean energy space for its innovative DigitalClone and DigitalTwin technology, which uses materials science to build computational models of rotating machines, like wind turbines, to predict remaining useful life and provide life extension actions. Wind operators using DigitalClone Live benefit from lower operating costs through small data from Material Science and longer life of their assets, which ultimately provides a lower cost of energy and a competitive differentiation. On a fleet wide basis, savings can result in an increase in revenue by $0.01/KWh.
The BNEF New Energy Pioneers Awards program, now in its ninth year, provides global recognition and validation from the energy industry’s top analysts and global energy leaders, including Michael Bloomberg.
In just 18 months since launching DigitalClone to the commercial market, Sentient Science Corporation has 18,000 wind turbines under contract and closed its first round of venture capital funding from TOBA Capital at the end of 2015.
Sentient was chosen from hundreds of early stage companies from around the globe and were assessed on three criteria: innovation, potential to scale, and momentum.
Michael Wilshire, selection committee chair and head of analysis and transformation at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said, “This year, we were impressed by the very strong set of candidates we received for the New Energy Pioneers program, and the range of activities that they cover – including solar, wind, storage, transport, bioenergy, energy smart technologies and machine learning. We were delighted to see the breadth of innovation that is happening in the industry and struck by the impact that those organizations could have on the energy system of the future.”
“We made a breakthrough using materials science to predict the future life of wind turbines and provide life extension solutions that reduce the cost of energy to make renewables compete directly with other energy sources,” said Ward Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Sentient Science Corporation. “Today we’re working with most of the major U.S. and European operators including NextEra, Duke, NRG, MidAmerican, Acciona, Dong, and more.”
“We look at the ‘DNA’ of materials, like you look at the DNA of humans. Based on what we know about materials, we can chart the future failure rates of products in the market and products being designed,” continued Thomas. “We applied this knowledge in the wind market and captured 18,000 wind turbines, and now we are expanding to the industrial, rail, and other markets at companies such as Deere, Boeing, and Rolls Royce.”
Sentient’s DigitalClone Live uses a small data approach, instead of “big data,” to appeal to different budget holders within an organization.
- Operational managers use DigitalCloneLive for their fielded assets that are already showing signs of failure. Sentient provides life extension solutions to keep their assets running until up-tower maintenance can be performed.
- Asset managers use DigitalCloneLive’s rolling forecast on the predictive health of their fleet. This 18-month insight allows for preventative maintenance, operational changes and supplier comparisons to achieve 25 to 30-year asset life using our suggested life extension solutions.
- And finally financial stakeholders use it when assessing risk and warranty costs.
“We are disrupting a trillion-dollar supply market by leveraging our scientific and business knowledge, and working with the operators, suppliers, and the OEMs as a trusted third party,” said Thomas. “By focusing on the operators’ success first and remaining independent of suppliers, Sentient has been able to compare and recommend the longest life solutions for extending existing assets and lowering operational costs.”
Sentient Science was born out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) need to decode the material genome of rotating components as a way to lower service costs and bring jobs back to the U.S. Sentient products were validated at NASA, which led to four additional years of technical validations before the company moved to Buffalo, N.Y. to begin commercialization.
“Technologies like those developed by Sentient represent the kind of innovation that not only creates jobs but saves companies and the federal government time and money as we look to develop new breakthroughs in engineering and materials science,” said New York Senator Charles Schumer.
“The White House honored Sentient with the Tibbett’s Award for our SBIR-funded research and development into materials science and the commercial success were created with our products,” Thomas said. “Now in 2016, we’re being recognized for our commercial success in energy power generation. We’re projecting to have 50,000 fielded assets under contract by 2017.”