The application of big data to the maintenance of wind mills is one of the main bets of both Siemens and GDF Suez. While the German company has bought Gamesa, half-owner of Nem Solutions, a startup specialized in this field, the French multinational’s energy division, Engie, has launched a Digital Factory in which this type of projects are a priority.
Avoiding failures and optimizing production are the main goals of solutions that apply connected sensors (Internet of Things) and big data to wind mills. This trend is called predictive maintenance and has found one of its main niches in the eolic energy field. In fact, Nem Solutions started applying this technology to railways and later found Gamesa as a customer and finally shareholder.
As of Engie, its Digital Factory acts as a research center for Industry 4.0 and wants to extend predictive maintenance to all its industrial divisions and even to home thermostats. It is also working with C3 IoT, a Silicon Valley startup that has developed a development platform for IoT apps based on Amazon Web Service. Among its customers there is also Italian energy company Enel.