Among the renewables, wind energy is growing more and more popular worldwide. The wind energy market has experienced an exponential growth in the last few decades, with thousands of wind turbines having been installed every year globally. Predictions indicate that the trend will go on for many more years, keeping wind energy at the forefront of renewable energy generation worldwide and helping the world to have safe, reliable, sustainable and cheap energy.
In this scenario, the research for way to make wind turbines (WT) more efficient and competitive becomes paramount. Enel Green Power is looking for innovative and technical solutions to increase the length of wind turbine blades, with a consequent increase in Annual Energy Production.
The wind energy market has experienced an exponential growth in the last few decades, with thousands of wind turbines having been installed every year worldwide. Predictions indicate that the trend will go on for many more years, keeping wind energy at the forefront of renewable energy generate on worldwide and helping the world to have safe, reliable, sustainable and cheap energy.
Wind turbines generators are designed to withstand a class-specific loads. Under certain circumstances, there is a margin between the site-specific loads, where the wind turbine is installed, and the designed class loads. This gap allows the possibility to increase the wind turbine production, staying inside the certification loads. One of the techniques to increase the Annual Energy Production (AEP) of a wind turbine is to increase the rotor diameter (re-blading) to harvest more energy. This strategy, while useful to increase AEP of wind farms, is made by replacing the existing blades with longer ones. The re-blading solution has some drawbacks that include the cost, the management of the old blades to be dismantled, the huge amount of civil works needed, and last but not least, the increase in tons of composite materials to be used. During the last few years, Enel Green Power has been active in analyzing different options for wind blade extension.
Enel Green Power is looking for a partner that could apply a solution for the extension of the length of the installed blades, by attaching a longer piece of blade to the actual tip, or other types of solutions that could help increase the rotor diameter and consequently the AEP.
Submissions should address the following Solution Requirements:
- Tip extender bonded/connected to the original blade, without replacing it;
- Extension ≥ 1 meter;
- Technology readiness level (TRL) ≥ 6;
- Ready to be installed in 6 months;
- Cost ≤ 200k€ per wind turbine;
- Wind turbine generator (WTG) capacity ≥ 600 kW.
Moreover, the solution should:
- Be applicable worldwide, where EGP is present (https://www.enelgreenpower.com/countries);
- Be characterized by an installation time lower than 1 week/WTG;
- Provide the installation of the tip extender without dismounting the blades;
- Have a statement of conformity released by a certification body (like DNV, UL, SGS, etc.);
- Be already patented.
The submitted proposal should contain two parts:
1. Collaboration Proposal including:
a. Detailed description of the proposed solution, including (but not limited to):
- Adopted method and/or technique for blade tip extension, with indication of installation duration;
- Advantages and weaknesses of the proposed solution;
- Details on the materials used in the process, with evidence of circular and/or sustainable solutions;
- Projected maintenance costs, if any;
- Mechanical load analysis of the wind turbine where blade tip extension is installed;
- List of the WTG controller modifications, if any;
- List of WTG models to which the solution can be applied;
- Economic analysis with cost indications for the supply of the solution and evidence of the calculation of Annual Energy Production increase;
b. Evidence of experience of wind blades tip extension, if any, including prototypes, etc.;
c. Data, case studies, patent and journal references or any additional material that supports the proposed solution.
2. General Information about the Solver including:
a. The key contact person for this Challenge (including phone number and email address).
b. Organization/Company/University name and address (including website, if available).
(NOTE: For most Challenges, Solvers are not allowed to include personal contact information; however, for an eRFP Challenge, it is required.)
[NOTE: Only proposals from Solvers who have the ability to work as a collaboration partner will be considered.]
This challenge provides contribution to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy;
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
All proposers are invited to read carefully the Challenge and the Regulation of this Challenge, attached below in the Regulation section, before submitting a solution.
Except for the people involved in the organization and management of the OPEN INNOVABILITY® CHALLENGE and their spouses or partners and their relatives up to the fourth degree calculated according to Italian law, the proposals could be submitted by all the employees working in the legal entities pertaining to the perimeter of Enel Green Power & Thermal Generation worldwide.
Explain your proposal clearly in English, attach documents (max 5 files, 3 MB each. PDF, JPEG, ZIP formats supported) if needed.
The proposals will be admitted until July 16, 2022 and the evaluation will start after this date.
CHALLENGE, AWARD, IP RIGHTS
This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with a goal of establishing a possible collaboration.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (Central European Time) on July 16, 2022.
Late submissions will not be considered.
Specific regulation in the CSA attached at the bottom of this page.
What happens next?
Enel will evaluate the proposal using the following criteria:
- Overall scientific and technical feasibility of the proposed solution;
- Economic potential of concept (e.g. Total Cost of Ownership);
- Business potential for Enel;
- Novelty and creativity;
- Potential for proprietary position (i.e., is the technology novel or protectable);
- User's capabilities and related experience;
- Realism of the proposed solution;
- Maturity level of the proposal.
In case the reward includes "Collaboration with Enel", once suitable solution/s have been identified, Enel will reserve the opportunity to start a collaboration, by way of example, all or part of the following activities:
- Supply of prototypes (if an equipment);
- Installation and site tests;
- Follow up and monitoring of the proposed idea behavior.
Upon completion of the evaluation, you will receive feedback.
In case of success, an Enel contact person will get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.
The final award for this Challenge is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the verification process, including acceptance of the Challenge-Specific Agreement (CSA) that is the regulation for this Challenge.
The verification process includes obtaining the following from the Solver: signed affidavit (based on the CSA), employee waiver (if applicable), proof of identify, and Counterparty Analysis Questionnaire (CAQ).
InnoCentive collaborates with Enel to manage this Challenge.
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.
ABOUT THE SEEKER
Enel is a multinational energy company and one of the world’s leading integrated electricity and gas operators. Enel works in more than 30 countries across five continents, generating energy with a total installed capacity of more than 89 GW, selling gas and distributing electricity across a network spanning approximately 2.2 million km.
With almost 75 million end users around the world, Enel has the biggest customer base among our European competitors, and we are one of Europe’s leading energy companies by installed capacity.
The Enel Group is made up of approximately 66,000 people from around the world who are working together on the same goal. We are Open Power and our aim is to overcome some of the greatest challenges facing the world. This is to be achieved through a new approach which combines attention to sustainability with the best in innovation.
Enel is dedicated to creating innovative solutions that meet society’s changing needs. Through its openinnovability.com crowdsourcing platform, the company connects people and ideas from across the world, encouraging anyone to propose sustainable innovation projects and solutions that help develop local communities.
Enel is also committed to helping to achieve 4 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
7 - Access to affordable and clean energy;
9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation;
11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
13 - The fight against climate change;
Enel Green Power is the Enel Group brand focused on developing and managing renewable energy generation systems with a global presence in 27 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector, operating more than 1,200 plants with a managed capacity of 54 GW across a generation mix which includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants. Enel Green Power is a strategic partner that enables communities, companies and end users to move towards sustainable living, driving the shift towards a decarbonized society and actively contributing to the development and wellbeing of the many geographical areas where it operates.
Enel Green Power applies the CSV (Creating Shared Value) model, finding new business opportunities by solving social problems, combining competitiveness with long-term sustainable value creation. Thanks to its research, technological innovation, internationally renowned operational excellence, and the hard work of its people, Enel Green Power looks to the future fully aware of its potential for growth, both in terms of additional capacity and operational performance.
Enel Green Power invests in new technologies to improve its flexibility and performance, such as the combination of technologies and sources in the same plant (hybridization), the integration between renewables with other sectors (agrivoltaics, green building, new materials etc.) and research to give plants’ components a new role once they reach the end-of-life stage. All these projects are conducted under the lens of Sustainability and the Circular Economy.
With its international experience, Enel Green Power also develops custom projects to offer companies the best solutions when it comes to energy generated from renewable sources. Clean energy and sustainable projects, competitive costs and tailor-made solutions are the main benefits of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), tools that are capable of building strong, long-lasting partnerships with business and industrial clients.
Enel Green Power is also one of the founding members of RES4Africa Foundation, the association founded in 2012 to promote renewable energy and the spread of know-how on the African continent.