The Innothon challenge is focused on the realization of an autonomous robotic platform, capable of moving around renewable plants to carry out data collection, inspections, and small maintenance activities.
The solution must be autonomous in fulfilling the missions, pre-planned in a dedicated opensource software/dashboard where an operator can define the mission goals/constraints/path and other useful needs for the specific task.
Moreover, it should be equipped with AI features to support basic data analytics.
Acquired data/images collected must be automatically synchronized with a supervision software/dashboard at the end of the mission to produce a final report for each mission.
The possibility of live streaming of the information would be a plus.
The solution should include a manual override to take the control in case of emergency or specific need of the operator.
The system will be 100% electrical, either stand-alone (e.g. wheels, tracks, legs) or leveraging on existing structures (e.g. rails, cables, fences, PV trackers, others,...).
A solution able to be used as a multifunctional prototype that can be applied to more than one of the following use cases will be evaluated with an additional score.
EGP is interested in the following use case applications for all or any of the renewable assets (solar, wind, storage, green hydrogen, hydro and geo):
- Inspection of electrical components and substation (to detect: electric arc, partial discharges, temperature hot spots and anomalies or defects in specific components)
- Surveillance and patrolling
- Small operations or maintenance activities: i.e. the robot can be equipped with a small robotic arm with gripper, remotely controlled by human operator, capable of e.g. moving a cable, checking bolts, ...
Moreover, below are described specific use cases for each renewable’s asset:
a) Solar use cases:
- Visual inspection of: pv module, inverter, pv module connectors, pv module soiling, metal structures of PV modules, trackers
- Thermal analysis of: inverter, PV modules, junction box, tracker motors
- Advanced analysis like I-V curve of a PV module
- Acoustic (Fast Fourier Transform) analysis of: inverter, gear box, tracker motor
b) BESS (battery energy storage systems) use cases:
- visual inspection and thermographic inspection of battery modules assembled in racks inside containers
c) Hydro use cases:
- Visual inspection of tunnels or channels
- 3D modelling of pipelines, powerhouses, tunnels, or channels
- Thickness measurement inspection for steel pipes up to 2000 mm diameter
- Thermal analysis of plant electrical components located in harsh environment
d) Wind use cases:
- External inspection by means of photographs (minimum 40 MP) and 4K video with 3D scanner to detect structural defects or faults in tower and nacelle
- Blades internal inspection to detect structural defects or faults. Maximum robotic size up to 400 x 200 mm transverse plane to the blade
- Surface cleaning: blades, tower, blade drainage hole and leading edge
- Surface maintenance: blades coating and painting, leading edge sanding
e) Geothermal and Green Hydrogen use cases:
- Environmental performance analysis, such as gas detection (i.e. CH4/H2S/CO/H2 specific for Geothermal and Green Hydrogen application).
The Challenge will be undertaken in 4 phases:
Phase 1) Solvers will have until April 10, 2023 to prepare a proposal in response to the Challenge. Each group will submit the proposal in the Enel Open Innovability® platform with a general description of how their solution is structured (in terms of scope, type of materials needed for realization, list of plant parameters to evaluate, algorithm). Tutors will be available for any doubts, at the following mail firstname.lastname@example.org and through two webinars:
- 1/03/2023 from 10 to 11 a.m. Italian time at the following link
- 08/03/2023 from 10 to 11 a.m. Italian time at the following link
Phase 2) EGP will select the best proposals at its sole discretion, considering the accomplishment of the Solution Requirements described in the Section below. EGP will provide a customized kit to each group selected from the RS catalogue (https://it.rs-online.com/web/) up to max 5.000€- and will evaluate case by case any additional tool necessary for the prototype realization.
Phase 3) Group members of the selected teams will be advised of their selection by email. They will then work on a prototype of the idea proposed, using the customized kit provided by EGP, within 2 months from the selection notification. During the prototype realization, if needed, EGP tutors will be reachable via mail address that will be provided to each group and through webinars.
Phase 4) At the end of the prototype phase, the selected team will be invited to the Innovation Hub&Lab in Catania, Sicily, for prototype refining helped by EGP experts, using an advanced kit. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by EGP for this attendance. The event will take place for three days in July 2023.
The finalized prototypes will be evaluated by a jury and the best one(s) will be awarded with an economic prize.
All members of the selected teams will have the possibility to participate in an employer branding session.
Submissions should address the following Solution Requirements.
The submission ‘must haves’ are:
- Be clear, intuitive, and relevant;
- Detail the technical features using a maximum of 5 pages that:
- Describe the solution;
- Describe the use cases;
- Detail the technical tools needed to implement a prototype: each group will specify the equipment list and RS catalogue code of each tool (https://it.rs-online.com/web/), together with the description, the quantity, the cost, the place of delivery and a telephone number for the carrier;
- Present a preliminary software code;
- Describe the steps to produce the prototype;
- Specify a target price for the final prototype;
- Demonstrate technical and potential feasibility: the proposed technological solution must be able to be implemented / used and must have a high level of quality;
- Easy to be managed/maintained.
Moreover, the proposed solution should (the 'nice to have’ requirements below will be considered a plus):
- Be innovative and sustainable
- Be scalable, with possible deployment on a global scale, hence following the best practices in terms of handling and disposal regulations
- Optimize or increase power production
- Detection in advance critical paths of components’ behavior to anticipate future failures before they occur
- Minimize the stoppages of the asset
- Speed up the troubleshooting process
- Minimize critical accidents by acting on precursor signals (trip for low consequence event before critical events)
- Be cost-effective for business
- Be proposed by a team with heterogeneous competences (i.e. software languages, 3D printing, electronic and mechanical skills)
- Have a standard data base system useful for Enel business
Additional documents can be attached if needed (i.e. electrical and mechanical project details) – maximum of 5 attachments.
The submitted proposal should comprise:
- Technical report about the solution proposed with all the “must have” requirements
- Preliminary software code
- List of technical tools needed to produce the prototype
- Proposed CANVAS business model
- Report all the 'must have’ and ‘nice to have’ requirements reached
- Schematic of project design
The solutions will be submitted in the Enel Open Innovability® platform and will use Times New Roman, 14 point font.
This Challenge provides contribution to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
- SDG 13: Climate Action