Hydro plants in remote location has been seen as a lost case by the big energy companies. A business savvy family in nothern parts of Sweden thought differently and recognized a fantastic opportunity. Combining moder nature with the power of Inovia AI and some IoT solution has blown the 60 year old production record away!
The possibility to control, monitor and analyze all parts in the hydro plant have given new insights how to operate Saxnäs hydro plant.
Saxnäs is a family operated Hydro plant in the northern parts of Sweden. The remote location of the Hydro plant made the previous owner dispose it. Erik took over the hydro plant 2012 and it started as a hobby project but still quite an investment. His interest of technical solutions made him think of how to improve the efficency in the hydro station.
To improve the efficiency of the remote located Saxnäs, the hydro station needed to get into the era of Internet of Things. It was not efficient to visit the station twice a week, in order to realize that power production was out due to a mailfunction in the turbine. The outage causing the production to stop. The hydro plant had to be monitored at all times and not only that, it had to send alarms and notification if something happend or was about to happen.
The solution was to start using sensors for all interesting parts to monitor its performance. It concerned measuring and collecting data from the speed of the turbine, heat on the turbine bearings, monitoring analogue gauges with AI based image recognitions, measuring rainfall, measuring water depth in the upstream lake, etc. All the sensors where provided by Inovia and the data was collected and sent to Insight for analyzing and understanding the performance of the hydro plant. To increase the analytical part even further, external data was added such as weather forecasting to understand if/when rain is going to fall, which means filling up the pond with water. Furthermore, data from the power spot market was added, to understand when the price for electricity is the highest to know when to produce/sell at the right time. The IoT solution not only increased the monitoring capability but also predicting future behaviour and being able understand when and how to get the most of the investment.
The result is amazing. For every year with the Inovia AI and IoT solution installed, it has not only beaten the top performance since 1938, it has continued to improve the result. Last year it outperformed the previous record with an increase in profitability with 35 % and outnumbered
the production rate with 16 %.
Some people thought that we were crazy investing in an outdated hydro plant, but we proved them wrong. Investing in the IoT solution has paid off many times and we still see great potential in growing it even further. For us it is not only being profitable, is as much of sustainability and beliving in the thinly populated areas of Sweden