WISY, the Smart Network that Monitors Water
Hydroelectric power is the oldest source of renewable energy. But not many people know that it has always been, and still is, a real laboratory of innovation.
From the mills of the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Middle Ages and even up to the first Industrial Revolution, the use of water power has led humans to creativity and continuous innovation. With the rise of the first hydroelectric plants, the course of innovation applied to water use has seen further acceleration.
The natural ability to combine industrial tradition and new technologies has led hydroelectric to promptly introduce remote control of plants, now spread to all the generating plants.
Nowadays, in the digital era, new scenarios are opening up with the use of smart technology, as in the case of the project Enel Green Power’s project WIreless Sensors for hYdro monitoring (WISY).
Greater Efficiency with the Internet of Things
Enel Green Power is working on WIreless Sensors for hYdro monitoring (WISY), a project that develops a dense network of wireless sensors able to collect, analyse and transmit all information on the state of a hydroelectric plant in real-time through the framework of the Internet of Things (IoT), which puts objects, places, data and information together in a network.
"Thanks to the WISY project, we are monitoring our hydroelectric plants more in-depth and we are gathering information that, until now, was difficult to get."
The innovative sensors are able to improve the plant’s performance and to avoid risks and other potential critical issues that might be hiding in various technical components like valves or turbines.
The Plant Goes into the Cloud
The WISY project was launched also thanks to a collaboration with the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile. Together, we’ve developed the base of the network of sensors, autonomous, easy to install and with great potential.
The system, which makes use of a cloud service, is able to check numerous parameters by collecting information that is then made available to our technicians and operators through specific applications.
"WISY is a data mine: environment temperature, humidity, quantities of rain and snow, wind and sun radiation intensity and direction, but also the amount of water flowing in a canal and the measurement of levels."
In a process of continuous evolution, we’ve also started an implementation of the system that will include a video camera to capture images of the real situation of an intake.
Hydroelectric Power is Getting Bigger
The WISY project, as well as the system developed the Chilean university within it, are set to become even more significant after the recent integration of large hydroelectric into Enel Green Power, an important step that includes a total of 25 GW between Europe and South America.
As regards Italy specifically, Large Hydro brings with it 11 GW of installed capacity and 12,5 TWh of production, that come together to total 1,5 GW of power and 5,5 TWh of production of the non-programmable Small Hydro plants.