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Axpo Hydro Digital represented at the vgbe event "Digitalisation in Hydropower 2022" with presentations

At the end of November 2022, one of the most important events for digital solutions in hydropower took place in Vienna: vgbe Expert Event Digitalisation in Hydropower. The event was a great success and hydropower operators from all over Europe were present. Axpo Hydro Digital team had an active role and was part of the two-day program with two presentations:

Presentation 1 – «Detecting new defects the first time» (Mathias Pawlowsky)

  • The availability of the plants is currently high
  • However, hydropower plants are slowly reaching a critical age
  • Unplanned disturbances and outages will increase
  • At the same time, the "baby boomer generation" is retiring
  • Valuable know-how and many years of experience will be lost
  • Increasing maintenance needs in combination with the loss of skilled workers is a challenge for hydropower operators
  • Data analytics can make a contribution here
  • The know-how and experience of power plant employees must be formalized and then made available to the operating organization in a suitable form.
  • At the same time, manually performed, repetitive monitoring tasks of power plant employees must be digitalized and automated.
  • This can relieve the employees and give them more time to concentrate on the value-adding tasks in the operation of the plants

Presenation 2 – «AI-assisted inspection of concrete surfaces at dams» (Ephraim Friedli et al)

  • Axpo and Verbund operate around 48 dams in Switzerland and Austria
  • These are intensively monitored and visual control is an important part of the monitoring process
  • Together, the partners have conducted field tests to support visual monitoring with new technologies.
  • The focus is on automated crack detection in the exterior of the dam.
  • In the field tests, Axpo and Verbund have not only been able to gain valuable insights, but have also made progress in image-based crack detection with artificial intelligence.
  • In a further step, the algorithms developed are also to be used for visual inspection in the dam's interior.
  • For this purpose, the partners are currently evaluating appropriate solutions and platforms before the algorithms are adapted and tested for indoor application.

Both presentations received a great deal of interest from the professional audience. The corresponding presentations are available for download

After the event is before the event. In 2023, the vgbe Expert Event will take place in Zurich or at the Sarganserland power plants and will be organized by Axpo together with the vgbe.