Inmarsat brings IoT connectivity to rural hydroelectric power stations in Wales
RWE, a German power company in the UK, has partnered with satellite operator, Inmarsat, to implement satellite IoT connectivity to its hydroelectric power stations in rural northwest Wales.
RWE power stations are located in the mountains of Snowdonia, which receives the most amount of rainfall in Wales, providing suitable conditions for hydroelectric power generation. However, connectivity is unreliable and satellite technology integration has been proposed as a solution. IoT devices deliver up-to-date data instead of requiring staff to travel to the remote locations to gather measurements.
Inmarsat's ELERA network connects across RWE's IoT-connected power stations and has an astounding 99.9 percent availability. Sensors record rainfall, air, humidity, water levels and temperatures at intervals. This recorded data is then used to optimize electricity output while reducing environmental impact.
John McNab, Operations and Maintenance Engineer at RWE, posited that up-to-date data provided by the IoT connectivity aids in planning of maintenance by ensuring safety for workers during harsh weather conditions. McNab also stated that the data also helps in decision making when supplying renewable energy to its customers.