First Players of The Wind Challenge seeing $5.3 Billion of ROI In Global Life Extension Competition

September 17, 2018 – Buffalo, NY – “The Wind Challenge” is officially live and players from around the world are competing against each other in a battle for life extension of their fleet of 60 wind turbines. The online “game” opened September 10, and the first players achieved 951 years life extension in 7 days and improved financial outcomes by a total of $5.3 billion. 

Sentient Science, the Digitalization Partner at WindEurope’s Global Wind Summit, has teamed up with industry partners – WindEurope, Recharge News and U.S.-based Tower Climbing Grease Monkeys (TCGM) – ­to power “The Wind Challenge” using Sentient’s materials science/data science wind turbine models. The first of its kind competition demonstrates how digitalization can facilitate life extension actions by understanding the long-term prognostics on each wind turbine at a wind site. The goal is to extend life through strategic actions that reduce the Net Present Repair Costs (NPRC), which impacts the cost of energy at the site.

The grand winner will be the player that achieves the most life extension of their assets at the least amount of cost. Five total winners will be announced at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg on September 26. (See below for more details.)

The Wind Challenge demonstrates that digitalization can help overcome a 68% difference in life between design and operational field results. The online game is open to all individuals and allows players to compete through life extension actions with a common goal to reduce their cost of energy by 13% of revenue. The Wind Challenge combines Sentient’s materials science-based wind models for GE, Vestas and Siemens Gamesa wind turbines with fictional operational data to calculate the life extension and return on investment of the LifeX (life extension) actions applied. A public leaderboard will display the top 10 players who succeed by executing the best life extension strategies.

CEOs from the major operators in the world are encouraging members of their team to play The Wind Challenge to test new strategies and show the importance of life extension on the economic value of their fleet of wind turbines.

“The reason I am supporting this challenge is to help technicians realize that we can work smarter rather than harder.  If we combine our common-sense, first hand tribal knowledge of how to maintain turbines, and extend their life with Sentient Science’s DigitalClone software we can make a serious impact on how owners and operators in this space make decisions.  There will be financial benefits that result from this effort, but more importantly we will save technicians from having to make the same repairs over and over again just because a company decided it was cheaper to pay for labor than to invest in quality components,” said Neal Gyngard, CEO of TCGM.

Players can work on up to 60 wind turbines in their virtual wind site in Greenland (DK). The users can pick and mix different wind turbine OEMs and model types and then assign maintenance actions that help achieve life extension. Winners will be selected based on the greatest number of years added to the life of the turbine at the lowest possible cost for the highest economic value. 

Players are also encouraged to enter their own life extension actions into the game. A panel of judges will be evaluating the ad hoc additions and a prize will be awarded for the best Asset Action added to The Wind Challenge.

“We’ve digitalized 40,000 of the world’s turbines using our materials science simulators. We’re on track to have 100,000 wind turbines under contract by 2020. We’re allowing the industry to use our simulated data in The Wind Challenge to understand the impact of O&M decisions on the value of their assets,” said Ward Thomas, CEO of Sentient Science. “We invite wind experts from operators and suppliers globally to work with us on The Wind Challenge, so we can drive the cost of energy down through supply chain efficiencies and better risk management.”

Register for The Wind Challenge and compete against wind experts for the most effective life extension strategy.

First place goes to the player that achieves the most life extension in months at the lowest possible cost. Second, third and fourth place winners will go to the most life extension in months at the lowest cost for each turbine type. And Fifth place will be given to the player who adds the “Best Life Extension Actions” to the database.

The Wind Challenge will be scaled for competition among O&M, Asset Management, Supply Chain Management, Risk Management, Origination and Executives. The first version of The Wind Challenge is focused on operations and maintenance activities that provide life extension to wind turbines.

The first game ends at 14:00 CET on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Winners will be announced at a press conference at 16:00 CET at the WindEurope Booth, B1.OG.211, at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg, Germany. Players do not need to be present to win – it’s a digital challenge after all.


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Media Contact: 

Jill Szpylman
Director of Public Relations
Sentient Science