Eleven-I, a bespoke asset monitoring firm specialising in instrumentation hardware, software, and data analysis technologies, has worked closely with ORE Catapult to develop its innovative solutions, targeting both the UK and export offshore wind markets.
The Derbyshire-based firm is already making headway in onshore wind, working with turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to implement hardware on full scale blades. As a result, Eleven-I is collecting data on blade movement during operation to validate blade aerodynamic design and control systems, and how OEMs can improve this.
Now the firm is looking to expand as a result of successfully joining major programmes to build on its sensor technology for a blade monitoring and analysis systems, used to monitor offshore wind blade health throughout its lifetime, from post-manufacture and transportation through to operation.
Firstly, Eleven-I applied to a robotics innovation call, the latest in a series of challenge competitions through GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult’s ‘Stay Ashore’ research and development program, delivered through the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub’s Innovation Exchange (OWiX) in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). The Stay Ashore programme provides Eleven-I with input from both ORE Catapult and GE’s technology and market experts.
Following on from joining the Stay Ashore programme, the firm has further collaborated with ORE Catapult to join the Energy Entrepreneur Fund (EEF) – an £11 million fund for UK energy entrepreneurs to turn ideas into clean, green technologies that eliminate carbon emissions, established by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The EEF will enable Eleven-I to utilise ORE Catapult’s facilities and expertise in order to carry out a number of development tasks on its system, assessing the dynamic movement of wind turbine blades to be captured and analysed continuously.
In addition, Eleven-I has utilised the Wind Expert Support Toolkit (WEST) as part of the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), project managed by ORE Catapult. This has boosted Eleven-I with business development support to become more familiar with networks, marketing and positioning its business in the offshore wind market.
The combination of technical and support programmes is now enabling Eleven-I to access the offshore wind market both in the UK and the USA. The collaborative work with ORE Catapult and its associated programmes means Eleven-I is targeting substantial growth, with plans to double its current number of employees, increase exports and secure further project partnerships.