Hydropower plants are facilities in which the hydraulic energy of water is converted into electrical energy by turbines on flowing waters or reservoirs. Hydropower is considered a major pillar of electricity supply in Austria and as such provides about 60% (as of 2019) of the electricity generated. This energy comes from several hundred larger, and thousands of smaller small hydropower plants currently in operation in Austria. The investment costs for the construction of a hydropower plant are very high, which is why they are designed for a very long service life.
The majority of hydropower plants across Europe were planned and built long before significant developments in sensor acquisition, data evaluation and data analysis could take place.
Initial research results indicate that the collection and analysis of sensor data during power plant operation allows quantitative conclusions to be drawn about the degree of damage to a machine. These results indicate that indicate that sensor data can form the basis for developing a data-driven, high-quality predictive maintenance strategy for hydropower plants that also takes into account changes in hydropower plant operations.