Start-ups in wind I: VeriteQ

The Netherlands is known for its innovative and explorative business culture. Many technological advances have originated in the Netherlands or from Dutch inventors. This is also the case for the wind industry. Manufacturing, installation and maintenance techniques, amongst others, have improved rapidly over the years and will do so in the years to come. While many of these improvements are announced by the larger, well-known players, behind the scene, there are also many small players working very hard on their innovative concept or service offering. The WindDays event provided start-ups a platform to introduce their services or product to a wider audience. Wind Energy magazine spoke to 5 start-ups that exhibited at WindDays.

VeriteQ is a specialist in Power Quality. So far they haven’t worked for the wind energy industry, but that should change. ‘We can find fault causes that others do not see’, says Jan Verploegen of VeriteQ.

A wind turbine fault is shown in fig. 1 and 2. The malfunction had already occurred several times, resulting in production loss. With the PQ failure analysis it was possible to determine what the cause was and how to solve this.

What do you have to offer to the wind industry?
‘VeriteQ is a specialist in the field of PQ (Power Quality) – fault analysis. With our experience and our PQ failure analyzers we can find PQ failure causes that others do not ‘see’. The dynamics in the electricity grid will become much bigger in the coming period. Coal-fired or a gas-fired power stations use more or less the same generators and deliver stable energy production. Wind turbines and solar collectors work in a very different way. It is all becoming more complex. If it gets cloudy or the wind drops, the energy production suddenly decreases. There’s a lot happening on the grid. Sometimes failures are only short-lived, and with wrong analyzers and lack of in-depth knowledge you miss them. We use PQanalyzers from Outram research. They already have a lot of experience with the use of these analyzers in offshore wind. Knowledge is also very important, a malfunction can be short-lived, but exists still latent on the net.

What makes your company different from other companies?
VeriteQ focuses on PQ failure analysis only, while larger companies aren’t that specialized. Outram research, the company we do business with, is already working in PQ since 1980, so we have very competent support.

What is the biggest challenge for the Dutch wind sector?
Professor Cobben of the Eindhoven University of Technology told that PQ disturbances will increase due to the increase in alternative energies.

Does your offer lower the kWh price of wind energy?
That is hard to say. Having to stop a wind turbine due to faults is of course very expensive. We help resolving or preventing malfunctions. Politician Ed Nijpels has said that there will be a rabbit pulled out of the hat in terms of the costs of climate measures. The question remains whether the KWh price will go down.

In five years, where do you stand as a company?
We have been active for 8 years now, and we are slowly improving. I am convinced that PQ will become an increasingly important issue and therefor work will grow. Text: Karin Broer

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