8power wins share of £2.8M for cutting-edge water sector innovation

8power, as part of a coalition of partners led by Severn Trent Water, has won £2.8 million in Ofwat’s first Water Breakthrough Challenge to build artificial intelligence into connected waste assets, creating a blueprint for autonomous waste catchments that can be scaled up across the UK.

Ofwat’s £40 million Water Breakthrough Challenge launched in May 2021 with the aim of funding innovative and collaborative initiatives to benefit customers, society and the environment that water companies would otherwise be unable to explore. The winners were announced on 30 September 2021 and 8power was delighted to be named alongside project partners Severn Trent Water, Southern Water, South West Water, BT, Microsoft, Rockwell, Exeter University and Blackburn Starling for the Artificial Intelligence of Things Enabling Autonomous Waste Catchments project.

A key part of the bid, 8power’s ‘Fit & Forget’ condition monitoring system captures real time condition monitoring data and analytics that lets industrial clients see how their assets are performing at all times, typically across thousands of remote assets including pumps, motors and gearboxes. AI has the potential to transform the way the water sector delivers for customers, society and the environment and 8power are leaders in condition monitoring, responsible for bringing asset health into AI decision making.

This winning project will combine emerging technologies for comprehensive testing, creating a shared and proven blueprint that will allow water companies to:

  • Minimise the risk of flooding and pollutions in real time through intelligent localised autonomous control of the catchment.
  • Minimise the risk of asset failure by integrating prescriptive, condition-based maintenance of sewage pumping stations and rising mains.
  • Reduce energy consumption and process emissions, and maximise resource recovery, by maintaining steady-state conditions to the sewage treatment works.
  • Protect the system from cyber threats and malicious attacks (a key barrier to the adoption of AI solutions) by developing a security wrapper for connected Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) devices.

Paul Egan, CEO of 8power said: “This collaborative project is an excellent opportunity for 8power to support the climate crisis and generate the attention it needs. The best way to solve the wastewater challenges of the future is with the help of AI, machine learning and smart sensors.

Our innovative ‘Fit & Forget’ condition monitoring strengthens our commitment to the water industry by transforming the way the water sector delivers for our customers, society and the environment”.

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