GE Hydro to test HID Global’s rugged RFID sensor tags

Publish June 7, 2022
finance & economy

HID Global, in partnership with GE Hydro and Asygn, has developed a highly intelligent and robust RFID tag solution that allows customers in the renewable energy sector to optimise availability and prevent unplanned outages. The tag’s rugged design presents opportunities in applications with industrial-grade requirements.

Located in severe environments, hydropower installations typically have aging connections between the rotor poles, which can exhibit drastic temperature rises and cause unplanned failures in production, among other challenges.

In order to measure temperatures, deformation and improve monitoring reliably, GE Hydro required both an antenna and a sensor chip embedded into a rugged tag that would not deform or fail during equipment operation.

A special UHF RFID chip

Asygn, a leading developer and semiconductor integrated device manufacturer (IDM), created a special UHF RFID chip integrated into HID Global’s tag technology.

The chip captures temperature but can also get strain measurements when HID’s tag forwards that data contactless to an RFID reader. Due to the special environment and high rotation speed of the equipment, traditional wired or infrared measurement solutions were not applicable.

After detailed design reviews and validation testing, the final solution will work as an intelligent gateway capable of calibrating, collecting, filtering, averaging and transmitting data locally.

Unique intelligent reading

Then, GE Hydro’s Asset Performance Management software platform, which features machine-learning capabilities, aggregates and analyses the data, providing a unique intelligent reading of generator components that could not have been measured in operation before.

With this technology, GE Hydro’s customers can push the hydropower equipment to its limits and enhance network power factor, lowering the risks of unseen bad connection temperature rises during rotor current increase, which are critical in today’s intricate electric grid systems.

The new use case of the rugged tag was the winner of the renowned 2022 AIM Case Study Competition in the RFID category. AIM is the global industry alliance and standards organisation focused on RFID, barcoding, smart devices, and other automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies.

Harsh environments

“The collaboration with HID Global and the project was great, because GE focused on the constraints, the context of usage and the handling and modelling of the data, while HID focused on the design requirements of the tag, meeting all specifications in terms of performance and integrity within harsh environments,” said Vincent Bouillet, in charge of IIoT and advanced technologies development at GE Renewable Energy Hydro Organisation.

'Our field application and engineering teams worked closely with Asygn and GE Hydro to meet the unique requirements of this project, and the result is an innovative RFID Sensor tag design that can benefit many other large industrial applications,” explained Marc Bielmann, HID Global’s Sr Vice President and Head of IDT.

GE Hydro plans to install pilots all over the world and collect data on customer sites, as well as provide associated services for machine eligibility, RFID integration, bonding, and data collection.

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