Sound is everywhere, even when you can’t hear it.

It is this hushed sound, though, that says a lot about how machines function. 

Helsinki-based Noiseless Acoustics and Amsterdam-based OneWatt are relying on artificial intelligence (AI) to better accept the sound patterns of afflicted machines. Through AI they are enabling faster and easier botheration detection. Both companies were also finalists in last year’s New Energy Challenge, an action by Shell, YES!Delft, and Rockstart that looks at avant-garde technologies and solutions within European and Israeli startups for the energy transition. Following last year’s success, a 2018 copy of the claiming was just launched.

The value of hushed sound

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, automated motor use accounts for 25 percent of all electricity usage nationwide. Yet admitting the vital roles they play, motors can fail for any number of reasons, arch to a loss in abundance and profitability.

But what if it was accessible to transform that hushed sound into value? Through the use of AI, sounds can be analyzed to detect apparatus failure. In other words: Making sound arresting even when it can’t be heard. With the aid of non-invasive sensors, apparatus acquirements algorithms, and predictive aliment solutions, declining apparatus can be accustomed at an early stage before they become a major issue.

OneWatt is preventing problems by alert to motors. Through its Embedded Acoustic Acceptance Sensors (EARS) device, accumulated with apparatus acquirements and abundance analysis, OneWatt can detect and adumbrate faults before they happen. This includes the what, when, and where of a problem.

16,000 sound clips of faulty motors

The startup used its device among the top eight motor faults in the industry. These ranged from abode faults to soft basement faults. By doing so the aggregation calm almost 2TB of acoustic data absolute over 16,000 sound clips of faulty motors.

“Audio is the most credible sign of automated failure,” Paolo Samontañez, CTO of OneWatt, told me in an interview. “Most of the faults are signaled in this domain because of the movement of the apparatus in the motor creating friction. Arresting light is not a good indicator since it is not able to see through the motor, and could not tell if the bearings are degrading.”

Ultrasound is an option to anticipate the internals of the motor, but Samontañez says this is costly. It would also crave an abettor to move the transmitter and receiver around, agnate to an ultrasound apparatus in a hospital. Audio is the ideal solution, mainly because it’s unobtrusive. This also happens to be a primary claim when ambidextrous with automated accessories as they need affirmation that there will be no abrogating effect on the motors when a device is installed.


Noiseless Acoustics is using a aggregate of hardware, software, and analytics when alert to sound.

With its NL Camera, the startup can locate problems using sound. Agnate to thermal imaging, the NL Camera picks up heat images that signal noise on the screen. The advice is then uploaded to the cloud where algorithms help to assess the issue.

NL Sense is addition tool Hushed Acoustics uses. It is a non-intrusive system that pinpoints the exact area where problems are. By using a bunched wireless sensor hub and sensors, that can be placed on any given surface, it will automatically send the advice to the cloud where it is analyzed and processed.

“Sound describes things, it’s absolutely its own world,” Kai Sakesla, CEO of Hushed Acoustics, told me in an interview. He adds that once a sound signal has been abandoned from a source AI is used to see if there is a problem.


Using acoustic sound assay for sustainability

According to a research paper appear by Elsevier, up to 40 percent of energy costs in a branch can be caused by air leaks. When faults start to appear, a motor’s electrical ability decreases, acute more energy to atone for the extra stress the developing fault is contributing. This creates added energy burning and higher electricity bills.

“One of the use cases for the NL Camera is in energy optimization, which is great for assay air leaks in factories,” Sakesla says. “Typically article like 10-15 percent of produced air in aeriform systems is lost in factories due to leaks, and the allotment can even be a lot higher. Globally, this is a huge wasted amount of energy.”

NL Sense works by assiduity the lifetime of absolute assets through non-intrusive monitoring, which is also aiding the acceptable energy industry, Sakesla adds.

OneWatt found from their system that they can reduce electricity burning by 10 percent. This is a cogent number, according to Samontañez, because the market operates 500 actor motors globally.

“By 2022, if aggregate goes according to our plan to get just one percent of this market, we appraisal that we could have helped save 596711MWh of electricity, which is more than enough energy to power Belize for a year,” he says.

Where to next?

As sound gets turned into value, the advancements of accouterments and software show that cogent advance is being made in the area of audio-based predictive analysis.

Whether it’s alive with power grids, gas pumps, grinders, engines, factories, or hydraulics, both companies are award that any industry could potentially account from sound analysis.

For OneWatt, Samontañez says they are hoping to become ‘the Alexa for industries’ one day accouterment the AI insights to accept automated assets.

New Energy Challenge

Finalists in last years New Energy Challenge, Hushed Acoustics and OneWatt came away having made great access in Amsterdam.

“With big automated users like Shell, we were able to hear the needs of our abeyant barter and abode their issues, convalescent the system,” adds Samontañez. “Even though we didn’t win the grand prize of €100,000, an advance by Shell Ventures, we were able to gain absorption and acceptance from the competition, which helps us when we are presenting our system to new clients.”

Shell Ventures, YES!Delft, and Rockstart accept it’s only through addition and technologies that are effective, profitable, and scalable where energy alteration solutions can be found. Did we acknowledgment there’s also the change of acceptable a €100,000 grant?