The story of an American-Finnish-Austrian co-creation.

Learn something about the quick and easy way to find innovative solutions and bring them in your company.

Excitement was running high when our colleagues returned from Silicon Valley with their haul of innovative solutions. This was the first ‘harvest’ of startups from our collaboration with Plug and Play. Now it was time to align the format of the many different solutions and present them to the Energie Steiermark Management Board at the first #eSelectionday. We were given responsibility for preparing Finnish business Noiseless Acoustics for their 5‑minute video conference pitch.

First of all, we got to grips with the technology. The business documentation was very well prepared in terms of content & we just had to ‘mould’ the information and brief the startup on how the pitch would be organised. So ‘our’ startup was as well prepared as it could be for the #eSelectionday.

We were all very tense, because we knew the Management Board were required to express a direct interest in a technical solution – or not, as the case may be… To our delight, the Finnish solution for detecting partial discharges progressed to the next round and was selected. Now we had to move fast, because the timeline requires that decisions on potential pilot projects have to be made within 2 weeks. And this kind of decision can only be made with potential users from within the Group. In order to bring it all together with the startup, we organised a video conference, because this was the closest we could get to a face‑to‑face meeting. Soon after an initial discussion with the Energie Steiermark staff member concerned, he took the initiative and suggested inviting in‑house specialist on these kind of solutions, Walter Hipp, to the video conference. No sooner said than done. The atmosphere was positive and everyone said they were keen to take a closer look at the solution.

Kai Saksela with the Noiseless camera

The process was very easy – though perhaps it was a bit funny that we had to fly all the way to California to meet a company from Austria. Austria is a lot closer to our office in Finland than west coast USA! The most important takeaway from PnP Silicon Valley was the contacts we made.

Kai Saksela,
CEO Noiseless Acoustics

Noiseless Accoustics CEO Kai Saksela made a great impression not only with his expertise but also with his personality. Walter Hipp was immediately impressed by the camera‑based solution and booked a one‑month trial the very next day.

That’s how quickly a startup pitch can become a pilot.

The speed surprised and impressed even us. We continued to have intensive discussions with our colleague over the course of the next month and Walter Hipp even gave us the chance to test the Noiseless camera for ourselves – very exciting for non‑technicians like us. Walter Hipp worked intensively with the camera and shared his experiences with the Finnish company. The bilateral exchange of knowledge that followed eventually led to Noiseless Accoustics making a few adjustments to the camera and Energie Steiermark is now the proud owner of the Finnish product for detecting partial discharges.

Following our very useful discussions with Mr. Hipp, we added an option to adjust the frequency of the current manually to improve fault detection. This allows the user to analyse problems not just at the 50 or 60 Hz typically prevalent in most of the world’s power grids, but also at other frequencies that might be used for testing.

Kai Saksela, CEO Noiseless Acoustics

Technical features

  • 124 microphones to form a very precise acoustic image
  • distane of usage: 0,3m up to 100m
  • realt-time analytics
  • cloud solution for upload the measurements for storing and analysis
  • for outdoor and indoor industrial use
  • high sensitive and accurate – also for ultrasound frequencies
  • lightweight unit with a carrying bag for the battery and auxiliary parts

Barbara Haubmann & Karin Pirolt

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