Australian startup Ping Services has raised almost $600,000 (A$850,000) to support the commercialisation of its acoustic listening device for monitoring the health of wind turbines.

Known as the Ping Monitor, the patented device makes use of acoustic analysis, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) to continuously detect wind turbine blade damage.

Ping Services CEO Matthew Stead said: “This technology is a game-changer for the wind farm operations & maintenance (O&M) sector and there’s a rush to see which large operator will be first out of the gate to start continuously monitoring their turbines.”

The device is attached to the wind turbine towers to actively listen to the blades’ acoustic signature. It can also rotate to detect blade faults such as pitting or cracks caused by lightning strikes or hail.

Ping Monitor is based on an algorithm, which can rate the health of the turbine based on its acoustic signature and monitor changes over time.

The conical shape device protects the microphone from rain, debris such as bird droppings and ground-level noise. The data collected by the device is transferred from remote sites through low orbit nanosatellite technology.

Stead further added that the company has already won its first client and is further trialling the technology with some of the biggest wind farm operators in the world.

According to Stead, there were 3800 blade failures across the globe annually, which has caused damage of up to $2bn. The company plans to roll out the second-generation Ping Monitor 2.0 next month.

Ping Services closed an A$650,000 ($456,966) seed fund round after securing an additional A$200,000 ($140,605) in government funding earlier this year.