Innovation Exchange challenge: Monitoring of key environment parameters within power station modules

This challenge from Rolls-Royce is seeking technologies to monitor key environmental parameters in real time.

Opportunity Details


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Funding is available for trialling the selected solution(s) in pilot studies, with the possibility of further adoption upon successful trials. Successful applicant(s) may also receive business and technical support, invitations to attend or present at Business Connect events, and collaboration/investment opportunities.

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The Innovate UK Innovation Exchange programme is supporting Rolls-Royce SMR to monitor the condition of components within power station modules throughout their journey from factory to storage and installation. This challenge is seeking technologies to monitor key environmental parameters in real time and provide information which can be used to ascertain any changes in component quality.

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, academic institutions, start-ups, SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises), or individual entrepreneurs
  • UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base

Background and requirements

Previous nuclear power station programmes have experienced issues with component degradation/breakage due to components being mishandled between factory and installation point. This transit period is regularly not monitored, so this challenge is to keep track of this period to ensure confidence that the module is still fit for purpose up until installation at the power station. Live tracking of parameters would allow for proactive management of module storage and/or transport to prevent degradation of components.

A solution providing real time availability of data, to allow for tracking and intervention if required, would be desirable.  This may include increased transmission of data when out of tolerance, increased transmissions only when module is moving etc. It is suggested that some sort of smart algorithm / ML (Machine Learning) / edge computing could be utilised for best frequency of data relay and battery life balance. Digital backend solutions are welcomed.

RR SMR would prefer parameter detection to not be single source, multiple sensors measuring the same thing is thought to improve reliability.

The solution must / should be:

  • Scalable. RR SMR predict growth up to several hundred modules per year in 2030s
  • Adoptable. Be able to work across the world.

Parameters to be tracked could include, but are not limited to:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity/moisture
  • Impact/Acceleration/Vibration
  • GPS location
  • Tamper detection / motion detection / light detection
  • Magnetic detection

Technology with low TRL will be acceptable.

For further functional and technical specifications, visit the Innovation Exchange site at the link below.

Rewards and benefits

Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to outline their proposal to a team of experts from RR SMR. Selected solutions will be trialled by RR SMR with potential for further adoption if trials are successful.

Initial trial(s) would be scheduled for summer 2024 with 1 module.

RR SMR predicts growth up to several hundred modules per year in 2030s

Modularisation will be key part of RR SMR’s operations and other SMR providers world-wide.

The benefits package for a successful applicant may also include:

  • Support from Innovate UK Business Connect
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
  • Technical support
  • Invitation to attend or present at Business Connect events
  • A potential business collaboration
  • Investor introductions (if investment is required)
  • Support if any Innovate UK or similar competitions are relevant.

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