The first step to get the autonomy through your data
Organizations that are dedicated to the operation and maintenance of wind farms look for becoming autonomous with respect to OEM-s. With that purpose, they spend their resources on the optimization of energy production and to the reduction of their operational costs using condition-based maintenance in their assets. At the same time, the digitalization context has persuaded us that data will play a key role in the evaluation of the mentioned condition. The objective is clear, but do we really know what we can find in the data we collect in wind farms?
The last years have been dedicated to the creation of standards for the design of wind turbines and the communication logic among them in the windfarm, even in second level systems. However, reality tells us that there is a total of 486.749 MW installed all around the world which have been generating data for years and provide us with a real operative experience. (data from the end of 2016 obtained from GWEC)
At this stage, centralization of all the data and the capability to cross information become key factors. Nevertheless, can we find the same information in a SIEMENS SWT wind turbine in a 5-year-old windfarm in the USA as the information we can find in a 10-year-old German one? Reality says otherwise.
The information map we face shows us that, despite the standards, the variables names, the machine states, counters, etc, differ a lot among each other, even inside the same machine platform.
Being able to assess the estate of the wind turbine from the data, requires their homogenization. This is essential during the reception and centralization phase. This way, we can achieve systems that allow to monitor heterogenous fleets and independently from the machine technology.
When crossing homogenized data we can carry out operative performance studies of the same machine in different environments, machine life, with respect to equivalent machines, for instance. This can be translated into being able to predict the future of assets. Once this knowledge is attained, we are able to evolve into a based condition maintenance approach, which will give us a dynamic decision capacity.
Accordingly, any digitalization process which aims at maintenance optimization from the state of the machine, must start by creating a solid and homogeneous basement of information which makes it feasible.
The result and greatest benefit of this homogenization will be to achieve an autonomous O&M management of the Wind farm and even from the SCADA.
Nem Solutions-Energy Business Unit Director