Many large wind energy companies are actively working to develop new software technology apps that generate more production, better availability and higher profits across the wind power value chain.
In May 2015, GE launched a series of software applications to enhance annual energy production and wind farm profitability as part of its digital wind farm ecosystem development. These applications have the power to increase customer value by an estimated $50mn per GW per year.
GE pioneers in the concept of Digital Wind Farm ecosystem and the technology is expected to boost a wind farm’s energy production by up to 20%. The Digital Wind Farm uses interconnected digital technology to address a long-standing need for greater flexibility in renewable power. The technology will help integrate renewable power into the existing power grid more effectively.
These software applications are offered as part of GE’s flexible service agreements. The apps are built on Predix Software platform – the foundation for all GE’s Industrial internet applications. GE’s industrial wind apps include:
- Energy forecasting for business strategy optimization
- Wind PowerUp Services
- Digital Plan of the Day – to streamline site operations
- Diagnostics & Prognostics for turbine-level asset performance management
Energy forecasting for business strategy optimization
Companies like GE collaborate regularly with its customers to gain insights on increasing efficiency of wind farms. One such customer collaboration resulted in GE’s new Energy Forecasting application. Developed in cooperation with Exelon Power as a strategic way to improve wind farm profitability, the app utilizes weather forecasting data to generate more accurate financial modeling and better predict the next day’s grid supply and demand fluctuations.
Wind PowerUp services
This is an operations-focused app which promises to increase energy production by 10%. It introduces an iterative tuning process to monitor a site’s specific wind environment and lock in the appropriate settings based on the most current information available.
Digital Plan of the day
This app was designed for field service teams to increase operation and maintenance efficiency. The app combines a variety of disparate data sets, including SCADA information, diagnostic readings, weather conditions and even geolocation data, to organize and prioritize daily maintenance schedules across a site.
Asset Performance Management App
The App has two sections – Diagnostics and Prognostics. The Diagnostics app uses operating data for advanced anomaly detection analysis and then incorporates that analysis into a detailed case management and recommendation system. The Prognostics app uses operating, maintenance and inspection data to project future operating conditions and predict turbine component reliability.
By shifting from unplanned outages to predictive maintenance, the Diagnostics and Prognostics apps can help wind farm operators reduce maintenance costs by up to 10 percent.
In short, software applications and information technology enables wind farm developers to create a world where wind farms learn, adapt and perform better tomorrow than they do today.