Digitalisation reaches further and further into everything that we do. It also means that we are able to see further ourselves, as precise monitoring and tracking of the condition and performance of machines extends the reach of decision makers.
Digitalisation of physical assets through monitoring technology and digital twins allows maintenance managers greater oversight of the repair and replacement needs of the equipment they are tasked with managing. Comprehensive and continuous data feeds illustrate trends in turbine health that provide them with early warning of failure, and an opportunity to mitigate future component failures that – if it weren’t for digitalisation – they simply wouldn’t get. For asset managers, the quantity of data and the power of the analysis that can be performed on it ultimately mean that planning uptime and scoping budgets becomes much easier.
In this edition of our newsletter, we cover a number of initiatives that showcase the benefits of digitalisation and how it can extend the capabilities of wind assets, ensuring they perform at an optimal level to deliver the returns investors expect, and address some of the key barriers and risks to be overcome on the journey towards digitalisation.
While we are all used to digitalisation in our daily lives resulting in more data, for too many wind farm owners and operators this data has been locked down and, for a variety of reasons, may be off limits. Our webinar this month will look at some of the restrictions imposed on these data feeds, what this means for managing turbine fleets, and how the restriction of data may fall foul of competition law.
We also take a closer look at ONYX InSight’s latest research project to develop our second-generation digital twin for an offshore wind farm. The project, which was recently awarded a grant by Innovate UK, draws on operational data from SSE’s Greater Gabbard and will provide decision makers with advanced insights into the changing performance and condition of turbines. It will also allow them to assess and predict future performance and trade-offs with life expectancies, by modelling all relevant scenarios in advance.
Of course, digitalisation needs a foundation. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have the potential to deliver superior insights, but they are only as good as the data that is collected. This newsletter also looks at how to digitise inspection, operations and maintenance data in the first place, to complement that collected from SCADA, CMS and oil monitoring systems.
This key step is essential to achieving fully digital O&M, but a significant barrier remains: the need for a culture shift among skilled and knowledgeable maintenance teams, one that moves them away from the analogue methods they are used to and see as tried and trusted. With this in mind, we spoke to Alberto Daloli, Managing Director of ERG Germany about his experience introducing ONYX InSight’s fieldPRO technology into the maintenance process, how it has helped ease the digitalisation process for the maintenance team, and improve ERG’s understanding of the assets it manages in the country.
I hope you find some useful insights into the process of digitalisation in our September newsletter. And, because September wouldn’t be September without a trip to Hamburg, we’d love to hear your views on the ongoing change in our industry. Come and visit us at WindEnergy Hamburg, we’ll be on stand 533 in Hall B5.
Vice-President, Technology, Marketing and Strategy, ONYX InSght