Is enough being done with data in the wind industry?
Recharge reports on how digitalisation is reinventing the global energy system. With renewables heading into a subsidy-free era, the wind industry must take advantage of data-driven cost-saving measures to remain competitive. However, ONYX InSight CEO Bruce Hall offers a word of caution to those who rely on digitalisation alone.
The article explores how more access to turbine performance data supports the highest potential areas for cost savings in wind O&M.
“For the wider industry, [unexpected turbine failure] is by far the largest contributor to OPEX costs, accounting for 58%, the bulk of which is reactive, unplanned maintenance,” explains Bruce Hall, chief executive of UK-based advanced digital monitoring company ONYX InSight. “The industry increasingly recognises that the best way to reduce O&M costs, and in turn total opex, is to switch to a predictive O&M regime incorporating the latest advances in digitalisation.”
The conversation turns to how the industry can’t just rely on digital technologies and trust machine learning to detect all turbine faults and issues.
Hall cautions against “unthinking” reliance on digitalisation, emphasising that the wind industry must not create blind spots for itself by depending on “the perceived power of machine-learning algorithms and vast statistical data sets [at the expense of] established engineering principles, analysing and predicting component failures using data sources that are targeted to the specifics of the turbine technology, such as vibration, inspection and lubrication data”.