GE has announced the launch of its Digital Wind Farm, a solution the company says is a connected and adaptable solution that pairs turbines with digital infrastructure to boost a wind farm's energy production by up to 20%.
The Digital Wind Farm concept builds on GE's Wind PowerUp technology, which was unveiled in late 2013.
GE says the Digital Wind Farm ecosystem begins with the production of the turbines themselves. GE's new 2 MW turbine platform utilizes a digital twin modeling system to build up to 20 different turbine configurations at every unique pad location across a wind farm in order to generate power at peak efficiency based on the surrounding environment. Additionally, the company says each turbine will be connected to advanced networks that can analyze turbine operations in real time and make adjustments to boost operating efficiencies.
Once the turbines are built, their embedded sensors are connected and the data gathered from them is analyzed in real time with GE's Predix software, which allows operators to monitor performance from data across turbines, farms or even entire industry fleets. The data provides information on temperature, turbine misalignments or vibrations that can affect performance.
As more data is collected, GE says the system actually learns over time, becoming more predictive and "future-proofing" wind farms by maintaining top performance and avoiding the maintenance issues that typically occur as turbines age. It also reduces costs by customizing maintenance schedules to ensure preventive maintenance is done only when needed, the company adds.
"Big data is worthless without the insight to take action, and our vision for the industry is to use today's data to predict tomorrow's outcomes," says Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water. "By harnessing the full power of the Industrial Internet, we can create a world where wind farms learn, adapt and perform better tomorrow than they do today."
More information is available here.