GE Renewable Energy has introduced a new software applications suite for its Digital Wind Farm ecosystem to enhance annual energy production (AEP) and improve wind farm profitability.
Offered as part of GE’s flexible service agreements, the five software apps are compatible with the company’s new 2 MW and 3 MW wind turbines. GE says the programs are built on the Predix software platform and include its specialized cyber security protection for operational technology.
“We are actively working with our customers to develop new software technology applications that generate more production, better availability and, ultimately, higher profit across the lifecycle of a wind farm,” says Anne McEntee, president and CEO of GE’s onshore wind business.
According to GE, one such customer collaboration resulted in the company’s new Energy Forecasting application. Developed in cooperation with Exelon Power, this app utilizes weather forecasting data to generate accurate financial modeling and better predict the next day’s grid supply and demand fluctuations. Further, it offers real-time forecasting for identifying production ramps throughout the day to improve profitability for dispatchers and traders in power purchase agreement or merchant energy markets.
GE says that Energy Forecasting was recently deployed for testing at four new wind projects in the U.S., and Exelon expects the software will deliver 1%-3% of additional revenue per site.
GE also unveiled two new apps that help streamline wind farm operations: Digital Plan of the Day and the second-generation Wind PowerUp Services platform. The company says Digital Plan of the Day is a scheduling application that improves operations and maintenance efficiency for field service teams by combining a variety of disparate data sets, including SCADA information, diagnostic readings, weather conditions and even geolocation data, to organize daily maintenance schedules across a site.
The newest version of GE’s Wind PowerUp Services platform, which is now capable of increasing a wind farm’s AEP by up to 10%, builds on GE’s earlier capabilities in making small hardware and software adjustments based on performance and reliability data. Now, it expands the concept by introducing 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.
The final two applications in GE’s new wind software suite are focused on asset performance management. The Diagnostics app uses operating data for advanced anomaly detection analysis and 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 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%.
GE says that many of the new applications are already being deployed with pilot customers, and they will be broadly available beginning later this year.