WindESCo has launched WindESCo Swarm, a patented solution for the autonomous, cooperative control of wind assets.
Taking cues from nature and the intuitive decision-making of birds in flight, WindESCo Swarm enables turbines to cooperatively adjust positioning to boost production for the entire farm – not just single machines – by 3% to 5% annually.
Accelerating annual energy production (AEP) is a key issue for wind industry stakeholders. WindESCo Swarm combines hardware and software as an integrated system to connect and create a shared understanding between turbines. It allows turbines to know what is happening at neighboring assets, along with the direction, strength and any shifts in wind resource in order for them to change their operational profiles and optimize the swarm instead of individual machines.
By understanding how their operation is impacting the performance of the site at large, WindESCo Swarm enables wind assets to take predictive, protective and proactive turbine control measures for maximized fleet-wide production.
“In a competitive market, our customers are telling us they’re looking to springboard from defensive or risk-based solutions to offensive, revenue-producing solutions to tackle the widespread challenge of LCOE,” explains Blair Heavey, WindESCo’s CEO. “Wind projects often see low profit margins, especially when plants fail to meet performance projections, but current solutions do not provide actionable insights and a measurable ROI in terms of tangible site-wide production boosts.”
To develop the system, WindESCo used a multidisciplinary approach, combining the fields of turbine loads, controls, meteorology, sensing and machine learning. The system has been developed with three years of concentrated investment. The first commercial implementation on three wind plants with over 300 MW of capacity is under way in North America. It is currently being offered as a repowering solution that is compatible with most turbine OEMs and models.