General Electric has launched Digital Wind Farm (DWF), its latest “wind energy ecosystem”. The company has reported that the “dynamic, connected and adaptable” system pairs “world-class turbines with the digital infrastructure for the wind industry”.
According to GE, the technology can boost energy production at wind farms by up to 20 percent. Overall, DWF is projected to help generate about $50 billion of value for the wind industry.
It holds the promise of integrating renewable power into the existing power grid more effectively, GE says.
“Every business — including our own — and every industry is being transformed by smarter digital technologies, and the greatest opportunity lies in energy,” Steve Bolze, the president and CEO of GE Power & Water, said. “The question is not whether to start down this path … it’s about knowing how to get the most out of your digital transformation. That’s what will separate industry leaders from those left behind.”
The DWF ecosystem is integrated into a project right from turbine production. Different technologies provide support at different points in wind energy generation.
The system “learns over time” as more data is collected from different points in the production cycle. It is able to make more accurate predictions, thereby improving top performance and avoiding the maintenance issues, the company has stated.
The technology leads to lower costs by customizing maintenance schedules to ensure that preventive maintenance is done only when needed.
DWF has been developed based on GE’s Wind PowerUp technology, which GE unveiled 18 months ago.
The company has claimed that Wind Powerup is installed in 4,000 units, and “has improved turbine efficiency up to 5 percent”, that is, 20 percent improvement in profitability for each turbine.
“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,” Bolze said. “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.”
Ajith Kumar S