The basis of advancing machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) is feeding the cognitive program data. Through the information it consumes, an AI parses inputs and provides more accurate data and guidance to the end user. In a 2018 digital trends survey, approximately 15% of enterprises used AI, and a third of respondents planned to implement the technology.
Wind-turbine operators have the option to use software that uses AI. These technologies provide services like management tools that are capable of giving operators informed notices when a turbine needs upgrading and, at the same time, now that is renewables are feeding into the grid, utilities are testing software that can direct different power types to different end users.
Notifications for upgrades
Clir Renewables released software in late 2018 that can not only tell turbine operators when an existing wind fleet needs upgrades but if there is value in the investment. The recommendations can apply to software, like changing blade-pitch algorithms or yaw control, or changes to physical hardware.
“There are few simple answers to turbine upgrades as comparing two wind farm sites to each other is like comparing an apple to an orange,” said Andrew Brunskill, a data scientist at Clir Renewables, in a press statement. “The impact of each upgrade on energy production and turbine loads depends on the local wind climate and the specific turbine model in use at the site, among other factors, that’s why independent validation is important.”
Like any software worth its salt, Clir Renewables’ is working to keep wind farms at top output. The subscription-based, artificial intelligence-driven software can provide operators data that will come in handy when applied third-party manufacturers pitch upgrades to existing systems. The software has analytics-backed data on what upgrades are worth an operator’s investment, and Clir claims it provides an unbiased, third-party perspective for prospective site upgrades.
In addition, the Clir software detects ice buildup on blades, makes filing GADS reports easier, and monitors general turbine health.
DNV GL released a data-monitoring platform for wind, solar PV and energy storage systems to meet the demands of predicted growth in the renewables sector. The monitoring software, dubbed GPM Horizon, claims to take data gathered from a wind system and turn it into “actionable insights” accessible through a dashboard for operators. These include real-time status updates and the software also lets users model workflow and operations of a wind farm.
If a turbine uses storage technology, GPM Horizon is built to monitor multiple systems and types of renewables at once.
Electrical uses can have tense relationships with renewable energy sources, especially those that feed into the grid. But GE Power Digital and PPL Electric Utilities are developing software to manage the amount of electricity fed into the grid by renewables and energy storage technologies.
The additional electricity created by renewables, energy storage tech, and other sources is called Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and some utilities are preparing for its growing contribution to the grid.
“There will be more change in the electric utility industry over the next 10 years than we have experienced in the prior 100 years,” said Matt Green, chief information officer at PPL in a press statement. “Distributed energy will be everywhere, but we’ll still need the grid.”
The GE DER Orchestration software will let PPL control how much power from a certain source is being used since energy sources like renewables might not always be feeding into the grid.