ONYX Insight, a predictive maintenance provider, has authored the first in a series of white papers that found of the top CMS hardware providers, only one gives turbine owners and operators full access to CMS Data; and seven give no access to data at all, limiting the maintenance and servicing options of turbine owners. The top CMS hardware providers, who account for over 80% of the market.
The white paper, Standing in the Way of Control, was published as part of a working group initiative on data access, and convened by ONYX InSight to highlight the costs to the industry of restrictions on data access.
“Wind farm owners and operators are leaving money on the table if they fail to secure access to all the operations and maintenance (O&M) data necessary for the full scope of operational management and performance optimization techniques on offer,” says Bruce Hall, CEO at ONYX InSight.
Data access restrictions limit the industry’s ability to improve the performance of operational turbines, owners need clarity on what types of data are being restricted, how they are restricted, and the effects this may have on turbine performance. Full access for O&M teams to relevant data, could reduce turbine operational costs by nearly one-fifth and allow operators to hit ambitious, yet achievable, targets. Failure to secure access to all data needed for an accurate assessment of turbines often compromises the diagnosis and correction of performance issues.
One way or another, owner-operators experience restrictions on a wide range of data relating to turbine performance, including SCADA data, alarm codes, CMS data, oil and grease data, inspection and RCA reports, and gearbox kinematics. The white paper addresses the full array of operational data streams required by wind farm operators, but which are often found to be missing, restricted or incomplete.
The white paper outlines there are three broad types of data restriction: processing, where raw data is processed packaged and aggregated across discrete time periods, limiting owners’ ability to understand fully what is happening in their machines; encryption, where owners are restricted access to their data by a gating process such as a fee; and obstruction, where the owner simply gets no access to data at all.
“Better data access across the board can lead to incremental gains, but there are also giant strides to be made, if owners and operators can obtain a better view of just a handful of critical data streams,” Hall said.
The white paper also includes a procurement checklist, which indicates the level of data access required for effective predictive maintenance. This checklist can be used by owners to assess levels of data access across their own turbine fleets, and to hold suppliers to account for access levels.
ONYX InSight is calling on stakeholders from across the wind energy sector who have encountered data access restrictions during the operation of wind energy assets to join a Data Access Working Group, with a view to raising awareness of and tackling this obstacle to effective, profitable operation.