New research from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult highlights the advantages of investing in in-house data expertise to fully realize the benefits of data capture in the offshore wind industry. The aim of study was to build an evidenced-base understanding of the importance of using data and digital innovations to help lower the cost of offshore wind energy and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Emerging as a central theme from each of the five projects was a lack of understanding about the raw data produced by assets, and how to translate and use this data effectively to enhance operations.
For example, data sets from wind farms are typically large and poorly formatted, requiring experts to prepare and analyze the information. Investing in hiring and training data engineers and scientists could help the industry improve efficiency in the design, operations, and maintenance of offshore renewable energy plant.
These recommendation come from a report on ORE Catapult’s five Data Pilots projects, which was commissioned by The Crown Estate in the UK. Catapult worked with industrial partners in the offshore wind sector to solve operational challenges by using modern digital techniques.
“Through our Data Pilots program, it has become clear that there is a significant need for companies to invest in data expertise as an in-house resource,” said Dr. Conaill Soraghan, Data & Digitalization Team Leader at ORE Catapult. “The Data Pilots have highlighted the specific areas that companies should focus on developing skills in, such as machine learning, dash-boarding, and benchmarking.”
The researchers also found that machine learning and AI, which both have huge potential to improve and streamline data processing and analysis, are not well understood in the offshore renewable energy sector and are not being used to their full potential.
“We also know that organizations are struggling with data processing,” added Soraghan. “For example, we work with companies to help them bring their data to life by building digital dashboards which can add huge value to their operations. For global technology firms, data and technological innovation are the raw materials that drive their businesses. Offshore renewable organizations must follow their lead or risk being left behind in the fourth industrial revolution.”
Adrian Fox, Head of Offshore Assets at The Crown Estate, commented: “Together with the team at ORE Catapult, we’re working to help the UK offshore wind sector unlock the benefits of data analysis, visualization and insight — exploring how some of today’s operational issues could be resolved faster and more accurately using state of the art techniques.”