Wind Industry Digital Landscape Review

20 November 2020 - Published by Stig Marthinsen

Over the past decade, the growth and drive to reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) of onshore and offshore wind generation had resulted in a digital revolution in the industry. To understand the current digital landscape and explore industry challenges and trends, Periscope partner ORE Catapult collaborated with Accenture and interviewed 11 leading onshore and offshore wind players. 

Leveraging deep industry experience, they identified six main O&M use cases including: 

• Alerts, alarms, warnings and faults 

• Troubleshooting and minor corrective maintenance 

• Failure prediction and major component replacement 

• Scheduled maintenance 

• Wind power curve analysis and production losses 

• Production forecasting 

The use cases were selected based on operational significance. The current digital landscape was assessed based on these O&M use cases, focusing on areas where significant improvement in digital capability is desired. By addressing challenges such as lack of site connectivity, non-standard approaches to alarm management and data access issues, operators can uncover value to lower costs and increase profitability. Considerable value can be unlocked from O&M data, applications and the system landscape, which support the decrease in LCOE by reducing costs and improving production. 

Across the six use cases, digital opportunities were identified. Additionally, overall recommendations include: 

• Wi-Fi installation and 5G to improve connectivity between wind farms and the operations centre. 

• Linkage to IEC standards to standardize alarms, tags, faults across OEMs, asset models. 

• Sensor analysis and inspection to ensure accuracy of measurement. 

• Investment to advance domain and analytics expertise to predict asset health threats. 

• Right domain expertise during handover period at end of warranty. 

• Defining rights to data at contract negotiations. 

• End-user centricity and change management approach. 

The full report may be downloaded here.

Image © David Will/Pixabay