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Smart Energy

The UK faces unprecedented energy and climate challenges. The decisions we make now will affect the planet and our way of life for generations.

IBM Wind Power Suite

The challenge

Optimising wind farm management

A typical wind farm today has multiple vendors. Each supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system has its own protocol and representation. Data is typically conveyed as flat tags that have little semantic meaning. As the number of turbine controller and SCADA systems increases, the ability to understand the notations of the aggregate becomes overly complicated. Sometimes the same type of measurement, provided by different systems, has different units of measure, which further complicates integration and the overall business process.


The solution

Smarter farming by design

In virtual and real-world wind farms, IBM has demonstrated how an asset management solution can turn a conventional wind farm into a smart farm that runs more efficiently and profitably. The IBM Wind Power Suite utilises proprietary and IBM Business Partner solutions to accomplish this goal.

First, the turbines are instrumented with sensors so the components can be monitored. Field data from the instrumented turbines is brought together, or interconnected, into a comprehensive data repository. An abnormal reading causes an alert to be directed immediately to operators.

Following investigation and troubleshooting, notification is directed to the wind farm maintenance team. Next, a technician is notified of the service request and a work order is created and planned to correct the problem. Using a global positioning system (GPS)-equipped field device, the technician can find the correct turbine, diagnose the trouble condition, repair it and coordinate with operations to return the turbine to service.


The benefits

Gaining control with improved visibility

On a macro scale, the planet stands to rid itself of billions of tons of carbon emissions with the clean, renewable energy source of wind. And at the farm level, the wind power business can become more profitable once you implement a wind asset management solution. Newfound efficiencies in wind farm management can help you:

As a result, inventory visibility improves, along with warehouse productivity. Based on extensive studies, IBM estimates that when all the labour and cost benefits are added up, wind farms deploying an effective asset management solution stand to realise a 20 percent cost reduction in operations and maintenance. 1


The specifics

Smarter farms to power a smarter planet

The instrumentation and interconnectedness of the IBM Wind Power Suite generates the data for proactive alerts and work orders. Advanced analytics and insight can enable better asset management decisions in near or realtime. In turn, the whole system becomes more efficient, reliable, adaptive — in a word, smart. Here's how:



1 IBM Business Value Analysis, February 11, 2009