Predicting wind turbine faults up to 6 months early

Annual IWEA Conference 2020

Athy-based asset management and renewable energy data analytics company EnergyPro picked up the prestigious Outstanding Innovation award at the Irish Wind Industry Awards 2020.

Their innovative software promises major savings for windfarm owners and wind turbine maintenance companies.

The software predicts potential failures in wind turbine gearboxes, generators and other major components up to 6 months in advance. This then allows turbine maintenance companies to perform simpler repairs up-tower, without requiring large cranes and significant turbine downtime. Alternatively, if issues can’t be addressed up-tower, the advanced warning allows major component replacements to be planned for low wind periods, significantly reducing the lost revenue from a major unplanned outage.

Brian Kennedy of Electroroute, the award sponsor, also noted the particular benefit of such technology to electricity traders. The advanced notice of potential issues allows them to trade power more effectively, thereby increasing revenue to the windfarm owner.

The technology works by creating a digital twin component model, which uses machine learning techniques to dynamically determine the appropriate operating parameters for a given component. It does this using data such as the prevailing wind speed, turbine orientation, rotor speed, pitch settings and preceding turbine status. The technology then issues staged alerts if the dynamically determined operating parameters are exceeded.

Ronan O’Meara of EnergyPro said “We’re delighted to receive this award to reflect all the hard work which has gone in to developing this tool, in particular by my colleagues Simon Cooke, Michael Dowd and Lughaidh Ó Broin. The technology allows us to predict major component failures in advance and we’re very excited about its long-term potential, particularly when applied to offshore wind turbines.

“This tool, together with our other automated tools to identify turbine power performance issues and correct turbine contract availability, bring real financial benefits to the asset owners we work for, and we’re looking forward to rolling these tools out across other technologies.

“We’re especially delighted to have received the award from our peers in the wind industry, who recognise the value of such technology to the future of the wind industry, both in Ireland and worldwide.”

EnergyPro have been managing operational windfarms in Ireland for over 20 years (since 1997) and specialise in using advanced data analytics techniques to increase turbine production. EnergyPro currently manage 18 windfarms across Ireland for a variety of windfarm owners including Greencoat Capital, TD Greystone and ART Generation. Through their asset management, data analysis and project management services, EnergyPro have worked on over 20% of Ireland’s installed capacity. They are now actively expanding in the UK with the recent JV with ADAMAS wind trading as 360 Renewables.