A few months ago, Michael Sherry joined the team to become the new Director of Wind Business and Product Development. A mechanical engineer by training, Michael has previously worked as a wind energy academic in Australia and abroad and a senior analyst at DNV GL. This professional background allows him to contribute a great knowledge of the sector and lead the development of wind business for GPM at a global level.
In his own words, his goal at GPM is to offer clients the tools to manage their assets efficiently and facilitate the global transition to renewables.
Michael, what are the current trends in the wind industry and the new technologies applied to the wind business for you?
Wind farm assets are now viewed as a mature infrastructure investment in many electricity markets around the world and with this perception change, they have seen significant investment interest. Further, with technology maturity increasing year-on-year, owners are often focused on asset operation long after the 20-year design life of the turbines, where the return on investment can be maximized.
Seasoned and adept wind farm owners and asset managers are no longer simply content with an operating asset, they seek to identify and quickly resolve any inefficiency that may cause underperformance or have an adverse effect on the turbine lifetime. To achieve this, real-time operational monitoring and big-data is required. Secondary SCADA overlays such as GPM Horizon are increasingly employed by owners to monitor the performance of a single asset or portfolio of assets to ensure the O&M provider is delivering a high-quality service.
Performance analytics of operational wind farms has matured from a niche offering a short time ago to a product defining feature for secondary SCADA systems.
What are the most common asset management software functionality requests from wind clients?
The most common functionality requests relate to real-time monitoring, underperformance and contractual compliance.
- Real-time monitoring: Asset owners want to identify faults/issues in real-time to minimize their effect on production. Further, electricity grids are transitioning to a greater proportion of renewable energy generation and electricity market rules are changing in response. Wind farms now require real-time monitoring to ensure price optimized bidding/dispatching (more projects compete in the merchant electricity market) and compliance with electricity market operator rules.
- Underperformance: Owners and operators thus seek to maximize energy production from their assets and portfolio. No longer is it sufficient for a wind farm to be simply operating, the asset is expected to operate at 100% availability and 100% efficiency. Every additional percentage of energy capture has a large impact on overall project and portfolio profitability.
- Contractual compliance: Wind farms are required to operate within strict environmental (noise, shadow flicker, avian) and contractual conditions (wind sector management). Maturity of the wind industry has also seen the emergence of complex turbine availability guarantees, hedge contracts and insurance products for the electricity produced. Non-compliance to any of the myriad of contractual arrangements a wind farm operates under can result in significant liquidated damages.
How does GPM achieve efficient asset management for wind clients?
GPM satisfies and exceeds the above asset management software requirements for wind clients through a domain-knowledge-driven selection of fully customizable visual and interactive dashboards for both real-time and historical data analysis. Audible, visual and email alerts allow rapid identification of faults, issues, underperformance and contractual deviations at the device, asset and portfolio levels allowing astute owners and operators to take remedial action with minimal delay.
The customizable nature of GPMs products permits monitoring of each asset according to its specific contract (OEM and IEC) and within a portfolio that may include other renewable energy technologies such as solar and storage.
GPM also recognizes that wind farm assets interact with multiple data streams such as those from the electricity market, utility and third-party service providers. GPM can integrate these data sources seamlessly or port raw or processed wind farm operational data to clients existing information technology systems.
How does GPM integrate data analytics in its wind products?
GPM is backed by a team of over 2000 renewable energy engineers within DNV GL energy advisory across the globe. This breadth and depth of wind domain knowledge is unsurpassed in the industry. This knowledge base contributes to the development pathway of GPM’s multi-technology asset management platform GPM Horizon.
GPM Horizon has integrated DNV GL’s best in class, digital twin analytics engine, WindGEMINI. WindGEMINI contains six modules: performance watchdog, drivetrain integrity monitor, pattern of production, structural integrity monitor, turbine life estimator, and energy production analysis, that both identify performance and potential maintenance issues on a near-real time basis. It also allows owners to make longer-term strategic decisions such as on wind farm lifetime extension.
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