Better Data Access Keeps the Lights On

by , | Jun 20, 2023 | Control & Safety Systems, Digital Transformation, Sustainability | 0 comments

As power producers begin the shift to more renewable sources of energy, one primary concern resurfaces over and over: availability. Utilities are adding solar, wind, battery, and other renewable assets to their already wide array of power generation tools, and as they do, extreme weather conditions increase the potential for brownouts, rolling blackouts, or even total power outages.

Fortunately, as Emerson’s Thomas Andersen explains in his recent article in North American Clean Energy, power generators can mitigate these risks with predictive technologies. Unlocking the power of those predictive technologies requires data, which, in turn, requires a portfolio of purpose-built renewable energy software and automation solutions.

A holistic view

As each energy production facility adds new assets, they often end up with many different technologies from a wide array of different vendors. Each of these vendors has its own control solutions, with differing interfaces, capabilities, and limitations.

Ideally, operations teams will implement a single, comprehensive system to unify those different assets into a single pane of glass. Thomas explains,

“Implementing a scalable, asset performance management software solution that integrates data from any system, regardless of supplier or vintage, provides greater insights into equipment health. Full access to operations information puts the power of maintenance and optimization opportunities back into the hands of owners or operators, enabling quick and confident decision-making, which helps to avoid costly problems.”

Turning data into action

When power generators bring the data from all their assets into a single, unified view with a powerful management technology like Emerson’s Ovation Green renewable asset management and SCADA software, they enable more efficient management of assets and better use of personnel. Holistic solutions not only eliminate the silos of data created by a wide variety of control applications across the fleet, but also provide actionable intelligence to drive faster, more informed decisions.

Advanced software also provides access to automated responses, such as automatically restarting a wind turbine that stops operating due to wind gusts above the cut out speed. Such solutions free personnel from repetitive manual tasks to allow them to focus on more valuable activities without impacting power generation.

Most importantly, however, the unification of data from a single source of truth enables teams to feed data into powerful analytics software to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions to predict and trend based on changing conditions. Teams can combine operational data with environmental data to make better decisions for how to operate equipment in any environment to improve efficiency and reduce maintenance and downtime.

You can learn more about how the Ovation Green platform helps organizations run more reliable renewable power generation by reading the full article at North American Clean Energy. There you’ll find Thomas sharing some of the strategies in action and additional suggestions for how to use AI and ML to drive more value from fleet data.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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