Successfully Bring Renewable Assets Into the Fold

by , | Jul 25, 2023 | Control & Safety Systems, Power Generation, Reliability, Remote Automation, Sustainable Energy | 0 comments

One of the hottest topics of conversation at the 2023 Ovation Users’ Group conference has been renewables, and much of that conversation has been around the struggle to bring a wide array of disparate renewable assets together into a unified system of control, monitoring, and analytics.

Modern power generators need to bring a wide variety of assets together. Finding a simple solution to manage them all from one place can ease the burden.

It’s no surprise, then, that Thomas Andersen’s breakout session covering Emerson’s new Ovation Green software platform was very well attended. Thomas used his decades of expertise in the renewables industry to help attendees better understand the unique problems presented by the rise of renewables, and the ways the right software can ease that transition and prepare an organization for more successful operations across a site, a fleet, or even multiple fleets.

Wrangling wind

One element of the problem, Thomas explained, is wind turbines. Typically, an organization will have turbines from many different OEMs, and they need to be monitored and maintained. However, each manufacturer will have its own proprietary wind turbine control system. This means that when a team needs to manage control or perform wind turbine condition monitoring, the options are unappealing. If the team is lucky, they must connect to each turbine using a different control system to manage it and collect data, a process that is time consuming, complex, and potentially costly. If they are unlucky, they cannot access the data they need at all, as it is restricted by the software and can only be accessed by technicians from the OEM.

Many options means many interfaces

But even if organizations are not using wind, or only using wind as part of a larger portfolio, power generators adding renewables still need better, more unified access to data than proprietary OEM control systems provide. The most efficient personnel will be those who can manage all assets—wind, solar, geothermal, combined cycle, battery storage, and more—all from a single pane of glass. But many of those assets also have their own proprietary control solutions.

Moreover, to be truly efficient, they’ll need access to that single pane of glass from wherever they may find themselves, whether that is in an on-site control room, a remote operations center, or even in a different plant halfway across the globe.

One source to unite disparate assets and systems

Ovation Green, Thomas explained, can combine all of an organization’s renewable assets into a single renewable energy asset management platform. A platform of software solutions installed on premises or in the cloud brings all a plant’s assets—even if they are all different types—into a single, customizable graphical user interface (GUI).

Ovation Green helps simplify remote operations and acquisitions of new facilities.

The secret, Thomas shared, is a massive number of custom protocols built into the system from a long history of renewable asset experience. Those protocols connect to renewable assets and deliver critical information (typically locked behind proprietary interfaces and programming) back to the Ovation Green system where everything is presented to the user in an efficient, intuitive format.

Bring your own system

Just as exciting is Ovation Green’s capability to bring multiple systems and multiple sites up to the enterprise level, where they can be accessed by any authorized personnel—assigned via role-based security—who need visibility to systems across a fleet. As an organization acquires established sites with their own SCADA systems, the Ovation Green Site Data Collector and Enterprise Server can bring that data into the GUI.

Advanced features

Bringing renewable data into a single source of information brings other benefits as well. Teams gain access to powerful alarm management tools so they can easily know exactly what in the network of assets is failing and why. They also gain access to a wealth of built-in KPIs, or, if they want to build their own KPIs, they can use the data historian feature to extend their analysis beyond what is built into the system. The tool can also automatically collect data for Generating Availability Data System (GADS) reporting.

With two days left of the Ovation Users’ Group conference, there is still a lot of exciting news to come. Keep your eye on the Emerson Automation Experts blog for daily updates on everything happening at the event!

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