Much of our attention on the rise of renewable energy has been focused on the United States and Europe, but the reality is that a trend toward increasing renewable electricity generation is happening around the globe. Nowhere is that more obvious than in India, where the government has set ambitious goals to reach net zero emissions by 2070 and meet 50% of its electricity requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030.

A key element of India’s strategy, Shubhi Goel explains in her recent article in Power Info Today, involves increased use of wind generation. However, Shubhi elaborates,

“Today, many of the wind turbines across the country are not up to that task. The existing turbines that independent service providers (ISP) are acquiring as they expand their operations are either outdated, inefficient, or both. Moreover, as producers acquire new equipment, they cannot guarantee those turbines will all be from the same original equipment manufacturer (OEM), which can make operations and maintenance far more complex.”

The government is well aware of these issues and has responded with a new policy encouraging generators to replace their turbines for increased power. However, replacing a turbine is costly, complex, and time consuming. A much better option, Shubhi explains, is a control system retrofit on existing turbines to drive improved performance.

Data delivers value

A turbine control system retrofit gives operations teams access to critical data that is typically inaccessible with an OEM control system. And it isn’t just a little bit of data. Shubhi shares,

“The most advanced retrofit control systems provide users with 5 to 10 times the parameters of most OEM solutions. They are designed to unlock all the data available from the turbine to give the operations and maintenance teams full ownership. Armed with dramatically more data than they had previously, teams can better track and trend performance of their equipment and make the operational changes necessary to improve production.”

The performance enhancements possible with increased access to data can mean significant gains. Teams can use that information to safely uprate power on their turbines for additional production. Or they can make the critical tweaks that, across a fleet, add up to significant value.

“Legacy turbines are commonly 4 to 10 degrees out of alignment for optimal performance. A modern control system will give teams the operational data and configuration options they need to adjust yaw and pitch to reduce or eliminate that misalignment. Ultimately, teams taking advantage of the benefits of modern control typically see significant increases in annual production.”

Planning the path forward

Not every legacy turbine will be ripe for replacement. In most cases, a control system retrofit will bring much of the value that a generation organization needs with a significantly faster return on investment than they would see by ripping and replacing an existing turbine. Moreover, a control system retrofit puts all critical data from the turbine into the hands of operators for improved operations and decision support, whereas a replacement will likely leave teams with much of that data trapped in the OEM’s system. And when coupled with a built-for-purpose green energy SCADA system like Emerson’s Ovation Green SCADA, retrofits can leverage the value of data even further.

Shubhi shares additional benefits to turbine retrofits, and some practical examples in her full article over at Power Info Today. It’s a fast read that’s well worth your time if you are looking to increase the performance of your wind farm assets.

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  • Todd Walden
    Public Relations, Advertising & Social Media Consultant

Featured Expert

  • Shubhi Goel
    Sr. Manager Marketing & Business Development, Power & Water Solutions

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