Helping Wind Farms Produce More Energy and Improve Turbine Reliability by Making Turbines Social
The United States is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing wind energy sectors in the world. But America's competitive and diverse energy market holds challenges for existing wind farms. Wind turbine owners are often faced with underperforming assets and excessive operational expenditures, and have limited ability to diagnose the causes.
WindESCo is working on monitoring and control solutions that will improve wind plant performance through increasing power production, reducing loading, and increasing equipment lifetimes, using sensors and software that provide owners comprehensive, real-time integrated intelligence for wind farms.
Working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will give WindESCo access to the lab's expertise in designing and analyzing custom wind farm control solutions for individual wind farms. In addition, NREL can apply its open-source tools (FLORIS and SOWFA) to develop control solutions that can be implemented within WindESCo's system.
If successful, this SBV Pilot will use engineering and high-fidelity simulations to enable the determination of wind farm control strategies most likely to deliver performance results to existing wind farms, helping them run efficiently and stay competitive in a fast-changing energy market.
PROJECT INNOVATION + ADVANTAGES
WindESCo's approach uses rotor-based sensing and OEM-independent hardware to improve wind farm performance. The combination enables wind farm controls to be enabled at existing wind farms, by the owners, so that they can maximize power output and minimize costs.
WindESCo's analytics platform and machine-learning algorithms make real-time turbine adjustments, integrating with the wind farm's supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to establish a continuous feedback loop and recommend changes to optimize operations.
This SBV Pilot will enable WindESCo to implement control solutions at existing wind farms. Wind farm control has the potential to improve power output and reduce fatigue loads and operating costs at existing wind farms, strengthening these facilities economically and boosting the wind energy industry as a whole.
A growing wind energy sector helps diversify energy supplies, cut pollution, and promote energy independence. With more than 100,000 Americans already working in wind energy, expanding wind power is also a good way to create jobs and grow the U.S. economy.
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