Turbine manufacturers should continue to sell and invest in data analytics

Written By: Katherine Demetre
May 23, 2018

Southern Power Southern Company wind power

A new report from Navigant Research examines data collection within the wind-power industry as asset owners seek to improve wind plant performance and manage operations and maintenance (O&M) costs.

Today’s wind-plant owners face increasing pressure to optimize the performance of their wind projects, foresee impending component failures, and grow O&M savings. An increasingly sophisticated data technology ecosystem of sensors, condition monitoring systems (CMSs), turbine optimization platforms, and predictive analytics (PA) software can provide cost savings and risk management for plants large and small.

“There is a growing addressable market for data collection and analysis platforms in the existing U.S. and broader global wind fleet because not all wind plant owners have maximized the use of such systems,” says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Where there is room for more adoption is with advanced pattern recognition (APR) or other statistical modeling methods or platforms to address turbine and site performance optimization.”

For industry players looking to fill gaps in the market or streamline costs, Navigant Research recommends wind turbine manufacturers continue to sell and invest in data analytics. Third-party data analytics vendors should stress their independence and target opportunities at the turbine pre-end-of-warranty stage. Wind plant owners not already doing so should test and evaluate the data analytics offerings and big wind plant owners should consider acquiring in-house assets to maximize savings.

The report, Capturing and Maximizing Wind Power Plant Data, focuses on data collection within the wind power industry as asset owners seek to improve wind plant performance and manage and minimize O&M costs. The study analyzes the data collection strategies of anonymized wind plant owners surveyed as part of Navigant’s Generation Knowledge Service (GKS) Wind Benchmarking service.

The GKS peer group includes 9.3 GW from a variety of turbine models, plant sizes, ages, and O&M contract types. The results show what type of data is collected, how it is usually collected, and where there is room for data analytics growth. It also examines how and when CMS and PA platforms are being deployed in the marketplace for new and operational turbines. Recommendations are provided on how wind turbine OEMs, wind plant owners and other stakeholders should explore the growing addressable market for data collection and analysis platforms.


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