Uptime HARVEST™ – Wind Energy

The Problem

An energy utility operates a medium scale wind turbine fleet, with several hundred units in operation across multiple countries. The turbines are from various manufacturers and of varying type and power rating. The operational management of the turbines is the responsibility of the energy utility, however, the maintenance is performed by the turbine manufacturer. It is critical that the overall fleet availability and performance is maximised in order to achieve projected financial revenues. Due to the high complexity of the technology, complex loading and sometimes harsh operational conditions, turbines experience frequent failures leading to costly downtime.

The Challenge

When such failures occur, it is critical that the turbine manufacturer reacts quickly to resolve the issue and restore the turbine to a normal operational state. Given the geographical distribution of the turbines and limited resources in terms of service staff and equipment, the management of a correct and timely response is highly complex.

The energy utility has a strong motivation to track the response of the manufacturer in order to ensure the assets are well maintained. Furthermore, the utility is required to produce regular reporting, consisting typically of technical summaries, financial statements and details such as insurance claims. Such monitoring and reporting activities are time consuming and costly.

The Solution

Each turbine is equipped with a SCADA system, continuously gathering and logging operational data on site at each wind farm. This data is a valuable asset since it can be used to provide transparency concerning the real-time operational status of all turbines in the fleet, as well as to quantitatively analyse their historical availability and performance. Uptime HARVEST™ provides a solution by automatically and continuously gathering such operational data and presenting the current status of the fleet using tools such as geographical information systems or mobile applications. This provides full transparency, supporting rapid response and follow-up to issues in the field. Furthermore, Uptime HARVEST™ includes database infrastructure for storage of historical records which are then used to automatically generate customised reports, which can regularly be deployed via Email to defined recipients. Email or SMS-based notifications are generated in case of critical events, to support rapid response.

The Commercial Impact

As a result of the introduction of Uptime HARVEST™ into its operations, the utility is able to continuously track the health status of the wind turbine fleet. Performance issues are detected early and can often be resolved, maximising and energy yield and hence financial revenues. Issues with availability and reliability are detected and used to support optimisation strategies agreed between the utility and the turbine manufacturers. Reporting activities are automated, reducing effort and cost.

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