Digital Wind Farm

What is a Digital Wind Farm?

A digital wind farm is a virtual model based on the data of a real-world wind farm. A digital twin wind farm aims to increase efficiency, life cycle management, and productivity by autonomously capturing the physical wind farm and creating its digital replica in the cloud.

The digital wind farm creates a wealth of data that allows engineers, technicians, and administrators to manage critical aspects of the wind farm more effectively. A digital replica of real-world assets enables a more robust understanding of how to better manage inspections, repairs, and overall operation efficiency.

In some instances, the development of a new wind farm begins by creating a digital replica of the wind farm that allows engineers to plan the layout and specific turbines that will be used throughout the farm. Existing wind farms can still benefit from creating a digital twin after they’re operational, but new wind farms are often created in a digital environment.

Key Benefits of Wind Farms’ Digital Twin

Wind farms focus on maximizing energy output and reducing operating costs, which is a careful balance between maintenance costs as compared to the current price of dispatched energy.

Digital twins provide crucial new capabilities that allow organizations to increase output and decrease costs by enabling faster inspections and accurate data capture. Let’s explore some of the primary benefits of adopting digital twins for wind farms.

Better Life Cycle Management

Wind turbines undergo output degradation throughout their life cycle. This degradation is made worse when turbines are not adequately maintained and serviced. Digital twin technologies allow wind farms to have new levels of insight into every turbine on the farm by recreating the physical environment in the cloud and automating turbine tagging and identification of potential faults with AI algorithms, allowing technicians to plan and execute necessary maintenance timely.

The result is minimizing degradation output throughout a turbine’s life cycle, including knowing when it’s time to replace the turbine entirely.

Keep Turbines Operational

Unplanned downtime can significantly decrease output and cut into profitability. As such, preventing downtime can greatly benefit the entire operation.

Digital twins for wind farms create a level of transparency by giving technicians a greater understanding of the physical environment. This allows for better planning of inspections and maintenance to ensure each turbine’s health and prevent unplanned downtime.

Increased Energy Output

Output degradation is inevitable throughout a wind turbine’s life cycle, but fortunately, frequent inspections and repairs can minimize costs associated with degradation. Digital twins help prevent costly damages with timely damage assessment and required repairs, while reducing unnecessary site visits and optimizing turbine performance like never before.

Platforms like vHive provide autonomous drone capture of wind farms at scale, requiring minimal blade rotation, allowing easy access to cloud-based turbine specific data or farm-level insights from a single dashboard, ultimately improving turbine health and profitability.