Digital twins improve energy output while reducing total costs

SCADA MINDS has developed a data platform that collects relevant wind turbine data and ensures efficient and accurate simulation of real-life scenarios.

  • Reduces the total life cycle cost from turbine design to decommissioning
  • More efficient practices for developing engineering models and turbine designs
  • Improves means of validation turbine design quality
Digital Twin facts
  • +99 GW
    installed capacity
  • 29,000
    turbines serviced
  • 90
    countries

In cooperation with our customer, a leading wind turbine manufacturer, we have developed a digital platform, eTwin, that simulates real-life scenarios of wind turbines and wind farms – faster and with far greater precision than before. The digital platform provides an overview of how even small changes in software, design, materials and location of the wind turbines can reduce the total cost through the life cycle of the wind turbines, while at the same time optimizing energy production.

 

CHALLENGE: LACK OF STRUCTURE

How can you reduce the cost of building, operating and maintaining a wind turbine or a wind farm without compromising on quality, energy production and service life? What real-life scenarios arise if you reduce the amount of concrete in the foundation or remove 5 per cent of the steel in the tower? And how do these scenarios change the output if you let the front turbines pitch and yaw or move them 200 meters further out to sea?

Earlier, various parts of our customer’s global organization would design their own calculation models to answer these questions. But the overview was lacking. The same went for the ability to easily link vastly different data together and thus gain new insights.

 

SOLUTION: THE TRUSTWORTY, DIGITAL TWIN

To create a structure for all relevant data and models as well as ensuring global knowledge sharing, the Engineering Department has, together with SCADA MINDS, developed one digital platform for the entire organization. All relevant, global data and calculation models are now stored in one place.

The software architecture and built-in technologies, such as Machine Learning and AI, serve as the basis for the platform, enabling the company to train the models with real-life data and continuously make them more intelligent.

The platform, which presents a digital twin of the wind turbines, involves huge amounts of external and internal data and can simulate thousands of scenarios which give the company precise answers to how a change in one place in a wind turbine design affects the output of an entire wind farm. Data sources such as weather, waves and geodata make the simulations real, and by linking many different models together on the platform, you achieve high confidence in the calculations. A digital twin automatically takes into account all sorts of data patterns – even those that you cannot see with the naked eye.

SCADA MINDS has developed the digital platform, as well as selected calculation models and data access points.

 

RESULT: REDUCED COSTS AND INCREASED YIELD

With digital twins, the company can simulate real-life scenarios of complete wind farms – efficiently and with the highest possible precision. The platform reduces the total lifecycle cost from turbine design to decommissioning, provides mmproves means of validating turbine design quality.

Further, the scalable infrastructure ensures automatic orchestration and execution of the models. The platform has built-in mechanisms that maintain best data practices. Data is unique and exists in only one version but can be used across the entire organization.

The platform was launched in April 2020 and is continuously being developed in terms of user interface and scalability, security, and compliance. The platform becomes increasingly intelligent, so that the company can reduce material usage and high costs for on-site maintenance, without compromising the quality, energy productivity and life cycle of the wind turbines.