Page 65 - North American Clean Energy March/April 2020 Issue
P. 65

       With this information, owners can fix malfunctioning sensors to ensure that derating only happens when it should, helping to boost turbine AEP and revenue.
Export limitations
Wind power is making up an increasing share of the energy mix fed into the grid. However, many legacy grids have been designed to handle conventional power sources such as coal, and struggle to handle the intermittent supply generated by renewable sources.
While steps are being taken to update the grid to better manage intermittent, distributed energy sources, wind farm owners and operators are often required to derate their assets when the grid is at capacity. It can sometimes be the case that the wind farm’s output is already below the threshold for grid capacity, rendering the application of a derating strategy unnecessary. Likewise, if derating continues after the agreed export limitation time is up, the wind farm is producing a fraction of its potential, even when the grid can handle the full output.
Once owners are armed with the data to demonstrate how a derating plan has led to an unnecessary loss in generation, they can renegotiate the terms of the plan with their turbine manufacturer and grid operator, limiting any lost revenue to only what is necessary.
Legacy curtailment
Owners often have their derating strategy set up far in advance of operations, never revisiting the plan to see whether the terms remain valid in the real world.
During commissioning, for example, wind farms are often required to limit performance to prevent feeding into
the grid when it is at capacity, and to minimize disruption to the surrounding environment. Noise curtailment is a common requirement; if a turbine produces more noise than permitted near residences, wind farm owners may be required to pay compensation - and risk losing support in the local community.
Over the course of a turbine’s lifetime, the grid may be updated to support a greater proportion of renewable energy generation. As the surroundings of the wind farm change, the noise curtailment plan may become redundant. When this happens, it is crucial to update derating plans to reflect these changes.
Investigating unknowns
Identifying a single underperforming wind turbine is relatively easy. Incorrect farm-wide derating, however, is much more difficult to identify and significantly more costly. AI can identify wind farm- wide derating by looking for patterns
and performance anomalies, comparing them to how the wind farm has previously performed, and informing the owner of how to rectify this.
  Reducing turbine performance to allow
for grid limitations, reduce wear-and-tear on components, or reduce noise is often necessary. Derating is a strategy that wind farm owners both accept and encourage on occasion. However, if the reason for derating is defunct, or the assets are overly derated due to a technical error, owners will continue to face unnecessary losses to revenue.
In short, owners must focus on developing a true understanding of their asset’s performance and, as part of this, ask themselves: Is this asset performing as it should be? If the answer is anything but a firm “yes”, then an in-depth, AI- mediated analysis of data from both the asset and the surrounding environment must be prioritized. This level of understanding provides owners
and operators with the information they need to review their derating strategy, and ensure they are not needlessly losing out on potential revenue.
Gareth Brown is CEO of Clir Renewables, a renewable energy AI software company. He is an entrepreneur and a chartered engineer with the IMechE. Gareth has over a decade of experience in the industry which spans the life cycle of renewable energy projects from identification, development, construction, to financing, and operation. Gareth set up Clir Renewables in 2017 alongside Jake Gray. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, the company opened its European office in Glasgow, Scotland in 2018, and supports 6 GW of assets globally.
   Clir Renewables ///
 11MW offshore wind turbine
Offshore wind industry provider Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) expanded its product portfolio with the launch of the new Siemens Gamesa DD Flex concept and the SG 11.0-193 DD Flex offshore wind turbine. Built on the current largest offshore wind turbine in the SGRE fleet, the SG 11.0-193 DD Flex can reach a capacity of 11MW under specific site conditions. The SG 11.0- 193 DD Flex offshore wind turbine features a 193m diameter rotor utilizing the 94m long Siemens Gamesa B94 Integral Blades. Constant digital observations are processed by the control system, increasing capacity up to 11MW. The upgraded turbine has been created based on SGRE’s deep understanding and expertise within its proven offshore direct drive technology, gained over all five product generations since being launched in 2011.
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE)
Break tough fasteners with 900 ft/lbs of torque
The new 18-volt 1/2" Drive Monster Lithium Brushless Cordless Impact Wrench Kit from Snap-on provides 900ft/lbs of torque output to easily break loose the most stubborn of fasteners. The 18-volt 1/2" Drive Monster Lithium Brushless Cordless Impact Wrench Kit (part number CT9075), features a digital microprocessor-controlled switch that maximizes performance, run time, and durability. The impact comes with a powerful bolt break-away torque rating of 1200ft/lbs; 2100 blows per minute; and runs at 1500rpm. The 8.7lb kit includes two monster lithium batteries and a USB charging station. Three torque settings in forward and three in reverse helps the tool adapt to various applications. A built-in brake stops the anvil and prevents the tool from throwing fasteners and sockets and a bright LED illuminates the work area.
Snap-on Industrial ///
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