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Smart O&M Solution to Revolutionise Wind Turbine Performance Monitoring

Published 15 December 2021

Cognitive’s innovative Wind AITM solution will address industry-wide issue of wind turbine underperformance, helping to diagnose and fix it.

Artificial intelligence pioneer, Cognitive, has joined forces with RWE and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to accelerate the commercialisation of their innovative Wind AI technology, bringing about a step-change in wind turbine performance monitoring.

A better understanding of true individual turbine performance within a wind farm can lead to spotting maintenance early warning signs and saving millions of pounds in lost revenue.

Wind AITM is a real-time, hyper-accurate solution and, in an industry first, proved that it can identify performance degradation with a less than 1% error. This quantum leap in real-time accuracy means that Wind AITM can provide a unique opportunity to optimise operations and maintenance practices.

As part of the Innovate UK-funded project, ORE Catapult conducted a traditional Power Performance Assessment (PPA) using LiDAR data provided by RWE. Wind AITM was also deployed and tested by RWE on an offshore wind farm where the technology created 2.4 million machine learning models to monitor several hundred megawatts of offshore assets, using the data supplied by the instrumentation already installed on the turbines.

Christopher Fraser, Cognitive Co-Founder and Director of Applied AI said:

“Wind AITM does not use wind speed measurement as an input. Instead, it ‘learns’ the performance of each turbine against every other turbine under every conceivable set of conditions, and then uses that information to create algorithms to accurately determine the predicted and actual performance of each turbine at any given moment, thus highlighting any that are underperforming.”

A Catapult cost analysis verified that Wind AITM could reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy and lead to an increase in annual energy production. The Catapult also concluded that Wind AITM has the potential to predict component failures before they occur, enabling predictive maintenance to take place and potentially reducing overall corrective maintenance frequencies by 5%.

Mr Fraser added:

“Our estimates suggest that if every turbine in every wind farm in the UK was producing optimally, this would deliver the equivalent energy of two new farms, each the size of Greater Gabbard, just by using existing assets to their fullest.”

James Vause, Production Manager from RWE said:

“At Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, our goal is to continuously improve our O&M efficiency. Wind AITM supports us by identifying any underperformance in our assets very early on, which we can then evaluate and engineer solutions for, putting a stop to any potentially significant or cumulative impact on our production.”

Andrew MacDonald, Senior Innovation Manager for ORE Catapult added:

“Cognitive’s technology is providing a solution for one of the industry’s largest, unsolved challenges – the cost-effective monitoring and tracking of wind turbine performance losses. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Cognitive as they expand their AI solutions to further improve cost reductions in the offshore wind sector.”

Learn more about Cognitive’s suite of AI solutions on its website or watch the video below: