GE launches Digital Wind Farm technology to make power generation more efficient

20 May 2015 (Last Updated May 20th, 2015 18:30)

US-based General Electric has launched Digital Wind Farm, a new technology system for the wind power generation industry, which can boost a facility's production capacity by up to 20%.

GE Digital Wind Farm

US-based General Electric has launched Digital Wind Farm, a new technology system for the wind power generation industry, which can boost a facility’s production capacity by up to 20%.

Digital Wind Farm is claimed to be a dynamic and adaptable ecosystem that connects wind turbines with digital infrastructure.

Digital Wind Farm involves the use of interconnected digital technology, popularly known as Industrial Internet, in order to address the need for flexible renewable power.

By enabling efficient integration of renewable energy into existing power grids, it can help in generating an estimated value of up to $50bn for the wind industry.

GE Power & Water president and CEO Steve Bolze said: "Every business, including our own at GE, and every industry is being transformed by smarter digital technologies, and the greatest opportunity lies in energy."

"Digital Wind Farm involves the use of interconnected digital technology, popularly known as Industrial Internet."

The Digital Wind Farm is based on GE’s Wind PowerUp technology, which was launched by the firm 18 months ago.

The technology, which is presently installed across 4,000 units, has been found to increase turbine efficiency by up to 5%, which offers up to 20% profitability boost for each turbine.

GE has already developed a new 2-megawatt wind turbine platform, which uses a digital twin modelling system to develop various types of 20 different turbines at every pad location.

They can generate power with higher efficiency based on the surrounding location, GE said.

Each of the turbines is connected to advanced networks to facilitate real time analysis of turbine operations and make necessary adjustments to increase operational efficiencies.

Connecting the embedded sensors in the turbines enables real time data collection, which is then analysed with GE’s Predix software.

The software can assist operators in monitoring performance from data across turbines, farms or entire industry fleets. Data can be collected to find out about temperature, turbine misalignments or vibrations that can affect performance.

This can help the operators to predict the anomalies in functioning and avoid maintenance issues for ageing turbines in time.

US-based Invenergy president and CEO Michael Polsky said: "GE’s focus on lifecycle operations is consistent with the way we operate our wind farms.

"We look forward to working together with GE’s Digital Wind Farm to unlock even more long-term value across our fleet."


Image: GE launches the next evolution of wind energy, Digital Wind Farm. Photo: courtesy of General Electric.