The IoT gateway is in the nose cone, in case you were looking for it in the video.
Nokia, OSIsoft, Sempra Energy, Qualcomm and SenseOps are proud to showcase the results of a project this week designed to both lower the cost of wind energy and the downtime that comes with repairs thorugh predictions.
The project also marks the launch of a partnership between Nokia and OSIsoft to accelerate the implementation of the Industrial Internet of Things by combining Nokia's Digital Automation Cloud and the PI System.
Sempra's Broken Bow II wind farm in Nebraska is situated, like a number of wind farms, where weather can be extreme (high winds, apricot-sized hailstones) and the population centers can be sparse. Maintenance crews spend an inordinate amount of time driving between sites.
Unfortunately, mechanical failures can also be unpredictable. Pitch bearing assemblies-an internal unit responsible for angling the turbine blades into the wind-remain one of the most frequent causes of breakdowns. In some types of turbines, the assembly can fail 5% to 7% of time, according to SenseOps. If one fails, the entire turbine has to come down and go into the shop for repairs. The cost of bringing a crane to the site can run $100,000 with the entire cost of the repair exceeding $165,000. During the repairs, of course, the turbine can't produce power, reducing overall revenue from the wind farm.
Enter the IIoT solution. A SenseOps-powered IoT gateway (placed inside the nose of the turbine as the most convenient and shielded place) collects data on the health and behavior of the pitch bearing assemblies. The data is shuttled across a private high-speed LTE network from Nokia and then collected and collated by the PI System.
The behavioral data can then serve as an early warning system for Sempra, which estimates that predictive, remote monitoring could cut the cost of repairs by up to 90%.
And, while this is a trial, the bigger picture is compelling. O&M costs can account for 20 to 25% of the levelized cost of wind. Wind's contribution to worldwide power production is expected to double to more than 14% by 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A growing percentage of the market will come from offshore turbines, which can cost 15x as much to service.
It's also a blueprint for how many IIoT networks will look in the future. Private, wireless cellular networks-i.e. the technology delivered through Nokia's Automation Cloud-will invariably become a frequently deployed technology for industrial sites. The latency, the bandwidth requirements and the ever-changing roster of equipment, not to mention the out-of-the-way location, require a network that can both provide premium performance while remaining economical.
Being able to make sense of data from these systems in real-time, of course, also means technology like the PI System. (Some of our wind customers track over one million tags with data being generated in over 140 different formats. Some sites are a veritable Tower of Babel.)
The growth rate makes wind a natural early market. The same core technology, however, could be deployed to monitor underground equipment at mines, or sensors planted along undersea gas pipelines.
Think of is as the opposite of a Visa card. Nokia and OSIsoft will go wherever you don't want to be.