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Customer Story

Entega supports green-energy goal with the PI System

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When your company goal is to generate 1.1 billion kilowatts per year in green energy by 2020, keeping all equipment working to its maximum potential is essential, and data is crucial to this task. This goal drove Entega, one of Germany’s largest suppliers of renewable energy, to search for a better way to collect, integrate, and analyze its data. The company, which has invested €850 million in renewable energy and is one of the biggest regional suppliers of carbon-neutral energy, has a myriad of renewable-energy plants. These include 11 wind parks, three solar parks, two biogas plants, and 130 PV plants. Entega’s existing data-collection system, built for conventional power plants, was not workable for these diverse assets. The company chose the PI SystemTM to enable it to collect the right data and insights across disparate data sources.

A holistic and integrated solution has the advantage of allowing us to collect data from different technologies and different manufacturers, enabling us to analyze, archive, and export information to other applications using only one tool.
Zijad Lemeš
Head of Department, Plant Management, Entega
Consolidating the plant portfolio
Entega was using various SCADA systems and MicrosoftTM ExcelTM files to monitor and analyze data for its conventional power plants. But each of the company’s various types of renewable-energy plants have a wide array of equipment, including wind, PV, biogas, and gas turbines—many of which are from different manufacturers and used different techniques to monitor assets. The SCADA and Excel technology was not sufficient to meet the needs of the renewable-energy plants. 

“Our portfolio consists of many different manufacturers who operate different systems to monitor assets,” said Zijad Lemeš, head of department, plant management, at Entega. “We collect the raw data from several different systems, so when we try to create reports to analyze that data and any of the behavior of the power plants, it’s very inefficient and time consuming.” 

Entega needed a new way to collect and integrate data so it could be analyzed within its existing business intelligence system. 

Establishing a single source of data truth 
Entega implemented the PI System in 2015 to establish a single source of truth and manage its real-time and historical data at all of its renewable-energy plants, regardless of manufacturer. “We needed a powerful database, which is possible with the PI System,” said Lemeš. “The system allows us to store large amounts of data at different temporal resolutions, which is very important for future analysis.”

Entega installed PI System interfaces at each site and mapped site data to a centralized PI ServerTM. The PI System was linked directly to Cogent, a site monitoring and control tool that allows Entega to see online values, KPIs, historical data, and forecast information. With the flow of real-time data from the PI System, Entega can see power plant operations data in one dashboard view, enabling the team to easily understand and optimize plant and individual asset performance.

The company’s wind farms illustrate how the PI System helps Entega keep its renewable-energy equipment running at maximum capacity. Weather and turbine availability are paramount to producing clean energy on wind farms. The PI System dashboard provides Entega with access to forecast, energy availability, and energy capacity data for every wind turbine within its wind farms. Turbines are shown in red, yellow, and green to indicate the health and functionality of each asset. An alarm indicates any status change, such as equipment failure. The ability to quickly drill down into each turbine’s operations enables Entega to compare theoretical power against actual power to determine whether assets are operating at optimal levels.
 
System set up and architectureData streaming from the PI System provides Entega with an integrated view of wind turbine status, functionality, and capacity.

Meeting unique plant needs

With the PI System, Entega, for the first time, has brought technical and commercial data together into one integrated solution to capture every site’s varying array of assets. “When we built the technical connections between the sites and the PI Systems, there wasn’t much copy-and-paste,” said Lemeš. “Every site is unique. Every player is unique, and they all have different needs to be satisfied.”

With the flexibility of the PI System, Entega can now accommodate the unique needs of each plant with one centralized solution.

For more information about Entega and the PI System, watch the full presentation here.

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