How IT Advancements Boost The Sustainability Of Wind Power

Wind energy is enjoying a resurgence in momentum in the wake of growing interest in harnessing and development of traditional fossil fuel alternatives. As one of the most wide ranging and commercially deployed sources of renewable energy, wind energy offers a lot of potential with opportunities across the globe.
From: Alex Summers
August 12th, 2014 | 0 Comments

There is an ever-increasing requirement for generating electricity from renewable sources. The next few decades will require a focus on providing a grid capable of generating that power. Wind energy will be a major contributor in the foreseeable future, with the emergence of offshore wind power markets driving growth.

But there are significant challenges, such as the need for future sustainability to ensure that deployment is not delayed and projects are carried out at the right cost and at the right time.

As a constant and renewable source of energy, wind power industries, if properly sustained, would continue with minimum manual effort and minimum use of fossil fuels (expect for those used for transportation between sites). And this is where the energy industry’s universal reliance of technology becomes important.

Advancements in technology are bringing down cost of wind power, till the point where utility-scale wind power is now competitive commercially. Experts agree that lowering the cost of supplying wind energy an achieving sustainability through current technologies is dependent on technological innovation and achieving scale.

Technological advancements & the wind sector

Despite the worldwide recession, the wind industry has seen plenty of innovation in the past 5 years. An example is available in Sonic Wind Profiler: TRITON®. It’s become one of the wind industry’s leading remote sensing system for measuring wind direction and speed.

The device can be used in all phases of a wind project lifecycle to determine windy locations that project managers and companies might want to explore further. And because the technology is mobile, unlike towers and turbines, it can be put up for a month in one location and if the wind at that location doesn’t seem viable, it can be easily moved to another location.

Additionally, the TRITON can be placed in the field for extended periods of time, including those remote locations where wind farm are sited in often. Its functionality includes which turbines are functioning as needed, and it can be moved from turbine to turbine to provide wind speed source, and figure out whether or not turbines producing and operating as expected. The device is aiding the suitability of wind power by ensuring there is no downtime in turbine operation.

Likewise, ThinkIO industrial computer from Kontron is a reliable control solution that is now being utilized in the wind industry specifically by wind turbine suppliers. The operating system of this computer operates without rotating parts such as fans and hard drives as well as without batteries.

All that makes it completely free of maintenance and ideal to be deployed in space-limited areas, or where getting personnel for maintenance is difficult, such as at the top of the wind turbine in the nacelle.

The PC communicates with peripheral control elements, such as active blade pitching system and wind tracking mechanism, to ensure that each system parameter is set for optimal wind turbine operation in all types of weather, which increases the sustainability element while bringing down cost of manual parameter setting and maintenance.

The bottom line is the growing number of devices automating wind energy processes and generating digital data coupled with greater knowledge to analyze the growth of data is helping the wind energy sector operate more sustainably. Simultaneously, attempts to design and invest different types of technology that fit with energy systems and equipment are expected to continue.