Updated: Aug 12, 2020
Over the last several years, the Renewable energy sector has witnessed strong global growth which comes with the challenge of scaling operational excellence and keeping cost in check. It is highly challenging to process a huge amount of time-series data from the assets located in widely distributed and remote areas. Here comes the next wave of innovation driven by sensors and data – in other words, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big data Analytics.
A sensor that collects real-time data from devices that is quickly analyzed using complex algorithms and turned into actionable insights, uncovers trends that would help in increasing productivity and predictive maintenance to minimize downtime.
Here are some ways how big data analytics changing the future of the renewable energy sector.
Predicting Weather Conditions Based on Historical Data
With the advancements in big data, predictive analytics, and machine learning, the historical data can be combined with weather and satellite data which resulted in solar and wind forecasting technology which can predict weather conditions well in advance, allowing renewable plants to increase their production significantly.
To ease Operation and Maintenance Processes
The big data analytics tool helps in assessing how well solar panels, Inverters, etc. perform under varying weather conditions compared to their ratings. . (E.g the below graphs show Inverter performance) The software can send a signal whenever any equipment underperforms or overperforms. Thus, the plant engineer can locate the problem quickly and take relevant action which results in reducing O&M costs considerably.
The above graphs show that predictive maintenance ensures that any equipment requiring maintenance is only shut down right before closing to failure. This reduces the total time and cost spent maintaining equipment. (E.g. thermal imaging sensor in Solar)
Reducing Renewable Energy plants setting up Costs
With more advancements in big data and predictive analysis technology, renewable energy companies can now produce more energy without additional infrastructure costs. Big data is one of the reasons behind the gradual decrease in setting up renewable energy plant prices thus paving the way for renewable energy to be cost-competitive with its conventional counterparts.
IoT Smart Energy Grid is based on the controller which controls the various activities of the system & communicates over the internet by using Wi-Fi technology & also will notify the authorities over the IoT interface in case theft and Grid OFF condition. It makes sure that the electricity supply is continuous and helps in maintaining an updated record of consumption and theft information which is quite valuable information for the energy-producing companies.