Article - Greenbyte

Introducing Breeze Production for wind farm owners and operators

During 2013 the team behind Breeze has been hard at work with adapting Breeze to be a useful tool for not only developers performing wind measurement campaigns but also for owners and operators of operating wind farms. The product is now ready and commercially available. It is called Breeze Production.

During 2013 the team behind Breeze has been hard at work with adapting Breeze to be a useful tool for not only developers performing wind measurement campaigns but also for owners and operators of operating wind farms. The product is now ready and commercially available. It is called Breeze Production.

Breeze Production is a cloud based software capable of interfacing towards any type of wind turbine such as Siemens, Vestas, GE, Gamesa, Enercon etc. Our customers are owners and operators of wind farms. Breeze Production is used to manage wind farms and intended to be the central hub for all wind, production and operational data.

Easy connection points allow our customers to share data with other actors in the value chain that need wind farm data to perform their services. Examples of such actors are ISPs, electricity traders, grid operators among others.  Data is most often transferred from the wind farm to Breeze via OPC or OPC/XML i.e. directly from the SCADA system. That’s great because it gives our users access to real time data with updates every second.

The type of data that is transferred from turbines varies between turbine manufacturers. Most often the data includes:

  • Production data
  • Availability metrics
  • Errors and Warnings
  • Wind conditions
  • Turbine settings such as nacelle direction, blade pitch etc
  • Component data such as RPM, temperatures etc

All this data is presented in the Breeze Production intuitive user interface and made readily available with views such as the Operators Dashboard, Managers Dashboard, Wind Farm Overview, Turbine Analytics and many others.

Easy and useful benchmark comparisons

One great thing about having all data in one system is that it makes comparisons a lot of easier. Compare output, lost production, availability, errors, budgets, power curves and wind conditions between wind farms.

In Breeze Production we have taken comparisons one step further. All of our customer’s data is stored in an anonymous database. Customers can then benchmark their own data against the anonymous data set. This type of benchmarking creates insights that have been really difficult to find before. One such example is that you can find that a specific turbine in your portfolio experiences a category of errors a lot more than other turbines of the same type and that this results in lower availability and lost production.

It is our hope that insights from benchmarking can lead to very valuable discussions between owners, ISPs and OEMs.

On a macro level these types of discussion will be great for the entire industry as they will push turbine and service development efforts. In the long run we hope this will lower cost per MWH from wind power and make renewable electricity production more abundant.

Production optimization

A lot of money is invested in a wind farm. Financing and PPA strategy aside production and service optimization are the most effective levers to affect returns from wind power investments. Most owners find production optimization to be highly interesting. OEMs and third party firms are developing more and more add-ons that affect output – to convert more wind to electricity.

Breeze Production can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a certain action intended to boost performance.

Lets take a blade clean as an example. Owners can perform a blade clean on one turbine and evaluate its effectiveness over time and then decide to perform blade clean on all turbines if the return on investment is high enough.

Easy to use

When we use software ourselves we find that the software we use most is the software that is easy to use and provides value directly without having to do too much configuration. Therefore we strive to make Breeze Production easy to use and very useful with default settings.

Collaboration in development efforts

The work leading up to Breeze Production has been highly collaborative between industry, state and academia. We want to give a special thanks to our industry partners Rabbalshede Kraft, Power Wind Partners, VindIn and SMTeknik that have been instrumental in setting the requirements on the product from an owner/operators point of view. We also want to thank the Swedish Energy Agency for backing us with some initial funding to get the product going. In addition we have had a number of excellent interns from Chalmers University of Technology and the Gothenburg School of Economics MATIX program that have performed extensive interviews with international owners and operators of wind farms to get a global perspective on requirements.

Global set of customers, our intention going forward

So, we now have a great product with 380 MW of wind power installed on date of commercial launch. Our ambition is to provide Breeze Production to a global set of customers. Turbines and communication protocols to the turbines are the same in pretty much all parts of the world. That means that most wind farms can be installed in Breeze Production without us having to visit the wind farm, allowing very cost effective installation.

Control of data gives owners new opportunities that affect wind power business case

We think data will be key for successful wind farm operations. More and more services around the wind farm need data from the wind farm. Some examples:

  • ISPs want data to monitor wind farms, perform service and schedule maintenance
  • Electricity traders want to know of scheduled maintenance and need real-time production data to trade electricity
  • Forecasters need a feedback loop to learn how forecasts compare to actual electricity production so that forecasts can become even more accurate over time
  • Grid operators need real-time production data to balance loads, especially in places with weak grids
  • Analysts in search for unused potential in wind farms need data
  • In some wind farms there are many owners. Owners want data from the turbines they own and in some cases they want data from the entire wind farm

We strive to make Breeze Production the hub of wind power data and to let owners of a wind farm easily distribute who gets access to data to the benefit of our customers – owners and operators of wind farms.

Jonas Corné, CEO Greenbyte, Makers of Breeze