The evaluation of machine data, the use of sensor technology and the intelligent realtime processing of huge amounts of data in the cloud create new business models. With the information gained, energy suppliers are able to optimise their processes, control their production more efficiently and offer their customers even higher quality services.
Where, for example, a service technician used to routinely carry out the maintenance work due at regular intervals, today the wind turbine notifies him which wind turbines require maintenance. The energy provider can act before the wind turbine is damaged or fails. This precise maintenance ensures a longer service life for the wind turbines. The maintenance operations become more efficient, thus reducing operating and repair costs.
One company that recognised this early on is the Basel energy supplier IWB. The company owns wind farms in several European countries, from which it wanted to extract valuable data and use this as a basis for business decisions in daily operations. The challenge was to collect the enormous amounts of data supplied by the 18 wind farms in France, Germany and Switzerland and to combine them on an Internet of Things (IoT) platform to make them usable for further applications. In doing so, the different technical requirements of the various turbine manufacturers had to be taken into account. In addition, the platform should be expandable at any time to include further systems and be scalable for other applications.
One of the major challenges in the energy sector is how to collect data and make it available for further usage. The deployment of IoT technology makes it possible to develop customer-driven and near-time solutions that are cost-effective, powerful, and expandable.
René Frei, Head of ICT, IWB
Based on Microsoft Azure, the specialists at Trivadis developed a cloud solution in which the extreme amount of data is stored and processed. The first productive IoT platform in Switzerland was created. In order to do justice to the different technical maturity of the existing data sources, the architecture of the platform is deliberately hybrid. On the one hand, IoT devices send their information to the Business Intelligence System using the push principle. On the other hand, a specially developed .NET data collector also connects sources from the existing infrastructure in the wind farm, whose data is tapped according to the pull principle. The configuration required for this can be generated automatically from Azure using power shell scripts. The visualisation of the data, such as the amount of electricity generated by a specific turbine or an entire wind farm, is carried out with Power BI and can also be accessed via mobile devices. Azure Stream Analytics allows information to be retrieved in real time.
With the IoT wind farm, IWB monitors the electricity production of your wind parks internationally and in real time with the aim of efficiently trading in electricity. The actual electricity production of the wind farm and single turbines can always be transparently tracked, and the Basel-based power supply company can intervene immediately in the event of any irregularities in its systems. With it, Trivadis won the Microsoft Cloud Platform Award 2016 and the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award 2016. The new IoT platform from IWB is designed so that it can be to be extended for additional application scenarios.
IWB supplies and networks its customers in the Basel region and beyond with energy, water and telecommunications services. IWB is a service provider for renewable energy and energy efficiency.