Emerson has formed an alliance with Vayu, a Ystrategies company, to offer automation technology solutions for wind farm energy optimization in the Americas, Caribbean and Europe.
Emerson said that it has agreed for a three-year collaboration that combines the advanced power applications and networking capabilities of its Ovation automation platform with Vayu’s cloud-computing wind energy optimization technology.
Using the approach of combining the individual capabilities, Vayu has assessed more than $500m in revenue opportunities from just a fraction of the approximately 450 wind farms in the United States.
Emerson power and water business president Bob Yeager said: “Combining the respective strengths of Emerson and Vayu creates a first-of-its-kind, intelligent solution for wind farm optimization. This initiative will help wind energy producers maximize their aggregate power output, achieve their financial objectives and deliver more clean power to their communities.”
According to the World Wind Energy Association, the wind power market continues to grow, bringing the overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide to 600GW. The US was the second-largest wind power market in 2018, adding 7.6GW of capacity.
Apart from the additional revenue generated from renewable energy production, the advanced solutions from Vayu and Emerson are also expected to help US wind farm owners take advantage of federal production tax credits awarded for increasing electricity output of existing wind turbines.
Vayu CEO Jim Kiles said: “Instead of embarking on full-scale repowering projects that can cost millions, wind farm owners can make a small investment in this integrated solution to boost power production and qualify for the tax credit.”
Emerson said that in traditional wind farms, each turbine is individually optimized where each turbine creates its own turbulence, or wake, which prevents downwind turbines from receiving full energy from the wind stream.
Vayu estimates that two-thirds of wind farms in the US experience reduced capacity due to wind wake, and solutions from Emerson and Vayu is set to leverage key data and machine learning to enable turbines to work cooperatively, adjusting the side-to-side movement of each turbine based on wind speed, direction and other parameters to extract the optimum energy from wind.
Emerson’s Ovation compact controller is expected to communicate data from each turbine’s wind sensor to the Vayu system every 1-2 seconds, much faster than the 10 minutes typically required to perform this function when using traditional equipment. As a result, the near-real-time data generated allows a more accurate calculation of the optimum setting for each turbine.