Digital Solutions for the Energy Transition
Wind turbines are expected to play a key role in providing a reliable source of energy across Germany. Software is an important component in that process.10 Apr 2017
Ever since the decision to pursue the energy transition was first announced, companies have been working feverishly to create innovative solutions. Producing energy from renewable resources is in many cases no easy task. Wind turbines are expected to cover a broad range of terrain, including spots with sub-optimal wind levels. To allow power to be transported from offshore farms in the North Sea to far-away destinations, new networks and good network connections are needed. Companies are thus investing heavily in new technologies that can be used to harmonize the different turbines and farms with one another.
A focus on software development
One company to recognize this clearly is General Electric, best known for its history as a giant of machine production. Its GE Power AG division has shifted the focus to current challenges, describing itself as a "digital industrial firm." Its portfolio includes both onshore and offshore wind farms as well as a trove of new software. "The digitization of the energy economy is making the stable deployment of assets from the entire system more efficient – from power production using different energy sources to transport and storage and on to consumption," says Alf Henryk Wulf, Chairman of the Board at GE Power AG
Data analysis to make facilities more efficient
Industry 4.0 seeks to give machines the ability to analyze. That future has already arrived for wind turbines from GE. They analyze a variety of data, boosting the performance of the wind park and improving its maintenance productivity. Parks work more efficiently and productively. The company's model project was established in Kiel: a flexible power plant that has grown to handle the site's particular weather challenges and which can compensate for energy fluctuations between storm conditions and a complete lack of wind. The turbines are supported through individually controllable gas motors from GE.
Development platform for the Internet of Things
One open platform for the digital transformation of the industrial internet comes courtesy of GE's Predix operating system. Such a platform must support the networking of all potential devices and equipment, from wind turbines to processing facilities. And not just for GE applications. "In 2016 we opened the software platform for external users. It is now being used by over 23,000 developers worldwide," says Alf Henryk Wulf. More than 100 applications have been developed to date. Their self-selected goal: 100,000 developers by 2020 – and ascension to 'standard' status thanks to the open approach.
Facts and Figures on the Energy Transformation – in Real Time
Wind power facilities are part of the energy market of tomorrow. How much energy has been consumed to date? What percentage of that comes from renewable resources? And how much solar energy reaches the earth today? Answers to these and other questions can be found in the real-time info graphic for the new world of energy .
Energy , the leading international trade fair for integrated energy systems and mobility staged under the umbrella of HANNOVER MESSE in Hannover, Germany, will treat attendees to a broad spectrum of forums, congresses and special events on the topic of energy and the energy transition. GE Power will be presenting its Predix operating system at Stand 50D in Hall 12.
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