The Challenge

Windmill farms must be optimized for the greatest power output and return on investment. They must also take into account maintenance needs, warranties and a range of performance issues. A managed service provider (MSP) faced this challenge in optimizing the “Smart Wind Farm” solution it provided to its key customer — one of the largest energy suppliers in the U.S. The MSP wanted to provide an asset optimization solution for monitoring windmill farms from a central location so predictive maintenance, performance optimization and failure prediction would be simplified. The solution also had to help the energy supplier reduce overall downtime and optimize wind farm operations.

The Solution

Using the DAC Development Environment, the MSP delivered a Smart Wind Farm solution to its customer, providing all required functionality in a unified environment. DAC was deployed to manage a fleet of wind farms, the turbines within the farms, the parts and components of the turbines, and the maintenance teams assigned to repair them. The employees in different departments, such as engineering and maintenance, share the Smart Wind Farm solution. By using DAC’s pre-defined connectors, they have the ability to see a holistic view of the data in one place without having to extract, translate and load data from multiple sources. The Smart Wind Farm easily merged the structured and non-structured data from numerous sources including an Historian system, an enterprise asset management system, asset detail repository, Google maps, weather widgets and various manuals.

The Results

Through the combined deployment of the solution provider’s managed services and the Decisyon App Composer platform, the energy supplier expects to achieve a $10 million ROI from a single wind farm over the span of five years. During the planned rollout to all 17 wind farms in the next few years, the financial benefits are expected to grow at least tenfold by reducing downtime and saving money and resources through optimized operations.

Details on the anticipated ROI:

  • Reduced Downtime: The MSP and DAC Smart Wind Farm Application will increase the energy supplier’s revenue significantly over five years by preventing lost revenue caused by the wind farm downtime — saving roughly $1.25 million in gross margin per wind farm. In addition, a five percent improvement in revenue per windfarm is projected from optimized turbine performance by increasing preventive maintenance and decreasing corrective maintenance.
  • Optimized Operations: The MSP and DAC Smart Wind Farm Application will realize significant savings over five years — a 20 percent cost reduction per wind farm resulting from lower inventory and labor costs and increased maintenance efficiency. The customer predicts a 10 percent improvement per wind farm through warehousing and logistics optimization.

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