The forces currently pushing and pulling on the renewable energy marketplace are many and varied. Some-–like politics, geography, intermittency, and NIMBYism—work against the implementation of new solar and wind technologies. But in recent years, the forces working for broader adoption—rapidly falling cost, greater efficiency, sustainability, and growing concern for the environment—have gained prominence and are driving growth rates that exceed even the most optimistic predictions of a few years ago.
In 2021, wind and solar accounted for nearly 9% of the planet’s electricity generation and 12.2% of U.S. consumption. With 28.5GW of capacity added to the U.S. grid last year alone (12% more than the year before), growth rates in the industry are rising fast. Along with these growth rates, the need has increased for improved tools to operate and maintain all of this new generation, distribution, and storage infrastructure.
A new eBook from SparkCognition—AI for Renewable Energy: Building a More Sustainable World—explains all of these market forces in depth, including the operational challenges this evolving infrastructure requires and the role that SparkCognition Renewable Suite plays in enabling the renewable energy transition. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Renewable Suite is a comprehensive predictive maintenance system that enables renewable operators to deliver clean, reliable power while maintaining operational efficiency, profitability, and worker safety.
Increasing asset complexity
Renewable operators today face the challenge of not just delivering reliable power despite the intermittency of their fuel source, but doing so while owning and operating an increasingly complex mix of generation and storage assets. A typical operator now must simultaneously operate a fleet of solar fields, wind turbines, and battery energy storage systems (BESS), along with all the complex control and management systems necessary to keep a hybrid system operating seamlessly and safely.
AI and ML enable the use of algorithms like normal behavior modeling (NBM) to predict maintenance problems and early stage potential failures long before they actually occur, helping to ensure reliable and efficient power delivery.
The eBook describes several recent cases in which SparkCognition technology has been used to address operational challenges as diverse as identifying dirty solar panels, detecting improperly aligned wind turbines, identifying pitch bearings that are either defective or in need of maintenance, and providing early indications of energy storage systems with voltage mismatches or other performance problems.
SparkCognition’s team of renewable energy experts routinely speak with industry leaders and the eBook presents findings of recent survey questions concerning the greatest challenges facing the industry. An issue that comes up repeatedly is that of managing the vast quantity of performance data provided by wind turbine, solar panel, and storage system sensors. Machine learning-enabled NBM models are uniquely well equipped to solve this problem, and grow more accurate as they are provided with more data.
The benefits of an AI-powered performance management system contribute directly to ensuring the economical operation of a complex hybrid renewable generation portfolio.
- Increased revenue—Automated detection and alerting of underperforming or malfunctioning assets helps increase energy production and revenue.
- Fewer failures—Advanced early anomaly detection and predictive analytics ensure timely and effective maintenance.
- Optimized time—Analysts and technicians spend less time processing and managing data and more time working on solutions that increase equipment uptime and productivity.
- Better planning—Visibility into future spare parts needs and advanced planning of crane callouts help avoid unnecessary costs and inefficient use of staff time.
With the accelerating pace of industry growth, rising complexity of hybrid power generation sources, increasing pressure on profit margins, and shifting demographics of the workforce, renewable operators are challenged more than ever to make the most of their capital investments and highly-trained staff members. With SparkCognition’s AI-powered Renewable Suite, operators can simultaneously realize the vision of sustainable energy production while ensuring the profitability of their asset base and the safety of their workforce.
Learn more about SparkCognition’s renewable energy offerings in our new Renewable Suite eBook.
To schedule a conversation about how you can increase the efficiency and profitability of your renewable generation and storage fleet, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.