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Emerson and Vayu partnership employs machine learning to optimise wind farm energy production

Emerson has teamed up with wind energy optimisation experts Vayu to maximise clean energy output and revenue for wind farm operators using machine learning. The partnership combines Emerson’s automation expertise with Vayu’s cloud-computing technology to enable wind turbines to work collaboratively and more efficiently. PIF investigates what this alliance could mean for the renewable energy sector.

Vayu identifies $500 million opportunity for renewable energy sector

Emerson has formed an alliance with Vayu to provide automation technology solutions for wind farm energy optimisation in the Americas, Caribbean and Europe. The three-year collaboration combines the advanced power applications and networking capabilities of Emerson’s Ovation automation platform with Vayu’s cloud-computing wind energy optimisation technology.

Vayu is a cloud-computing optimisation service that can significantly increase wind farm energy production using machine learning principles. It applies physics-based algorithms against unpredictable wind data, locally and globally, to identify cooperative action among multiple wind turbines, diminishing risk from turbulence while increasing power production.

Using this approach, Vayu has identified more than $500 million in revenue opportunities for the renewable energy industry from just a fraction of the approximately 450 wind farms based in the United States.

“Combining the respective strengths of Emerson and Vayu creates a first-of-its-kind, intelligent solution for wind farm optimisation,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson’s power and water business. “This initiative will help wind energy producers maximise their aggregate power output, achieve their financial objectives and deliver more clean power to their communities.”

Growth of wind power boosts renewable energy markets

The wind power segment of the renewable energy market continues to grow, with 53.9 gigawatts added in 2018. That brings the overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide to 600 gigawatts, according to the World Wind Energy Association. The United States – the second-largest wind power market – added 7.6 gigawatts of capacity last year.

Beyond the additional revenue from megawatt production, the advanced solution from Vayu and Emerson can also help U.S. wind farm owners to take advantage of federal production tax credits that are awarded to vendors in the renewable energy industry for increasing the electricity output of their existing wind turbines.

“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,” said Vayu CEO Jim Kiles.

Helping the U.S. renewable energy sector to extract maximum energy from wind

In traditional wind farms, each turbine is individually optimised. Each creates its own turbulence, or wake, which prevents downwind turbines from receiving full energy from the wind stream, significantly reducing wind energy production. Vayu estimates that as many as two-thirds of U.S. wind farms experience reduced capacity due to wind wake.

Emerson and Vayu’s solution leverages key data and machine learning to enable turbines to work more cooperatively. By adjusting the side-to-side movement of each turbine based on wind speed, wind direction and other parameters, wind farm operators in the U.S. renewable energy sector can extract the optimum energy from wind.

Emerson’s Ovation compact controller communicates 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. This near-real-time data enables a more accurate calculation of the optimum setting for each turbine.

Ovation compact control technology was designed specifically for the renewable energy industry and other highly distributed energy applications. It can easily interface with any turbine controller – regardless of the manufacturer – eliminating the significant time and expense associated with removing and replacing existing turbine controls.

For more information, visit www.emerson.com.

Company Profile

Emerson Automation Solutions

Emerson Automation Solutions is the automation innovator with the depth of expertise and breadth of technologies to take on our customers’ toughest challenges and bring predictable success anytime, anywhere.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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