United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Reducing the dispute -- SCADA sophistication

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Further sophistication has been added to a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for wind farms developed by UK consultants Garrad Hassan and Partners. The beefed-up SCADA system aims to remove much of the need for extensive data analysis by presenting information in processed form. This will speed up the preparation of reports for warranty purposes and for financial monitoring, says Garrad Hassan.

The company claims the system can be used with turbines from any manufacturer, including wind farms with a mixture of machine types. One potentially useful facility is the ability to produce validated comparisons of actual to expected energy and revenue output using wind farm power curves produced by the company. Apart from monitoring sensors on the turbines, the system is able to assimilate information from the wind farm electrical system for monitoring and control purposes. It may also, at a later date, absorb condition monitoring data, for inclusion in operation and maintenance reports and for preventative maintenance needs.

Power curves may be created for any period selected by the user and there are facilities for specifying whether binned or scatter data are used. As corrections for air density and, if needed, for nacelle anemometer readings can be made, this should enable power curves to be generated more or less automatically, removing a possible source of dispute between purchaser and turbines supplier.

Equally important is the monitoring of energy production. The actual, expected and planned production for individual turbines, groups of turbines or the whole wind farm can be reported for any specified time period. This can include energy loss during periods of downtime -- another important issue in connection with performance warranties. Garrad Hassan stresses that industry standards for power curve calculations, for availability and for other parameters are used wherever appropriate.

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