Wind Energy System Data Collection and Storage
Fenway Systems, a leading provider of integrated solutions to the wind and solar energy industries, provides advanced onsite turbine and wind farm controls that deliver robust real-time monitoring and control capabilities. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Fenway’s advanced automation and reporting systems are currently used to operate 7,000 wind turbines, totaling more the 2 gigawatts of generating capacity globally.
Fenway’s advanced solutions can be customized for turbine and equipment manufacturers’ specific operating needs, which for a recent installation of more than 60 wind towers located in the Midwest, included the need for speed. Speed of data communications and effectiveness and power of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) management.
“In our applications, the data messages tend to be fairly short—usually 10-100 bytes—so the efficiency for short messages is very important,” says Joe Pasquariello President at Fenway.
To ensure efficient data acquisition and storage for these wind turbines, Fenway utilizes the DeviceMaster RTS VDC from Comtrol.
“Through first testing a few different products, I determined that the throughput efficiency of most Ethernet/serial devices is much lower than in Comtrol RTS products—particularly for short messages.”
– Joe Pasquariello
, Fenway Systems
Each wind turbine contains two DeviceMasters—the first of which gathers the data off of the controller. The second DeviceMaster works in conjunction with an electric meter that measures the amount of electricity the tower is generating. With this system, the wind turbines can communicate at high speeds, allowing sufficient responsiveness throughout the network.
“The wind turbine itself has a small computer in it that functions as a controller, gathering several data points, such as wind speed,” said Chuck Griggs, senior sales representative at Comtrol.” The data comes out of that controller as serial data, but the Fenway software requires it to be in the form of Ethernet network data. The DeviceMaster provides the bridge for this transaction.”
“The DeviceMasters allow data collection for operational records as well as observation of individual tower operation from any office of the wind farm owner, allowing appropriate, immediate decision-making,” Pasquariello said.
The robust DeviceMaster functions in a wide range of temperatures—from -37° to 74° degrees Celsius—and withstands additional harsh environmental obstacles, which can be common in electricity generation applications.
This installation of 60 wind towers joins over 600 wind towers that are currently in operation or under construction with the DeviceMaster.
To learn more about Fenway Systems, visit www.fenway.com