WindESCo is a wind turbine optimization company, helping IPPs and owner/ operators increase the annual energy production of their wind assets. The company provides the actions needed to improve the performance of wind turbines to owners who are self-maintaining their assets and to OEMs and ISVs when assets are under service contracts. WindESCo is wind subject matter experts, using a variety of technologies, always with human oversight to reduce false positives, to provide the specific actions needed to bring a wind turbine back to its rated power or to optimize power based on when it’s needed. They do this for wind turbines both on and offshore primarily in Europe, the US and China.
Interview with Martin Rath, Director of EMEA Wind Operations at Windesco, Inc.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Martin Rath: We have a cloud-based solution, called Find, Fix and Measure (FFM) that will optimize individual wind turbines using only the SCADA or operational data from the wind turbine. No additional hardware, like LIDAR or sensors, are needed. We’ve optimized 58 different wind turbine models from 19 OEMs to achieve 1-2% AEP improvement in turbine performance. What is unique is that we analyze high resolution, 1-30 second resolution SCADA to find anomalies that are hidden in 10 minute averages, including yaw misalignment. Today, we run 66 different analytic checks on our customer’s SCADA to uncover performance anomalies affecting performance.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
M.R: We have partnered with ABB to add converter and generator anomaly detection to our solutions so our customers can identify electrical subcomponents showing abnormal behaviours and need to be checked or replaced prior to catastrophic failure. We are expanding our core solutions now to cover both mechanical and electrical components depending on the needs of our customers. And, we are meeting now with our customers and prospects globally to understand exactly what kind of electrical failures they are experiencing and is of top priority.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
M.R: We have a cloud-based health monitoring and performance optimization software solution today that is operational globally, easily deployed, that increases AEP and reduces unplanned events. We also have solutions for collective control of a wind farm aimed at reducing production losses due to wake interference from neighbouring wind turbines or wind farms. Called SWARM, we provide the first wake steering application available commercially at scale for both on and offshore wind sites.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
M.R: We address wind turbine underperformance in all stages of a wind farm operation where performance is lower than expected. Underperformance may be due to many root causes and are often hidden to customer operational teams but are clear when measuring comprehensive annual performance to meet business goals. We also address post-commissioning of wind turbines to make sure new assets are optimized for post-warranty discussions with OEMs.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
M.R: Because of the rising cost of wind assets, many customers need to extend the life of their existing assets by gaining early visibility into the anomalies that affect performance and eventually lead to early component failure. However, as portfolios expand, it’s very hard to know which assets and which farms are underperforming, how to prioritize, and what exactly to do about it. Our solutions uncover performance anomalies across a portfolio, provide recommended actions to take, and then measure corrections impact. Also, as operational experts leave to take new roles, we can capture the internal expertise of key employees and apply those learnings across a fleet of wind turbines by building custom checks.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
M.R: Swarm, or collective control, of a wind site is new to the world. Our first application of Swarm is for reducing wake interference between turbines and between wind farms. Swarm uses an IoT layer to allow turbines to communicate and learn from each for collective yaw and wake steering. Customers can add their own applications on the Swarm platform for foundation monitoring, to build resiliency due to climate change, for sensor integration and more. Swarm testbeds are now available in the US and in France.
E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2023?
M.R: We expect our customers and prospects to remain very focused on the profitability of their wind assets, to meet their business plan goals and to make existing assets as valuable as possible. They are turning to specialized services like WindESCo, as a trusted third party, to give them the information and knowledge they need to protect themselves and to better negotiate with their OEMs and suppliers.