Starting with one wind farm, wind turbine and substation data were collected in a Fenway supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to begin sorting through datasets and identify why gaps were occurring. The Fenway data was then fed into an eDNA reporting system, a data management tool, but it could not be augmented or backfilled with important data missed during communication outages. As a result, the eDNA data was exported to Oracle, a different database management system, for data backfilling, post-processing and limited reporting. The Oracle data was used to generate monthly executive level and financial partner reporting, while eDNA was used to identify real-time wind farm data trends.
However, post-processed reporting from the Oracle system had considerable discrepancies with the real-time data captured in eDNA. Similar issues existed in various forms at all of the client’s wind farms.
1898 & Co. helped establish a streamlined database through an OSIsoft PI System environment and supported parts of data migration from eDNA over to the new software solution.
As part of the PI System implementation, we developed recommendations for build-out of the PI System Asset Framework (AF) for smoother integration of daily operations. AF templates were recommended to help drive standardization of naming conventions and to increase the ease of deploying any future holistic changes affecting the entire wind farm fleet. AF template recommendations also included analytical requirements necessary to meet the client’s wind turbine performance, interconnection and financial reporting standards.
1898 & Co. developed a web-based application to enable maintenance staff to update data in real time in the PI System from the field and place all relevant information from all seven sites into one streamlined digital application. Validation rules helped prevent the entry of invalid data, therefore preventing inaccurate reports.
Additional functionality was achieved through template creation to support multiple wind turbine manufacturers and the turbines’ attributes. This simplified updating data across hundreds of turbines.
Educating staff on how to use the integrated software solution was also a large part of the solution’s success. A training session was conducted with plant staff to answer any questions surrounding use of the software, as well as to address any concerns.
To implement necessary software changes, an agile software development method was used to efficiently design, develop and implement the preferred software solution. The primary objective of an agile software development methodology is to fulfill stakeholder interests and needs at the end of each phase of software implementation. Agile development in the form of scrum teams — comprising the product owner, business analysts, developers, quality assurance testers and a scrum master — provides a collaborative approach to software development and application delivery.