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Plant Diagnostic Services

UL – a globally respected, independent third party – offers in-depth performance diagnostics and reporting for your renewable energy facilities.

Employee inspecting solar panels

Expert diagnostic services for your renewables plant

Wind and solar plants generate massive amounts of data – which, if utilized properly, can provide significant insight for potential improvement of operational performance. Plant operators benefit from advanced metrics and performance monitoring to identify unexpected developments and behaviors on the wind farm. UL provides this periodic performance reporting from an independent perspective.

Plant Diagnostic and optimization report (PDOR)

The main drivers for underperformance issues occurring in a wind or solar project can be detected with the analysis of the SCADA data. The PDOR includes an in-depth analysis and comprehensive visualization of key sensor measurements and operating parameters reported in the SCADA data. To identify issues in asset performance or reliability, comparative analysis of individual asset operation and performance within a plant or against expectations are evaluated using anomaly detection, outlier detection and trend analysis. By identifying such developments in early stages, it is possible to apply low-cost corrective actions that significantly reduce maintenance costs and turbine downtime. The PDOR also includes a comprehensive overview, summarizing the findings and specific recommendations for each of the problems detected in order to address them. Typical SCADA signals that are evaluated can include:

  • Electrical (voltages, currents, active and reactive power)
  • Mechanical (nacelle position, yaw error, blade pitch angle, generator and rotor speed)
  • Thermal (gearbox, bearings, oil, generator and ambient)
  • Performance (Tip-speed-ratio, Coefficient of power and derating)

Monthly performance reports (MPRs)

MPRs target the delivery of independent information about the performance of the wind farm and the development of key performance indicators (KPIs) throughout the life of the wind farm or solar plant. The reports deliver insights on production and availability of the wind farm, provide reasons for loss of power generation and identify wind turbines exhibiting abnormal behavior. MPRs are independent from analyses provided by turbine manufacturers and operators, thereby giving owners and investors reliable third-party advice for the assessment of the investment and a solid basis for decision making. The report contains as a standard:

  • Power generation and comparison to expected production
  • Availability assessment (energy and time based)
  • Detailed assessment of downtime and lost energy
  • Wind resource based on the nacelle anemometer
  • Identification of outliers in behavior of performance as pre-indicator
  • Performance KPIs by turbine
  • Correlation between wind turbine production and its development along the operation of the wind farm

MPR’s are based on the 10-minute (or higher-resolution) SCADA data and alarm logs of all turbines. The report can be extended and customized by including additional data sources such as met masts, revenue meters, service records, work orders and balance of plant (BOP) registers according to the specific needs of each customer.

Plant-level monthly wind speed and anomaly time series

Knowing the performance of the wind can help you understand the performance of your wind farm. To understand the wind at specific sites, we offer plant-level, historical, monthly average wind resource information derived from maps and global reanalysis data, on a one-time or subscription basis, updated within seven days of the end of each month. These custom datasets are based on a combination of three reanalysis data sources – ERA Interim, MERRA and CFSR – which allows for rapid, reliable updates of wind conditions around the globe. Anomalies are defined as the percent deviation in speed relative to the historical average speed for the given calendar month, quarter or year.

This product can be used in a number of applications, including:

  • Providing a reference for measure-correlate-predict for operating wind plants, to extrapolate short-term performance to long-term conditions
  • Tracking performance of wind plants against expectations
  • Identifying deviations against preconstruction budgets
  • Assessing portfolio diversity benefits for multiple wind projects in different regions
  • Studies of wind climate trends and variability
Wind anomaly map of project sites
Wind anomaly map of project sites

Other supported standards and requirements:

  • UL 6141, the Standard for Wind Turbines Permitting Entry of Personnel
  • UL 6142, the Standard for Small Wind Turbine Systems
  • Japan: JSWTA0001 (small WT)
  • UK: IEC 61400-2, MCS (small WT)
  • German type approval (DiBT)
  • Korean type approval (KEA Scheme)
  • IECRE

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