With the expanded utilization of renewables, changing customer demands, and sustainability concerns, digitalization has become the single greatest empowering agent of this shifting transformation. This is why digital transformation in the renewable energy sector has picked up immense space in the last few years, with many companies adopting emerging technologies across IoT, cloud, analytics, digital twin, and others. These technologies are helping companies build (and manage) smart grids, optimize production (and costs), and meet the growing energy needs of the world – while curbing wastes all along the way.
Digital twin in energy
Digital twin technology is completely changing how energy is produced, managed, and distributed. By providing a ‘digital twin’ version of the physical power plant that monitors every asset, the technology is offering energy companies with critical insights to improve operational performance – from a service and maintenance perspective. It is helping energy companies become more agile at managing production (and supply), resulting in improvements in both distribution and management of energy – which also translates into efficient end-user consumption.
Because digital twin continuously updates data gathered from multiple sources, it does a great job in representing the real-time status, working condition, or position of energy assets. They make use of advanced analytics capabilities to generate insights and turn them into action for optimized asset performance. The ability of the technology to help in business decision-making based on real-time data analytics is helping energy companies to build competitive advantage.
Listed below are some benefits that digital twin brings to the renewable energy sector:
Provide end-to-end insight into energy portfolio:
Digital twin offers a one-stop overview of the entire energy portfolio and provides critical insights related to portfolio and assets. Energy companies can receive important alerts, resolve issues with respect to SLAs, and subscribe to insights related to power plant operations. They can also compare operations across multiple plants and take decisions to improve energy production and management.
Drive effective health assessment:
Based on the information gathered from IoT sensors, a digital twin can provide insight into the long-term health degradation of OEM devices. By analyzing health information of all critical components, they can predict their health, spot issues, and prioritize inspection checks. They can also help understand the behavior of the different components, compare it within the portfolio, and optimize asset health using modern health enhancement techniques.
Deliver real-time performance insights:
A digital twin is capable of performing real-time performance benchmarking of energy plants and its assets. Such benchmarking can help companies create custom KPIs and track custom performance metrics. They can get visibility into the entire power plant performance and also choose to receive performance-related notifications.
Help curb energy loss:
For energy companies, any energy wastage or leak can result in substantial revenue losses. Digital twin can help summarize energy dissipation across the plant and assets – providing deep visibility into energy loss of the plant at a single glance. Energy companies can get a detailed breakdown of each loss component and benchmark losses against budgeted values. It can also discover energy losses that are recoverable and enhance energy gains in the long run.
Optimize inventory management:
Digital twin captures a digital replica of solar grids and provides up-to-date information about solar plant assets. It maintains a real-time log of solar plant topology and links them to the SCADA system to map correct assets with the correct data. Such mapping helps in optimizing plant configuration as well as in streamlining inventory management for better energy generation and management.
Proactively discover events:
Given the far-reaching impact unplanned events can have on energy production, digital twin offers the capability of proactively discovering events across the energy portfolio. In addition, it can help create and manage custom events related to asset status /milestones /performance /health and assign events to raise tickets to effectively manage SLA. Plant managers can get notifications on email and mobile phone and carry out event analytics to determine future optimization routes.
Choose Apollo as your energy analytics solution
A digital twin-based analytics engine, Apollo meets the energy optimization needs of the renewables sector. It offers real-time updates on plant conditions, so better-informed decisions can be made on whether pre-set benchmarks can be reached or if adjustments are required. It is interoperable, proven flexible, and easily configurable – so you can meet your energy needs with ease.
When integrated with SCADA, it can deliver features such as benchmarking, root cause analysis for failures, intra-day power prediction, and performance forecasting, among others. With Apollo, you can spot faulty areas, improve production processes, and establish efficient and effective supply and delivery chains. You can also predict maintenance issues, improve asset lifetime, track where assets are located (or how they are functioning), reduce downtime, and enhance the performance of your plants and its assets.
If you’re looking to optimize your energy assets and portfolio, benchmark asset performance, streamline operation and maintenance, increase yield and improve your plant’s performance, choosing Apollo as your energy analytics solution can help you achieve all this and more. Get in touch with us today to learn how our patented digital twin technology can help your organization grow faster and operate smarter.
After successful 5 years stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 19 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.