The asset management challenges presented by the ever-growing volume of dispersed data in renewable and storage assets are substantial. Traditional data management strategies simply can’t keep pace with the data intensity required to get optimal performance out of renewable and storage assets.
Even more, fragmentation of data caused by siloed systems is leading asset management teams to spend most of their time manually collecting and harmonizing data across assets. This leaves little time for analyzing, sharing, and acting upon that data.
In this second article of our 3-part series, we examine data management, the third of five common asset management challenges.
These challenges include:
Issue Identification and Prioritization
Technical and Financial Reporting
Our first part examined the challenges of Issue Identification and Prioritization, and Maintenance Planning. In this article, we will discuss Data Management.
Challenge: Data Management
In recent years, we’ve often seen asset performance management teams spending almost half of their time on data collection. It's highly time-consuming and error-prone work for dedicated resources to manually collect, clean, prepare, and harmonize data across assets just so it can be examined in one place. We tend to see almost a third of teams' time spent analyzing that data, looking for patterns and anomalies that can be acted on to improve asset performance. That leaves very little time for sharing data analysis findings to mobilize action and even less to act on the issues that have been discovered. This is nowhere near enough to make meaningful improvements to asset performance, leaving assets performing sub-optimally.
Traditional Time Allocation for Data Management
A typical wind turbine produces thousands of data points per minute. For a portfolio of 10 farms and an average of 50 turbines per farm, that can easily translate to millions of data points per minute. Complex storage assets can produce ten-fold that number of data points per minute. This volume is, in part, why the collection, integration, and management of renewables and storage performance data can be so time-consuming. The team members needed to execute that manual work, however, require specialized knowledge and, in turn, are often expensive. As teams look to scale their portfolios of renewables and storage assets, this manual work often means they end up scaling resources linearly with asset size.
Disparate Assets and Technologies Limit Scalability
What’s more, these scaling portfolios are often increasingly diverse, with a variety of technology types, OEMs, OEM SCADA systems, and O&M service providers involved. When data is spread across solar, wind, hydroelectric, and storage assets, made by different manufacturers, located in different geographies, asset managers end up with data siloed into the SCADA systems set up for each asset, or at best each location. This further adds to the complexity of data coming off of one portfolio’s assets and increases the time and complexity of manually gathering and integrating data across all sites.
Accessing data trends over time requires manual analyses querying large data, which takes time and leaves room for data translation error and increases risk of relying on institutional knowledge. Simply obtaining log-in details for different systems can be cumbersome and time-consuming, let alone finding the relevant data in each system. This fragmentation makes it virtually impossible to get a holistic understanding of portfolio performance, make informed decisions, and operate effectively.
Some asset performance management teams are taking a different route. They are turning to a centralized platform where data from various SCADA systems can be collated, extracted, and stored. They are leveraging automated, reliable, and actionable analysis that doesn’t drain the time of team members and enables on-site technicians to work proactively.
Nispera’s Data Harmonization Capabilities Help Clear Data Management Hurdles
Fluence Nispera™ is a next generation asset performance management tool that allows asset managers to reduce the amount of time spent on gathering, harmonizing, and analyzing the data so they can spend more time acting on data insights to grow their portfolios and to drive value across them. The harmonized data is then represented in intuitive dashboards that show real-time and historical, high-level and detailed views of asset and portfolio performance over any specific time period.
Improved Time Allocation for Data Management
Automated Data Harmonization
Nispera automates data cleaning and integration across asset types (solar, wind, hydro, and storage), sources, and technology providers. This means asset owners and operators can scale large and diverse portfolios of renewables and storage assets without scaling resources to manage manual data collection and analysis. It also significantly reduces risk of human error in these processes.
Nispera brings together both historical data and a steady flow of near real-time data into a single pane of glass, providing historical asset data as far back as commissioning and to-the-minute insights into asset component performance. AI-based modules, such as Predictive Maintenance Alerts, use both datasets to spotlight anomalous behavior before it hampers power output.
Optimal asset performance management goes beyond just tracking performance data. By integrating data from multiple external sources, Nispera enables customers to see and automatically analyze deeper performance trends and relate them to financial, market, weather, and O&M insights.
With mounting cybersecurity threats to renewable and storage assets, Nispera incorporates best-in-class cybersecurity practices in data management with secure storage in a European data center. Nispera’s API provides a secure path for clients to access their data via third-party applications.
The future of data management in the renewable energy sector is clear: asset managers need a more efficient, secure, and insightful approach to data management across asset portfolios. Nispera's data harmonization feature offers asset management teams a way forward.
By providing a centralized platform that collates and organizes data from various sources, Nispera empowers asset managers and on-site technicians to spend more time on strategic actions and less on wrangling data. With enhanced visibility, configurable dashboards, historical and real-time data, and improved cybersecurity, Nispera not only simplifies data management but also significantly enhances the effectiveness of asset management teams.
Want to spend less time managing data and more time acting on it?