Digitalisation Will Empower Wind Owner-operators In India; Can Solve Reliability Issues

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Independent power producers (IPPs), in the Indian wind industry, need to embrace digitalization to enable their decision-making with O&M technology that is independent, reliable, strategic, and strategically-driven says ONYX Insight. ONYX Insight is a global data analytics and engineering consulting firm for the wind industry. It has offices throughout APAC.

India’s industry has been limited by a constant focus on acquiring assets that are covered by maintenance packages. Research shows that O&M costs account to 60% of wind farm operating costs. In India, the average O&M cost is much higher. Many owner-operators, instead of having the ability to manage their O&M workflows themselves, rely on OEM maintenance obligations that are often inconsistent to maintain asset longevity.

India’s OEM service isn’t always reliable. This is compounded by low spare parts availability and lack of asset health insight. The result is a wind industry that is underserviced and inefficient. IPPs are now looking for alternatives to gain independence and develop their own operations, maintenance strategies and business models.

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Sharath Prabhakaran is the Business Development Manager at ONYX Insight in India. “Digitalisation” is the alternative. A lack of digital technology can hinder an operator’s ability deal with a variety of problems. Minor faults can become more serious if they are not detected quickly. This can lead to catastrophic failures later on. Problems should be addressed only when they are most critical. Clunky case management systems that are trapped between data silos create additional barriers to efficiency.

Access to data is the greatest barrier to digital innovation according to 62 percent of stakeholders in the wind industry. Operators can harness digital solutions and take control of their maintenance to reduce downtime for up to 10 year and to reduce their levelized cost of energy by as much as 12 percent.

Digital solutions allow fleet-wide asset condition monitoring and predictive maintenance to take place. It is possible to streamline workflows to assign severity and priority to individual cases, and allow for smoother communication between service teams.

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There is so much potential that Indian IPPs can tap into. They must use their prior learning and put their best foot forward to avoid making the same mistakes as the global community and India on the journey to full-fledged renewable energy reliance. A forward-looking investment in technology can accelerate India’s growth to levels comparable to those seen on the international stage.

Sharath says “Condition monitoring solutions such as ecoCMS provide asset analytics to help identify specific issues and allow for the right maintenance solutions being implemented, at the correct time.” Combining this with fleet management software such as AI HUB makes it much easier to schedule inspections and replacement operations when the wind is low, to minimize production losses and maximize profitability.

India’s growing wind industry can use digital solutions to empower itself and increase its returns. Digitalization can put the “I” back in ‘IPP”.

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