Second Wind, Looking to Boost Wind Farm Productivity, Logs Millionth Hour of Data Captured on Which Way the Wind Blows
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transmitted via satellite every 10 minutes to Second Wind’s software interface, SkyServe, which graphs the site data and enables customers to manage multiple locations.
“As long as you know what the wind is doing, you can tune your operation in the way that you set up your blades to get the most energy and the safest operation,” Letteney says.
The data collected by the Triton can also help customers prevent the damage to their devices that often occurs as a result of wind shears, which results when the speed of wind varies at different heights. The shear can cause turbine blades to spin at different speeds at different heights, putting stress on the device, and damaging its gearbox, Letteney says. The Triton, which costs $50,000 including one year of SkyServe support, allows customers to forecast when the shears are on their way, and adjust settings to prevent damage. “When you don’t know, you stick your finger up and put on some average setting,” he says.
In the last 14 months or so, Second Wind has added about 20 employees, making its work force around 60-strong. The Triton is also evolving to incorporate more data management and alert capabilities into its services. Last week the company announced a partnership with Canadian firm Mistaya Engineering, in which it will integrate Mistaya’s analysis software into its SkyServe technology. Mistaya allows users to plot wind data and predict turbine performance, adding another layer of visual analytics to Second Wind’s monitoring system. Second Wind is also in the process of developing an alert system that could send notifications of upcoming wind abnormalities, like shears or drafts, straight to users’ BlackBerry phones, Letteney says.
“We want to work with really smart customers, to share ideas on how you can take these sensors, measure the wind, and use that information to make money or save money,” he says.