wind farm communication systems

Is the communication system of your wind farm sufficiently robust? The communication system is one of the most important systems of your wind farm. It is both necessary to properly operate the asset and ensure continuous security and safety.

Communication system troubles? 

The communication system is a feature that is often overlooked and compromised on wind farm sites, but this should not be the case. This has become increasingly evident with the recent pandemic and we could start to see this happen more and more. These issues can stem from the internal part of the site, such as fiber optic cables, firewall and UPS devices, or they can be caused by external parts of the site, like landline connection or internet provider issues.

Consequences of communication system troubles? 

Communication issues can induce significant problems for your wind farm, including operation dysfunction. Both the operator and O&M provider are unable  to monitor the wind turbines without a proper system running correctly. If there are issues in the communication system of the wind farm, alarms and alerts cannot be detected. In the case of wind turbine downtime, for instance, the O&M will not take responsibility and the downtime event will not be counted under the contractual availability. The losses will be directly under the operator/owner responsibility.

Secondly, the operating regulatory cannot be respected, and induces security and safety issues. For example, in France, according to article 23 of the ICPE decree, in case of defects (fire and overspeed), the turbine must be stopped within 60 minutes after default detection and the operator must alert emergency services within 15 minutes. This regulatory procedure becomes impossible if there is a communication system fault. The consequences are therefore detrimental and again highlight the importance of having a robust communication system.

 

communication between teams is key

Communication system resolutions?

To avoid issues on the internal part, Greensolver recommends ensuring the maintenance of devices. This includes regularly checking the state of equipment in the SCADA room and trying to anticipate troubles on the fiber optic cables.

For the external part, Greensolver recommends installing a backup system. This is to ensure communication system continuity when the land line and/or internet access are in default. This backup system should use a 3G/4G connection, be capable of managing several telecommunication operators and compatible with the use of a static IP address.

 How can Greensolver help?

Greensolver, as technical advisor and asset management experts, can assist and provide you  with the best solution to ensure the good work of the communication system and improve the reliability of your asset. 

 

Written by David Roisse, Senior Asset Manager