Wind farm operation and data analysis: Safe sharing of operating data with the Energy Data Space

Digitalization is on everyone’s lips. How can digitalization in the wind industry contribute to the improved competitive ability of renewable energies? One answer is the safe and uncomplicated sharing of wind turbine operating data. The Energy Data Space allows the wind industry to share operating data for data analysis and thus the targeted optimization of wind turbine operation with trustworthy data usage control.

Wind turbines generate an enormous quantity of data during operation, for example from the SCADA system. On the one hand, these system data are growing in relevance as they form the basis for the diagnosis and forecasting of wind turbine failures. On the other hand, methods expertise and the data required for the analysis are occasionally in different places. As such, before the data can be analyzed and the findings utilized to improve wind turbine operation, wind farm operators and data analysts need to join forces. How is that possible?

The experts involved in the EnDaSpace project have developed a solution: a digital ecosystem based on the reference architecture of the International Data Spaces (IDS) – the Energy Data Space (or EnDaSpace for short).

(German only)
Fraunhofer’s EnDaSpace PLATON project is focused primarily on establishing a required level of trust for the sharing of data, as this is indispensable for the processing of sensitive operating data. The EnDaSpace subproject involved the development of a demonstrator by the project consortium comprising the IEE, IOSB-AST, IOSB-INA, ISST and IWES Fraunhofer institutes, which permits the safe sharing of turbine data such as wind speed and power time series from the SCADA system as well as their analysis via connected digital services. The IDS architecture offers a range of advantages, including:

  • Decentralized approach
    The communication between data providers and data users occurs directly in the Energy Data Space via the IDS connectors set up at their premises using signed and encrypted messages. The data can be provided and requested via this interface. This decentrally organized system makes it possible for data providers to control who may use their data.
  • Sending of conditions of use
    The attachment of the conditions of use to the requested data additionally allows the data providers to determine how their data may be used.
  • Integration of additional IDS components
    Alongside the connector, the IDS also offers additional components which simplify data exchange and could also contribute to the development of data-based business models in the future.

With this project, we have been able to show that the Energy Data Space is suitable for use in practice and thereby demonstrate its viability. In order to put the Energy Data Space through its paces, we adapted the open-source IDS connector provided by the Fraunhofer ISST at Fraunhofer IWES and made selected operating data from the 8 MW wind turbine at the Bremerhaven site available via the connector. In addition, the institutes involved made digital services and applications such as a FIWARE platform and applications for the analysis of SCADA data available, which were integrated in the Energy Data Space. This made it possible to couple the production of green hydrogen with energy production in the project and run anomaly detection. Yet another application in the Energy Data Space is the time-series based post-construction analysis, a method developed by the scientists at the IWES and allowing calculation of the expected yield of a wind farm following its completion. The integration of the applications in the Energy Data Space shows clearly that data sharing is not a one-way street. In future, there are also plans to integrate the results returned from the analyses and thus generate a direct added value for data providers.

This project exclusively employed SCADA data. However, the operation of wind turbines generates an enormous quantity of additional data such as invoice and maintenance data, which can also be analyzed to optimize the operation of wind turbines even further. The plan is to use the Energy Data Space for these data in the future too.

At the IWES, we are already focusing on the future of the Energy Data Space and are ready to take the next step: increasing the interoperability of data. The IWES is planning to effect this together with a project consortium in the scope of a data trust model. In this process, the data flow between the data providers and users is bundled by the data trustee, thus removing further barriers to data exchange.


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