The world’s wind turbines are registering more than 400 billion individual data points every year

1 May 2020

The world’s 650+GW capacity of onshore and offshore wind power is now also generating more than 400 billion points of data every year, according to research into ‘big data’ in the wind industry by Greenbyte AB. 

For many portfolio owners, the challenge of remotely operating wind farms during the global lockdown has underscored the value of big data to the industry. The research findings do however remind the industry that the efficient management of this ‘data explosion’ requires a strategy of continued improvement and innovation.

As a developer and enabler of smart data software to drive productivity in renewables, the research team at Greenbyte AB wanted to understand just how much operational data is now available to decision-makers in the wind industry.

Having added the 10,000th wind turbine to its data platform earlier this year, taking the global capacity of wind power supported by the Greenbyte platform beyond 24GW, the team began to analyse the quantum of data being generated across its community.

It found that on average, Greenbyte-supported turbines were registering 1.5 million individual points of operational data each year, based on an average update rate of 10 minutes.

This data is being used to better understand turbine performance, drive improvements and cost savings, refine operations and maintenance (O&M) programmes and ultimately extract more value out of wind energy assets. Greenbyte is currently seeing high levels of user engagement with its platform during the lockdown, but warns that longer-term data challenges may arise if wind farm owners do not continue to innovate and develop their asset management strategies.

Greenbyte’s head of research, Pramod Bangalore, said: “It’s no secret that data now pervades all corners of our lives and moreover that data has gotten big. We wanted to find out just how big the data had become in the wind industry.”

“As well as now producing significant amounts of our power, the world’s wind turbines are generating more than 400 billion individual points of data. That’s more than fifty data points for every human being alive on the planet! And that’s before one considers the necessary addition of external data sources such as weather forecasts and power prices.”

“Our life’s work at Greenbyte is to intelligently integrate all sources of data to facilitate better decision-making. In reality that’s about data quality every bit as much as it is about data quantity. Nonetheless it’s abundantly clear that there’s already been an explosion of data in the sector and it’s no longer an option for asset owners to look the other way; the age of big data is upon us.”



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