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How Digital Twin Technology Is Changing the Solar Power Generation?

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The growth in the solar energy sector has been quite impressive and is the need of the hour. As per the International Renewable Energy Agency report 2018, the global capacity of renewable energy output has reached 2,179 GW, With the marked increase in solar capacity, solar energy witnessed an impressive growth rate of 32 percent! In short, the future of solar power plants looks as bright as the Sun.

Nevertheless, it is also a fact that there are still a number of challenges associated with solar power plants in terms of the output, operations, and efficiency of the plants. Some of them are:

  • Unmonitored inefficiency: Lack of monitoring often leads to wastage of solar energy getting wasted affecting the output of solar power plants. It’s physically impossible to monitor solar plants, also a visual check is not the most effective measure most of the times.
  • Lack of information on energy generation and forecast: Solar power generation depends on the location of the plant, season, weather conditions, solar panels, and overall plant efficiency. Ability to Reliably forecast electricity generation can help a solar plant in multiple ways mainly, Improved predictability can help better plan the energy consumption, this can in turn help, better policy formation, improved contracts, and more efficient operations.

Evolution of IoT has made tons of data available, Digital Twin technology enables an analysis of this data to give meaningful insights. So let's dig deeper

What is Digital Twin technology?

In simple words, it is a virtual system that replicates the model of a process, service, or product. This technology is based on the pairing of the physical worlds with the virtual one, which allows the analysis of huge chunks of data and close monitoring of systems.

 So, how does Digital Twin help?

Data gathering and its in-depth analysis prove to be useful in predictive and preventive analysis and actions. It helps us prevent downtime and create increase output. Most importantly, this digital twin allows us to plan for the future, which is made possible with the help of simulations.

We have gained a ton of expertise in this field, which has resulted in the development of digital twin-based analytics engine.

What results you can expect from this technology?

The digital twin-based analytics engine has significant effects on the performance, ROI, and output of the solar power plants. This is how it works:

  • Close monitoring helps improve the predictability of all the solar panels in the system. With the use of real-time simulation, it becomes easier to assess the present condition of each part of the grid. This way, the operators can do predictive maintain ace in the grid.
  • The Digital Twin technology developed is quite effective in closely analyzing how the solar PV cells perform during various conditions. The virtual plant also allows administrators to replicate different scenarios and figure out how the upgraded panels would respond to them. This way, the production of more efficient solar PV panels becomes easier.
  • Forecasting is one of the key aspects of today’s Digital Twin technology, which assures optimum solar plant performance. Helios enables the mapping of the solar grid to a virtual program guarantees better utilization of the whole system.
  • Improved ROI is confirmed through operation insights. Auto-generated alarms and performance benchmarks help minimize the losses and improve output at the same time.
Nitin Tappe's picture

Thank Nitin for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 13, 2019

Thanks for sharing, Nitin. I'd also want to point you to check out this other recent article submitted to Energy Central that discusses digital twin tech: https://www.energycentral.com/c/iu/energyiot-article-6-%E2%80%93-energy-services-devops-domain-heart-ecosystem

Nitin Tappe's picture
Nitin Tappe on May 14, 2019

You are welcome, Matt. And thanks for sharing the link, I will have a look at it.

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