WindEnergy Hamburg to showcase smart energy

The Global Wind Summit underway in Hamburg from September 25-28, 2018 will highlight the future of wind energy production, its integration and storage as well as sector coupling projects. This comes amid the urgency to drive down turbine product lifecycle costs and combine wind with other smart energy solutions in the wind industry. Smart Energy is high on the agenda of WindEnergy Hamburg which has joined forces with WindEurope’s global conference to form the Global Wind Summit. Around 1,400 exhibitors from 40 countries are expected to present their innovations in nine halls at Hamburg Messe.

Intelligent sensors

While the use of sensors in ‘smart’ modern wind turbines is increasing, the question of how digitalization can lead to optimization arises. Different sensors are used for recording vibrations, temperature variations, generator airgap (roundness) values, component displacement under load, etc. Sensors incorporated in turbine main component areas include towers, gearboxes, generators, and rotor blades, and contribute to smarter energy production by providing essential operational inputs to asset owners and operators. Many WindEnergy Hamburg exhibitors will inform visitors on how smart use of sensor-based data boosts asset performance and reliability, and ultimately the levelized cost of energy.

New storage technologies

Energy storage is a key enabler for the ongoing transition towards renewables. The “Storage Tour” at the expo will pinpoint all exhibitor stands offering EE storage-related solutions in all exhibition halls. Visitors can find them using the Visitor Guide, the app or the online exhibitor directory. Storage systems range from lithium-Ion batteries to HydroRedox fluid batteries, compressed-air, power-to-gas and power-to-liquid. An alternative solution by Siemens Gamesa converts electrical energy into heat stored in an insulated container filled with rocks, while a steam turbine converts heat energy back to electricity.

Big data for optimizing plant operation

Leading European gear manufacturers will present their innovations in intelligent gear technology at the trade fair. Know-how from mechanical engineering and power electronics is combined with digital technologies, high-performance computers and Internet-supported communication portals. Additional big data from weather stations or the electricity markets can be used to determine the best times for maintenance, repair work or the replacement of components. Big data from an operator’s own turbine installations can also be made available for cross-brand system maintenance.

Use of renewable energies outside the electricity supply sector

The Cluster Erneuerbare Energien Hamburg (EEHH) has set itself the goal of extending the use of renewable energies beyond the electricity supply sector to the mobility sector and to industries that require a great deal of thermal energy e.g. the Trimet aluminium smelter. Commenting on the latest NEW 4.0 energy transition project for northern Germany, Jan Rispens, Director of EEHH, said: “NEW 4.0 is important for the wind sector as well as large regional power consumers, and will provide a blueprint for future power market developments.”

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