SmartHelio technology partner in Project GENTE

SmartHelio technology partner in multi-national project - GENTE

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multi-national projects like GENTE by ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems'

We are proud to announce that SmartHelio is a Technology partner of an international research project GENTE. GENTE brings together an international consortium of highly qualified partners comprising need owners, citizens, scientific partners, technology providers, living labs, and technology demonstration sites. 

GENTE is a multi-million dollar, multi-national project. The project aims to develop services and applications (the LEC toolbox) for Local Energy Communities (LECs) to improve their abilities to optimize, control, and manage energy resources in a federated manner. It leverages advanced technologies, including the internet of things (IoT), distributed ledger technology/Blockchain, edge processing, and artificial intelligence for autonomous energy resource management. The LEC toolbox will automatically implement the optimization strategies to control and manage the energy mix at the LEC level. It will minimize the grid dependencies for local power needs, significantly reduce the power curtailment by the grid, and maximize the injection of electricity into the grid considering the flexibility and stability provisions of the network.

The project also aims to bring intelligence to distributed energy assets by considering users’ behaviors, data privacy, and interoperability. The project will deliver a decision support tool and innovative services to the LECs that will enhance the economic viability of LECs and promote engagements of end-users and self-governance. The project will be implemented and validated in 6 different sites across three different countries. 

The GENTE project has received funding in the framework of the joint programming initiative ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems’ focus initiative Digital Transformation for the Energy Transition, with support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 883973.

 

Disclaimer: The content and views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of the ERA-Net SES initiative. Any reference given does not necessarily imply the endorsement by ERA-Net SES.

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HelioCloud - Your solar plant on autopilot

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Solar Photovoltaic is the most preferred alternative clean energy asset. In the last couple of years, it has seen a massive deployment across the world with an average annual capacity addition of 180 GW which is expected to triple by 2030. The growing capacity of solar photovoltaics is great news but contrarily, it is also making the asset management a tedious job and, in the existing ecosystem, it is bringing down the operational efficiency of asset maintenance which is subsequently limiting the overall performance level of the PV plants. This is a worrying phenomenon for investors. The existing asset management tools and Standard Operating Procedures (SPOs) are limited and not effective enough to utilize the possible potential of the solar energy assets. Some of the major problems can be summarized below:

  1. Unable to detect the early signals of equipment failure or faults in the system which leads to system underperformance because of unknown reasons till it becomes significant enough to attract the plant/asset manager’s attention. But by this time the asset has already lost a substantial revenue
  2. High manual dependence on the O&M process limits the O&M teams from acting on time which leads to a higher turn-around time from the Fault Appearing to Fault Resolved. In industry, in some cases, we have seen a fault resolution period of up to several months.
  3. The existing PV Asset Management practices are not optimized enough to maximize energy production and revenue. In most cases, the maintenance schedules depend on the convenience of the ground staff which leads to inefficient asset maintenance, system underperformance, and high O&M expenses.

world's first real-time analytics software - HelioCloud

We strongly believe inefficiencies related to asset management and O&M can be handled by introducing effective digitization, AI, and automation practices. In our efforts, we have introduced An Autopilot for the solar PV industry. The Autopilot works as a virtual Asset Manager, Performance Manager, and as Plant Manager. It continuously reads the plant performance data, weather data, satellite data, and any other 3rd party data that is beneficial for doing the performance assessment and root cause identification in real-time. Autopilot has a robust understanding of the PV system engineering and it uses machine learning to develop incremental intelligence over a period of time which makes it incredibly accurate and fast in terms of detecting the early signatures of system underperformance, predicting potential faults, quantifying the impact of existing/upcoming faults/issues and dynamically scheduling the on-ground interventions by technical work-force (human and machines). With Autopilot we can see an overall improvement in solar assets’ performance by 15% (over their lifetime) and a reduction in O&M and Asset management costs by more than 50%. 

As a stepping stone into the future of solar photovoltaics and other alternative clean energy assets, we believe if machines can manage themselves and can autonomously operate thousands of miles away in the extraterrestrial space then why can’t solar plants run autonomously with software like Autopilot. We see a vision to put each and every solar energy and other clean energy asset in Autopilot mode once they are commissioned.

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