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Key Takeaways & Insights: Windpower Data and Digital Innovation Forum 2023

Fluix was a proud Bronze Sponsor of the 4th Edition Windpower Data and Digital Innovation Forum on March 7th & 8th. Wind Energy experts and senior-level executives gathered in Berlin to discuss the challenges of digital transformation in Wind Energy, and how to meet increasing energy demands.

Simplifying Digital Transformation For Wind Energy

Among the speakers on day 1 was Julia Nikolayenko, Executive Director at Fluix. Julia shared a simple, practical, expert approach to successfully running Wind Energy projects with automated workflows. The presentation was inspired by her 10 years of working directly with industry leaders like Siemens Gamesa, RWE, and Vestas, to help them to use workflows to propel their projects to success.

Julia’s core message was that digital transformation doesn’t need to be complicated; having a reliable software partner with you every step of the way makes the process so much simpler.

Julia Nikolayenko, Executive Director at Fluix.
Photo courtesy of Leadvent Group.

Responding to Increasing Wind Energy Demand

The event also showcased the depth of research and data analysis in the Renewable Energy sector. As renewables continue to grow in popularity, the clear front-runner in terms of growth prediction forecasts is Wind Energy.

This was further confirmed by Guiju Song, Platform Leader for Offshore Wind at GE Research, who joined the conference remotely to present her research into enabling prognostics at the start of Offshore Wind projects. Guiju confirmed that Offshore Wind is the most commercially advanced renewable energy sector, with +30% annual growth.

Digitalization in Offshore Wind

Companies who are already utilizing digitalization to meet growing demand are seeing the benefits. A perfect example of this was shared by Roman Müller, Head of Operational Coordination at Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH.

Roman offered helpful insights into how digitalization helps with managing offshore wind farms from an onshore back office. Developing a digital transformation strategy ensured that Global Tech I will be able to continue to scale its operations to meet demand well into the future.

The Future of O&M in Wind Energy

The topic of Operations and Maintenance also featured heavily throughout the conference. Having access to the right data can be critical to accurately making decisions around everything from wake effect to general turbine performance.

Josh Pollock, VP of Sales and Marketing at Thread, discussed the future of O&M, and how data is central to improving operational efficiency. Josh reminded the room that collaborative data sharing agreements would greatly improve O&M efficiency throughout the life cycle of wind turbines. Josh also suggested the benefits of ‘birth certificates’ for wind turbine blades, clearly showing the entire life cycle of each blade.

Change Management

Day 1 concluded with a panel discussion on the hurdles and upsides of digitalization, moderated by Iain Dinwoodie, Head of Advanced Performance Engineering at Natural Power. Topics for the panel included how wind turbine owners look at and can structure digitization, as well as SMART digitalization for asset management and ESG.

The overarching takeaways from the discussion were that digital innovation always needs to come hand-in-hand with change management, and that the security of supply into the future is an ever-present concern.

Collaboration and Data Sharing

Day 2 brought another series of informative talks, including a presentation by Beccie Drake, Offshore Wind Digital Lead at Arup, who spoke about the viability of Offshore Wind achieving ambitious Net Zero targets without embracing digital transformation. Beccie also highlighted the need to include more women in Renewable Energy conferences, both as delegates and as speakers.

One of Beccie’s closing remarks from a panel discussion later in the afternoon summed up the need for the Wind industry to embrace the concept of digital transformation, and to recognise the benefits of collaboration and data sharing. Beccie also spoke about the need for a mindset shift, as well as open data supported by a defined set of principles, best practices, and proper architecture.

Learning From Other Industries

The panel went on to discuss how the Wind Energy sector could learn from other industries who are already well ahead on their digital transformation journeys. An example given was how the Aviation sector is much more advanced, in terms of digital representations of assets and systems, and how the sector had achieved that status before Digital Twins became the ‘buzz’ term it is today.

Getting Started With Digitalization

Circling back to the panel discussion from day 1, Sofia Antunes, VP of Digitalization at Kontiki Winds, provided an actionable insight: “When it comes to innovation and digitalization, it’s important to understand where your business is. Go for the low-hanging fruit first; try to map out the areas you need software to help you with.”

Thank you to Leadvent, and all of the delegates and speakers, for a truly insightful conference.

To read quotes and highlights from the conference, head over to our Fluix Twitter page.

Simplify Your Digital Transformation
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