BaxEnergy is hiring students

Start your Journey with Us!

Start your Journey with Us!

About BaxEnergy

Hi. We’re BaxEnergy.

BaxEnergy provides the world’s leading renewable energy monitoring platform. Over 85 GW of green power monitored for customers in 18 countries. Our customers use BaxEnergy’s software, services, and support to transform the way they work with their assets.

As a company with offices in Catania (Italy), Berlin (Germany), Amarante (Portugal) Johannesburg (South Africa), Pune(India), and Bayraklı İzmir (Turkey), BaxEnergy transforms how organizations market and sell. Through its unique vision of the office space, BaxEnergy leaded the creation of the innovation hub “Free Mind Foundry” which currently hosts the Italian R&D center.

If you are looking for a place where you’ll enhance your skills alongside some of the most talented and dynamic people you’ve ever worked with, BaxEnergy might just be the place for you. Join us!

About the Environment

FREE MIND FOUNDRY is an inspiring place where Community, Collaboration, Sustainability and Innovation come together and young, talented and passionate people join forces to make new ideas come true.

Job Location: Italy

c/o Free Mind Foundry srl
Via Sclafani 40/B
95024 Acireale

Benefits

We offer to all our community:

  • Medical and health coverage
  • Severance package
  • Education assistance, books, trainings, software certifications examination and everything else you may need for your professional growth
  • Staff events (holiday parties, BBQs, recreational trips)
  • MBA-oriented bonuses
  • More than 10 collaborative spaces
  • Gaming room
  • Standing desks
  • A fully equipped cantina for free meals with 2 Italian chefs
  • A Health & Wellness space within the office
  • Free secure parking area
  • Equal opportunity

Just to name a few.

Submit your Application


Work with us

IT Junior Technician

Project Manager

User Adoption

Application Engineer

Java Backend Developer

DevOps / Cloud Engineer

.Net Backend Developer

Solution Engineer

Frontend mobile/web developer

Quality Engineer/ Software Test

LINKS

Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 33.55MB
Treatment of Data


The EnergyNet Summit

Announcing the First EnergyNet Summit

Controlling the Uncontrollable


The EnergyNet Summit
Free Mind Foundry Innovation Hub in Acireale

Back in 2008, in the middle of the worst financial crisis of modern times, the term “EnergyNet” was introduced to address the dream—and, to some extent, the need—of making energy flow over a global network ruled by strict and agreed-on protocols. EnergyNet was meant to be the internet of energy. Concepts like distributed storage, smart metering, in-home displays and, as a result, feedback-induced savings started being elaborated also on the wave of the President Obama’s “New Energy for America” program.

After that, the term EnergyNet faded away like a flash in the pan. Today, it only survives as the name of a few micro companies doing some small business around the domain of energy.

At BaxEnergy, we decided to revamp the term EnergyNet to introduce our first summit in the scenic landscape of Taormina, North-East of Sicily, Italy.

The EnergyNet Summit will be held 20-21 September 2018 with the purpose of gathering together, same place same time, industry experts willing to share their view of the renewable energy industry. It is a matter of digitalization, but it is also a matter of more accurate forecasts. It is a matter of storage, but it is a matter of trading and enabling direct marketing. It is a matter of cyber-security, but it is also—and most importantly—a matter of reconsidering structure and location of data centers.

It is a matter of effectively controlling what’s uncontrollable by nature. Today, regular software is just a commodity. Smarter software is needed and smarter software is built.

The EnergyNet Summit has already an impressive line-up of confirmed speakers from the energy and software industry, including Diego Percopo (CEO, EF Solare), Tiziana Olivieri (Industry Director, Microsoft), Emilia Visconti (CTO, EDF Energie Nouvelles), Alain Fremaux (Sales Executive, The Weather Company/IBM), Federico Campione (Head of Operations, ENI), Ingo Passenberg (Sr. Manager, Price Waterhouse Cooper), Tiago Santos (CTO, Smartwatt), Christian Felling (O&M Manager, ImWind).

Master of the revels will be Dino Esposito (BaxEnergy), the man who taught software to well two generations of software developers.

The full agenda will be out soon!

Stay tuned for more extensive coverage on the BaxEnergy web site and socials.

 


BaxEnergy joins the Wind Energy Asset Management System (WEAMS)

Space to Innovation & Technology funds for sustainable growth!

BaxEnergy joins the Wind Energy Asset Management System (WEAMS) Project, funded by UE and the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE)

What is it?

It has already started for BaxEnergy the 25 months WEAMS Research Project centred on the next-generation “technologies of information and communication” (TIC), particularly focused on the development of an Asset Management System capable to optimize renewable energy power plants, increasing assets’ efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

In recent years, the power produced by renewables sources such as hydroelectric, eolic and photovoltaic has progressively increased, gaining a key role on the world stage. However, due to the adoption of brand-new technologies, there are still many challenges to be faced.

In response to many requests by its customers, BaxEnergy took the opportunity of joining the WEAMS project in 2016, working at the development of a powerful and cost-effective asset management platform aimed at an optimised schedule and management of the O&M (Operation and Maintenance) activities affecting wind energy power plants.

The project, with the approved amount of €1,287,402.56 (contribution from 25% to 50%), was funded by the MISE, UE and PON “Imprese e Competitività – Iniziativa PMI 2014-20”.

EAM market size in the next future

The Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Market size is rising from 3.15 billion dollars in 2016 to 5.24 billion dollars in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 10,7% thanks to the growing need of improving the assets lifecycle worldwide. The importance of monitoring and control of the resources in Middle East and Africa and the big investments in North America and Europe are leading the EAM market growth in many regions, bringing large companies to adopt enterprise software solutions to increase their ROI.

Source: Markets and Markets, Enterprise Asset Management Market by Software Application (Linear Assets, Non-Linear Assets, Field Service Management, Assets MRO), Service (Implementation, Managed Services, Training & Support) – Global Forecast to 2021.

WEAMS Project – Expected Results

As in any context, the expected results clash with technical matters, but technology helps. Among the requirements of the WEAMS research activity, besides the capability of the platform of optimised maintenance management there are the features of integration with different manufactures SCADA, documents and contracts management, work orders management, knowledge base management, easy access from mobile and even more. An important achievement of the O&M world is the association of preventive analysis with the predictive one.

Many causes could contribute to compromise the energy production of a wind park: such as the electrical equipment or the supply systems, a simple malfunctioning of a component, the lack of qualified technicians and even an excess inventory can increase the operating costs. That’s why an intelligent asset management and a proper planning of activities is fundamental to reduce any risk of outages and energy losses, optimizing the outflow of resources and technical equipment to promptly intervene into the power plants.

What We Did

Before the works started, BaxEnergy organized a workshop with its customers in Vienna in June 2016 at the headquarters of ImWind, customer with an active role in the project. The workshop was useful to collect different feedbacks from many players of the renewable energy field, in order to build a tailor-made “out of the box” software solution devoted to wind and still not present in the market.

We designed the solution as an enterprise asset management platform that will enable to easy handle and storage all power plants lifecycle information, operations and activities in one unique place with a customized approach. In this way, energy operators will be provided with a concrete asset management strategy integrated with enterprise wide functions of inventory, logistics, procurement, purchasing, financial and human resources. As a cutting-edge EAM solution we also planned to include into it the scheduling of activities, work orders creation, maintenance history as well as equipment, components and documentation tracking and HR functions like maintenance skills database.

The project is going on and involves 7 Goals and 27 Activities that demonstrate the effectiveness of the entire work in order to provide the final results by the end of 2018. Moreover, two academics from the Information Technology and Telecommunication Department of the University of Catania will spend about 2 months at ImWind headquarters to study and go deeper into some functionalities of the solution and then, they will come back to our R&D Center in Sicily for the next developments. We are going to implement always new features to support Utilities, IPPs (Independent Power Producers) and power plants owners to make their company processes leaner through automatic workflows, secure their information accessible from mobile anytime, anywhere, optimize maintenance costs, improve efficiency and extend their assets lifecycle.

We are proud of the interim achievements so far and determined to reach with our customers all predefined goals!

UE

PON – Imprese e Competitività:

MISE:


Control and Monitoring Room Baxenergy

Setting up a control room - Free Guideline

Control rooms have been around for about a century now and can be described as a facility where the production of goods is monitored in some way. The definition of “goods” is quite widespread and ranges from physical goods produced in factories to spatial missions. Production of energy sits somewhere in between these two extremes.

A control room is a common space where, in addition to checking operational data coming from configured power plants, operators can also remotely act on devices and send commands to start, stop and fine-tune the production level. A control room is a sensitive installation and for this reason it is usually manned 24x7x365.

With a control room, the owner company invests on continuous surveillance in order to minimize, to the greatest extent that it is possible, the reaction time in case of events that affect the working state of a remote device.
Conveying data from power plants in one place is crucial for efficiency. The canonical software that runs in a control room is essentially a HMI system capable of visualizing live data flows as they are received from power plants. Sophisticated software applications also automatically analyse data to recognize recurring patterns and detect alarm conditions, trends, classify events and produce forecasts for production, prices and maintenance of physical devices such as turbines, inverters, substations, met masts and more.

The first two sections of the whitepaper give a deep walkthrough about control room layouts and hardware equipment. The third part goes through the activities lead by the operators.

If you want to learn more about cause-effect, downtimes, workflows, ad-hoc reports with custom KPIs, download our white paper.


Gated content - Setting up a Monitoring Room

People in the control and monitoring room

Effective Maintenance for Power Plant Devices

From total nightmare to wild dream

A wind turbine is a wonderful piece of mechanics that uses wind to generate electricity. The force of the blowing wind operates three blades that, connected to a rotor, spin an electrical generator. Under the hood of those gigantic turbines we sometimes see offshore, or on the top of a hill, a number of electronic components work orchestrated by a controller. In addition to the controller, in a turbine there are components like anemometer, blades, brake, gear box, low- and high-speed shaft, pitch, generator. A wind turbine has an average lifetime of about 20 years and during this time any component it is made of is subject to regular maintenance and, in some cases, replacement.

A solar panel is made of a number of solar cells. Each cell consists of four layers: an anti-reflective coating captures and retains sunlight thus ensuring that two underneath silicon layers can convert solar energy into electricity. The silicon layers and, more importantly, their actual chemical configuration is crucial for the process to work. At the very top of the cell, strips of conductor material move electricity out to its final destination. Electricity is generated as direct current that an inverter turns into alternate current.

Generally, a solar panel comes with a 20-year guarantee and usually it keeps working after that time at least at 80% of the original capacity. Solar panels may need direct as well as indirect maintenance. Direct maintenance is fixing or replacing parts. Indirect maintenance includes ancillary tasks like cleaning surface from dust, weeding and cutting grass.

How would you perform any due maintenance on these types of generation units?

Scheduled maintenance is the most common option. In this case, components are checked periodically according to a predetermined schedule that doesn’t necessarily take into account the actual state of the component, weather conditions or exceptional situations. It’s a good-enough approach with a number of drawbacks. For example, maintenance may be scheduled when it is not necessary given the workload of the component. Imagine a broken turbine that stays out of order for a long period because it is inaccessible due to severe winter conditions. In this case, the consumption of its components may be significantly lower than other turbines in the farm. When scheduled maintenance occurs on that particular turbine it could be a bit ahead of real need. Another drawback of scheduled maintenance is that, well, it may also happen too late when the component is already broken or seriously damaged.

Condition-based maintenance uses fixed rules to calculate the ideal time for maintenance based on the actual wear of components as reported by embedded sensors. Typically, a control room software would allow to trigger alarms based on KPIs calculated out of the raw numbers returned by sensors. The good news is that no unnecessary maintenance is carried out and by fine-tuning alarms one can reserve a margin to postpone or anticipate maintenance according to volatile conditions such as bad or good weather. The weakest point of condition-based maintenance is that alarms parameters must be set by the rule of thumb and are subject to the highly variable human ability to learn from numbers and mistakes.

It seems then that both scheduled and condition-based maintenance may work but none is perfect. The next step is predictive maintenance.

Predictive maintenance aims at hunching what would be a good time to intervene. It requires constant monitoring of the generation units and abundance of data from internal components. This is already the case with most commercial solutions out there that collect raw device data and aggregate into sensible indicators. Numbers alone aren’t sufficient though.

Analytical algorithms are required along with an effective data model that figures out the hidden patterns of when failures on a given type of component is more likely to happen. In addition to sensors that communicate state and performance numbers via industrial protocols such as OPC and its variations additional equipment and logic is needed. For example, sensors to measure noise, heat and humidity, ultrasonic microphones, and cameras. Arranging a data model that result in an alarm in presence of certain measurable conditions is not a trivial task. It requires machine learning techniques and empirical algorithms. It’s a good challenge for data scientists.

Predictive maintenance is not here yet but it is being talked about a lot meaning that it really addresses a core concern for the energy industry. The good part is that predictive maintenance is not sci-fi but it’s getting real and more production-ready every day thanks to the growing availability of cognitive services in most cloud and software platforms.


Dino Esposito

Blockchain for Energy: Doubts and Facts

Minigrids and Smart Contracts

Today the energy world, and not just it, is pervaded by the Blockchain fever. For the most part, it is only the due diligence of innovation teams in front of new technologies and ideas. But the part of it that is most loudly perceived is marketing and maybe the fear of missing any possible opportunity. The mix of marketing and fear creates the buzz and the buzz virally explodes in this hyperconnected world. Blockchain seems to be the magic cure for all diseases but it’s not clear if it’s the most effective cure or just the newest of the many possible.

A Possible Scenario for Energy

For some time in many countries the installment of renewable local plants has been stimulated by a fixed feed-in tariff. The age of feed-in tariffs is closing and owners are being forced to sell energy in excess via direct marketing. Gaining access to the marketplace is very complicated for small producers and this creates the need for a sales service to sit in the middle to handle and guarantee transactions between parties.

It seems to be a good use-case for a Blockchain-based system.

BaxEnergy, as well as other companies, is experimenting solutions to facilitate energy direct marketing, with and without the Blockchain paradigm. The key element to consider here is the real problem we want to solve more than the technicalities that could be employed. Here’s the sketch of a solution.

The solution is built around a software module that performs two tasks:

  • Implements the trading logic to match demand and response and issue power regulations commands if needed
  • Interacts with the (mini)grid for the actual delivery of energy

The expression “trading logic” can be turned around in a few different ways. Without Blockchain, it would be a canonical piece of trading software capable of dealing with transactions ensuring integrity and compensation should something go wrong. It would be in no way different from stock exchange markets and a central authority would be there monitoring the flow and setting governance rules. The core application would be deployed on a cluster of nodes to be scaled up or down.

Private Custom-built Blockchains

At the same time, though, the network of nodes could be laid out to operate as a private and permissioned Blockchain. Looking around, the most natural fit seems to be the Ethereum platform—a decentralized, Blockchain-oriented platform that runs smart contracts. A smart contract is a regular contract set between parties written in a programming language rather than in legalese words. Technically, a smart contract is a collection of programmatic methods to approve and execute the contract and broadcast its outcome to the network. Ethereum is a platform that simply knows how to persist and enforce smart contracts. Ethereum is a merely a software platform for developers to create custom-built Blockchains. The custom Blockchain can be public or private. In both cases, a user willing to join must apply and install some software on his own machine. What happens next depends on the nature of the installed software. The Bitcoin’s Blockchain software also contains infrastructure for users to opt-in as miners and validate transactions. In an Ethereum scenario, the custom software simply defines the governance rules of the platform and might even restrict access to only a known set of users. Whether the Blockchain is public or private and permissioned depends on the business case.

Do We Need Blockchain in Energy?

The scenario depicted above is not futuristic and a few implementations exist and are attempted all over the world. In our vision, the point is not whether the scenario in the picture above makes sense or not. It does make sense. Most likely, Blockchain would be a fit for such a system.

But do we really need a Blockchain for that?

Users of the overall system are end consumers looking for energy at cheapest prices possible and producers of energy whether small companies, big utilities or ultimate prosumers. All users of the system need to get an account in order to connect to the sales service and the marketplace application. Whoever is willing to sell through the system will install an IoT device to monitor what’s produced and to receive power regulation commands from the marketplace application to start/stop production as it seems more convenient given current prices.

The prosumer’s IoT device makes available for sale tokens of energy to be produced. A token of energy is an immaterial good that refers to an abstract value. Like a digital coin, the energy token is a computer file that turns into value at some point when the energy is physically generated by the power plant and delivered to the grid. Like a digital coin, an energy token can’t be double spent meaning that it can’t be delivered to, nor it can’t be bought by, multiple consumers. In this regard, the mechanics of the Blockchain, as summarized earlier, makes perfect sense. At the same time, consumers use a plain mobile application to place BUY orders to the marketplace. The marketplace application matches BUY and SELL orders, arranges a smart contract and stores results permanently. Finally, the database of the marketplace is shared across all the nodes in the network.

Let’s focus a bit more on the smart contract for energy. Generally speaking, a great example of a smart contract is a vending machine: you put coins, you select the good and if amount is correct you get the good. Otherwise, inserted money is returned or remainder is given back. In energy, a smart contract would ensure that the token of energy being sold is then actually produced, delivered to the buyer via the grid and finally paid.

We believe that the key point here is “via the grid”. If the you deliver energy through the transmission system operator (TSO) then you’re still in the loop, connected to the national or regional power grid. In this context, the Blockchain is just an overly complex database that doesn’t really solve any problem in a new way. Everything that passes through TSO is in a way certified in terms of the current law.

The story can be different if a mini-grid is detached from the power grid or, to some extent, forms a microcosm at the edge of the national or regional grid. A mini-grid is very small by design. Users must live next door and contribute energy produced for example by rooftop panels and sell internally. Apparently, in this way some costs might be cut off—for example the fees paid to the power grid and utilities which deliver energy but, in the end, the mini-grid has a cost. Whoever provides it, gains control no matter the Blockchain technology is used. Then you might prefer trusting the provider of the mini-grid rather than the national TSO and you might prefer to pay fees to the mini-grid manager rather than the utility but you are still trusting and paying somebody. Costs might be possibly lower, but that also depends on the amount of bureaucracy in the country.

Is Blockchain Really a Breakthrough in Energy?

Delivery of energy is different from delivery of digital money as in Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. Delivery of energy passes through the power grid. This is a fact.

Blockchain is neither a product nor a technology. At most, it is a storage paradigm. The Blockchain is not a public repository where someone can just store data, whether smart contracts or files representing monetary transactions. Every application must code its own Blockchain in order to store its data in a way that is scalable and trustworthy.

So, in what we trust?

The Blockchain concept of a public network surely works well for the Bitcoin’s digital cash scenario it was created for. The specific purpose of Bitcoin, in fact, was creating a digital cash system and bypass the role of central authorities like SWIFT or mints. In addition, Bitcoin is the first protocol ever able to resolve in some way the problem of double spending and it does that through Blockchain. Put another way, a digital cash system to conduct anonymous transactions would not be currently possible without Blockchain. Or, at least, in this scenario Blockchain is a breakthrough enabling things that just weren’t possible before.

Do we really need Blockchain in energy trading?

To implement a system for energy trading, Blockchain may or may not be used. Canonical database technologies might work as well and might be cheaper to implement and faster as development doesn’t have to cope with new and out-of-band technologies.

For players in the energy space, instead, Blockchain and all the hype around it we breathe every day has to be an incentive to rethink some aspects of the business model and shake the foundation of known problems to find better and plausible solutions.

Hamlet used to say that his was madness but there was method in it. And so it is Blockchain, at least for energy. There is hype in it, but also hope that rethinking problems as if we were going to apply Blockchain the industry ends up with better solutions than today for common problems.


Blockchain

Blockchain for Energy: Hope or Hype?

The real nature of Blockchain

In the summer of 1896, George Carmack found evidence of a huge quantity of gold along the banks of the Bonanza Creek river in the wild Northwest of Canada. The moment he claimed the first, most promising, strip of ground, the news rumored out of the local police office reaching big cities like Seattle and San Francisco.

In a blink of the eye a huge crowd of over 100,000 people marched up to the mountainous and rather inhospitable Yukon territory moved by the force of buzz and the fear of missing a unique opportunity.

A couple of years later, the vast majority of them had lost all the money and only a few hundreds had really reached some financial stability. Then, rumors of gold discovered elsewhere spread over and the mass moved away following new sirens.

The fascinating, and even a bit romantic, story of the gold rush may resurface when you think of Bitcoin and Blockchain. Someone like George Carmack found a solution potentially disruptive and valuable that definitely worked for him and his purposes but when the news spread out a stampede of people wanted to take the solution out of the context and make it work for themselves. With checkered fortunes.

The trigger of the gold rush is the same trigger of the Blockchain hype today. Eager interest around Blockchain took root a couple of years ago and its use is today advocated in nearly any business domains. Energy is no exception.

But is there any real substance behind the hype? Let’s try to find it out.

A Blockchain Refresher

Back in 2009, the Bitcoin project had a clearly declared goal: replacing cash with electronic cash enabling a peer-to-peer online payment system outside the control of financial institutions. To implement this solution, Bitcoin creators set up a mechanism where each coin—more in general, each amount of money—has a certain origin. Any user of the system owns money only if that money was sent his way through a previous financial transaction.

The Bitcoin system is therefore a sequential list of transactions. At its core, each transaction has an input and an output. The input is the sender’s address and the amount of money being transferred. The output is the receiver’s address. In the Bitcoin’s system, you can only spend the money you have. This is obvious in a strictly regulated system, but Bitcoin was designed to work outside financial institutions. For example, when you wire money through your bank account the transaction is validated and guaranteed by a central system known as SWIFT. In Bitcoin, the role of SWIFT is assumed by the internal infrastructure.

So far so good.

Bitcoin’s transactions are stored in a way that links them one another to the point that anybody can easily trace back the history of an amount of money. Any new confirmed transaction is added to the linked list. More precisely, to make the system scalable, but also for other internal reasons we see in a moment, multiple transactions are grouped into container structures simply called the block. Each block contains multiple transactions. In the end, at the storage level blocks, not individual transactions, are linked to one another. The overall chain of blocks is called the Blockchain.

What’s Special with Blockchain?

What makes the Blockchain particular is how the creators solved the problem—specific of the digital monetary context—of ensuring that no amount of digital money can be double spent. At the very end of the day, a digital amount of money is a computer file and, as such, it can be copied over and over again making everyone a potential billionaire. To avoid that, Bitcoin creators added an additional mechanism that serves two purposes.

First, it checks every submitted transaction for compliance with integrity rules of the platform. For example, it checks that any addresses are correct and that the money being spent is effectively owned by the sender. Any amount of money must be the output of at least one transaction and can be the input of at most one transaction. In other words, say Bob wants to spend 100 coins. Those coins must have been assigned to him as the output of one or more previous transactions. Any part of that amount can be then assigned to someone else as part of exactly one transaction.

Second, the transaction must be made immutable and permanent so that once Bob has spent it he has no more chances to spend it again. This particular problem is addressed with the mechanism of the proof-of-work. Such a mechanism consists in solving a mathematical puzzle—a problem that requires heavy exponential computation. Once verified and written to the Blockchain, the transaction becomes very hard and expensive to alter thus making nearly impossible to double-spend the involved coins. Quite disruptively, the proof-of-work doesn’t come from a central authority but is provided by the majority of voting members on the network. These users are called miners.

In the context of Blockchain, the word immutable is often used, but it is relevant to note that “immutable” here doesn’t mean what dictionaries tell it means: unchanging over time or unable to be changed. Can a segment of the Blockchain be rewritten at some point?

To overwrite a given block, a user has first to complete the proof-of-work for the new version of the block. Next, he has to replace the reference to the former block in the Blockchain. Unfortunately for him, that means recalculating the proof-of-work for all of the subsequent blocks that in the current version of the Blockchain depend on the altered block.

It’s theoretically possible, but economically unsustainable at least for normal people. In fact, a 51% attack in which someone reverses a Blockchain back to a given date and overwrites the history may be doable for (rogue) governments or even wealthy (and still rogue) organizations. Theoretically, in fact, it only takes to publish a new set of transactions with the brute force (read, computing power) of approving it over the rest of the peer network. For the normal people, the Blockchain is immutable but it is not 100% immune from cyber-attacks though those attacks are really close to the-day-after scenarios.

The Promises behind Blockchain

In a nutshell, the Blockchain is a special type of database where all transactions are sequentially recorded. The Blockchain works as a digital ledger—just a modern version of that old-fashioned paper book where accountants reported detailed financial information. The Blockchain of Bitcoin has its content distributed across all the nodes of the network and new content spreads across the network in a broadcast manner. There’s no single server that could be compromised and the distributed content is hard to tamper with and any tampered content will realistically be promptly detected. The lack “by design” of a central authority has brought many to see in Blockchain the potential to shake the pillars of consolidated business areas, most notably all those where some layers of “certification” are required. The hope (or the hype) is that by putting information in the Blockchain the industry at large can reach the same level of security and reliability of transactions than Bitcoin.

As far as energy is concerned, the hope (or the hype) is that by putting information in the Blockchain more efficient trading can be performed without the costs of intermediaries that prove identity and certify transactions. The first use of Blockchain in the energy industry dates back to 2016 but doubts exists that Blockchain is really a breakthrough for our industry.

The story of this article doesn’t end here. Stay tuned for more!


Wind Turbines

One Data Model Fits All

The power of a unified data engine for monitoring rooms

Everyone would agree that a world fueled primarily by energy obtained from renewable sources is a better world in which pollution and climate change are under control, if not reduced to the rank of non- issue. Far from depicting an ideal world, a large and increasing number of renewable energy power plants is a scenario not free of challenges.

Traditional, fossil-fueled power plants are always built in a single venue and structured to have personnel actively monitoring operations all the time. A team of fifty members is not uncommon.

Let’s consider a wind farm instead.

The turbines can be sparse over a territory of ten or even more square kilometers, not unlikely in a mountainous area or offshore. How many people would be necessary to constantly monitor the plant? The Adani Group’s solar power plant, for example, is claimed to be the world’s largest solar plant at a single location and it covers over ten square kilometers in the South East of India. Again, how many people would be necessary to constantly monitor the plant? In the Adani Group’s power plant even removing dust from panels is an issue and robots are used for that while drones provide surveillance.

Drones and robots, however, can do only part of the job required. Constant monitoring of individual generation units is also necessary and remote monitoring is the way go. Remote monitoring requires that individual devices, like wind turbines or inverters, can communicate their status in real time to a central data repository.

Typically, a single plant is built using devices from a single vendor. Monitoring software is often included with the hardware. The rapid adoption of renewable sources, though, brings energy companies to manage a growing number of power plants based on different technologies (hydro, solar, wind) and generation units from different manufacturers. Subsequently, companies face the need of dealing with heterogeneous assets that produce monitoring data in different formats. An international standard exists for this and it is OPC-UA. Unfortunately, OPC-UA only defines the envelope for the information and leaves implementors free to code actual information in a custom way. So, it may happen that one turbine vendor reports the wind speed in m/s and another one in knots or mph. Similarly, a malfunctioning sensor can be reported by one vendor with an error code of -1 while another one may be using 32678 or an empty string.

An additional layer of code is then necessary that abstracts away all protocols and data formats into a unified model. In this way, dates will always be serialized in the same way, error codes are standardized and parameters like wind speed or irradiation are expressed through a constant measurement system.

A unified data engine is a crucial component of any software for monitoring power plants based on renewable energy. Albeit it can be seen as a mere software component, a universal data engine has a huge impact on the user interface and because of this generates great value for end customers.  Regardless of the physical device and even regardless of the technology the visual experience is the same. This enables companies to aggregate into a single monitoring environment the assets coming from multiple plants.

Not coincidentally, a universal data engine is just the first thing we planned at BaxEnergy to have in Energy Studio Pro®, our software for monitoring and control rooms.


BaxEnergy successfully joined ICCI 2018 in Istanbul

State of the Energy in Turkey

BaxEnergy successfully joined ICCI 2018 in Istanbul!

ICCI is a multifaceted international energy fair running since 1994 and regularly attended by 14.000 visitors and hundreds of exhibitors. This year it took place from the 2nd to 4th of May 2018 at the Istanbul Expo Center, the economic and industrial capital of Turkey.

To serve the needs of different energy players operating in Turkish territory and for those coming from all over the World, during the conference many markets trends have been addressed, related to hot keywords such as geopolitics in energy, including aspects of EU-Turkey dialogue, energy policies, legislations and practices.  The Conference also focused on technical matters like energy efficiency, power forecasting and energy trading, operation and maintenance, recycling systems to reduce the environmental impact, new renewable energy technologies and next developments in the market.

The renewable energy Turkish market is rapidly evolving towards a pure market in which energy is not just produced, but also monitored and, more importantly, traded. This raises the need of software platforms capable of forecasting the amount of energy being produced. It also raises the need of making power plants operations more efficient through integrated enterprise asset management tools. In Turkey, BaxEnergy successfully partnered with Smartcon Enerji, but the exciting times ahead call for always new opportunities in the area.

Attending ICCI 2018, BaxEnergy contributed to make a donation to the Hope Foundation for Children with Cancer (KACUV), being awarded with the title of “Hope Ambassador”. We would like to thank ICCI organization for this great opportunity and all our guests for visiting us! See you next time!

About BaxEnergy 

BaxEnergy is dedicated to deliver innovative turnkey solutions to renewable energy players for complete visualization, data analysis and optimization covering the entire Asset Management process of their power plants. The aim of the company is to make renewable energy easier, more efficient, affordable and secure, contributing to build a greener world for the benefit of present and future generations. BaxEnergy was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, with offices in Italy, Portugal and South Africa. For additional information about the company and service offers, please visit: www.baxenergy.com

Contact us:

e-Mail: info@baxenergy.com 

Tel.: +49 (0) 30 5863267 20


Wind turbine storm

Monitoring and Forecasting: A Powerful Duo

Smartwatt forecasting platform being integrated in Energy Studio Pro®

You may know that a bunch of theoretical physicists are investigating the so-called Theory of Everything slated to fully explain all physical aspects of the universe. A fascinating point of the theory is the alleged existence of an equation that could predict the movement of every single particle in the universe from start to finish, across past, present and future.

While waiting for the ultimate equation to arrive and tell what would happen in the rest of our lives, a Portuguese company—Smartwatt—decided to develop a series of forecasting tools that works nicely in a number of business fields and in particular in the energy space. Smartwatt intelligent algorithms can predict wind force and direction, sun irradiance, lightning strikes and even production and consumption of energy. For energy companies, the impact of using forecasts is huge as it limits for employees the exposure to accidents, reduces sick leaves for bad weather diseases, improves productivity, increases the reputation of the company and, last but not least, cuts down insurance premiums and legal costs.

Smartwatt has tremendous skills when it comes to data models and machine-learning algorithms to extract valuable and juicy information from an otherwise dead sea of data and was looking for a partner that could create volume to their quite effective forecasting services. At the same time, in the constant effort to improve the range of features that its flagship product Energy Studio Pro® provides, BaxEnergy was just looking for a similar set of forecasting services to integrate. It was an easy deal then and one of the best types ever, driven by a strong and intrinsic mutual interest.

Using Smartwatt’s most advanced tools based on predictive algorithms, big data, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence with BaxEnergy solutions is the perfect way to create powerful tools into the renewable energy sector, finding better ways to optimize and manage energy production and to increase our clients profits” said Tiago Santos, Intelligence Solutions Manager at Smartwatt. So, BaxEnergy and Smartwatt partnered and the results will be visible very soon in the next release of Energy Studio Pro®. As soon as the integration is complete, customers will be able to access detailed wind, irradiance, power and even reasonably accurate lightning strikes forecasts for their power plants. “I worked hard to bring Smartwatt forecasts into Energy Studio Pro® but a lot remains to do.” said Rui Carneiro, BaxEnergy Commercial Director for Portugal. “The next step, in fact, will be translating forecasts into concrete and intelligent workflows that will bring power plant management into a new era where decision making, maintenance planning and health&safety procedures will be seamlessly supported by this advanced platform.”

The partnership with BaxEnergy is extremely important to us because it’s the fastest and most effective way to reach the important markets abroad, adding value to the energy sector and merging two perfect tools to manage energy systems” said Jorge Araújo, CEO of Smartwatt.

That’s just the point in end. Monitoring and forecasting are really a powerful duo and now they’re joined in Energy Studio Pro®. All in a single place, anytime, anywhere.

 

About Smartwatt

Smartwatt main core is energy systems optimization, from project to installation and to the assets management in real-time, covering the value chain from top to bottom. The company has a culture of future. The Smartwatt team develops solutions that increase the efficiency of their customers’ business processes. The company mission is empowering their partner’s energy systems with the most advanced tools and processes for optimizing energy consumption, renewable energy production and maintenance operations, making energy simple, safe, affordable and sustainable. For additional info, please visit www.smartwatt.pt

About BaxEnergy 

BaxEnergy is dedicated to deliver innovative turnkey solutions to renewable energy players for complete visualization, data analysis and optimization covering the entire Asset Management process of their power plants. The aim of the company is to make renewable energy easier, more efficient, affordable and secure, contributing to build a greener world for the benefit of present and future generations. BaxEnergy was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, with offices in Italy, Portugal and South Africa. For additional information about the company and service offers, please visit: www.baxenergy.com

Contact us:

e-Mail: info@baxenergy.com 

Tel.: +49 (0) 30 5863267 20