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!