What does ‘Data Utopia’ look like for industry experts in Offshore Wind?

25th August 2022

Earlier this year, Sennen hosted its very first Offshore Wind webinar, around the topic of data in O&M: “Driving the benefits from Offshore Wind O&M data – The dream, the reality and how to get started.” The webinar included a great panel of guest speakers; Paul Grimshaw from Sennen, Christopher Gray from i4SEE TECH, Maggie McMillan from Miros Group and Justin Grimwade from RWE.

In this article, we deep dive into the specific segment around the “dream”, and the aspirations of these influential industry experts in Offshore Wind, ultimately revealing what each of their “Data Utopia” looks like when it comes to centralising data in O&M. 

Play the clip to watch the full discussion of what Paul, Chris and Maggie’s data utopia would look like in the world of Offshore Wind O&M Data.

Imagining Zero Constraints in O&M Data:

Christopher Gray’s Data Utopia

In a world where there would be no obstacles to optimal O&M data, Chris elaborates on how his ideal outcome would involve accessible documentation that informs on structured information, allowing for the capability to ask complex questions and derive answers easily.

In my data utopia, I would be able to access all of that information wherever it is physically, pretty much instantaneously through some kind of standard API, some kind of standard interface and it would be structured in a standardised way.”

Christopher Gray from i4SEE TECH

Paul Grimshaw’s Data Utopia

Sennen’s CTO elaborates on how his dream for O&M data would be to have all that data harnessed reliably by a group of systems. This entails well-documented and standardised IOT and operational data without gaps and adequate backfill systems, to ensure rapid decision-making by all users that work in the control rooms. 

The most important thing is to control and run the offshore wind farms (or any wind farms in that matter) with a really well defined process and workflow through the software. So whether you’re running under wind turbine safety rules or another safety system, to make sure that that’s really bedded into a system and actually that you get a really good structured data history out of those kinds of tools.

Paul Grimshaw from Sennen

Paul also touches on the potential for AI (and other smart logic) implementation as part of his data utopia, with the end goal of receiving smart suggestions to help improve and automate decision-making.

The logic behind the system can learn and actually start to automate and bring the level of decision making up.”

Paul Grimshaw from Sennen

Maggie McMillan’s Data Utopia

In an ideal scenario – Maggie offers her view and aspiration for accessibility. Specifically, a fully integrated, intelligent, transparent yet scalable system, that can function across multiple projects, to compare and contrast data. An example outcome she touches on is the possibility of using that data to inform life extension projects for new project planning. 

Accessibility is key and what we’ve seen from a Miros perspective is that a lot of these stakeholders and their data sets are unfortunately still quite siloed. However, there’s been a lot of progression in the last few years in terms of treating a more holistic data ecosystem and digitalised ecosystem. There’s definitely still more we can do in terms of data fusion. So yes. Accessibility and connecting the project’s stakeholders, from my perspective, is key and definitely the dream going forward.”

Maggie McMillan from Miros Group

Maggie also elaborates on her view for quality over quantity of data, to benefit long-term marginal gains. 

I don’t think we need more data. I think using the data that we have today making the best use of that and integrating that in a better way to give us those marginal gains. On a project that’s going to help us minimise that turbine downtime; the best way is using all of this amazing operational data that we have at our fingertips to give us those marginal gains. Those numbers can be in excess of one or two million pounds per year on a project which is absolutely not insignificant.

Maggie McMillan from Miros Group

Read more about the challenges that industry experts are facing in Offshore Wind O&M Data

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