Philip TotaroMr Philip Totaro is the founder and CEO of Totaro & Associates, a consulting firm focused on innovation strategy, market research and competitive intelligence, product development and patent search for the wind industry. For Windtech International he writes a column about the future of technology within the wind energy industry. He can be contacted at ptotaro  @  totaro-associates.com.

Onshore Wind Turbine Tech to Top Out in Ten Years

philip nov dec 17In ten years the wind energy industry could see an upper limit to onshore turbine technology development reached. Offshore turbines of 12–15MW nameplate rating should be fairly common by then, but can we really expect onshore turbines to approach 10MW? As we continue to push the boundaries of product and technology development, we are likely to find that physical size limits, as well as the limits of the ‘square-cube’ law, put large onshore turbines at a commercially competitive disadvantage.

By Philip Totaro, Founder & CEO, Totaro & Associates, LLC

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Hybrid Materials and 3D Printing Enabling SciFi Wind Turbine Structures

Philip Oct 17A wind turbine nacelle made from structural fabric? A tower made from composites? Blades with metal mesh inserts for structural rigidity? They might not be that far away. The greatest challenge for wind turbine blade structural and manufacturing engineers is to implement the idealised performance and noise-mitigated designs of aerodynamics engineers. Limitations of previous generations of manufacturing technology and the reliance on lower-cost materials have limited the type of spar/shear web structures which could be used.

By Philip Totaro, Founder & CEO, Totaro & Associates, LLC

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Can Wireless Mesh Networks Kill Slip-Rings?

philip1 sept17The implementation of wireless technology using the 802.11s standard and mesh network technology will revolutionise wind turbine and wind park control systems. The increased signal fidelity and packet routing central to this technology will allow more WiFi-enabled sensor networks to be implemented on wind turbine blades. Previous attempts at fully instrumented blade monitoring using optical fibre sensors were expensive and limited in fidelity due to reliability issues. While the subject of WiFi use in pitch control, SCADA and content management systems (CMS), and other communication uses in wind turbines has been discussed for many years, some of the same constraints related to bandwidth and system reliability in the face of lightning strikes and 20-year design life have thus far precluded commercial use.

By Philip Totaro, Founder & CEO, Totaro & Associates, LLC

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Offshore Wind Yet to See Meaningful Digital Services Deployment

Totaro jul aug 17As of the end of June 2017, digital services in wind energy had seen deployment to over 55GW of assets, but to less than 1GW of offshore wind. The majority of the features and capabilities which can be delivered via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, or otherwise leverage data analytics and internet of things (IoT) systems, are likely to be agnostic to both onshore and offshore wind. Nevertheless, the potential impact on O&M cost as well as energy output optimisation will have specific implications in an offshore wind market segment.

By Philip Totaro, CEO, Totaro & Associates, LLC

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Focus on TLPs, Predictive Maintenance and AEP Optimisation to Further Reduce Offshore LCOE

TLPLooking at the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) equation, the offshore wind industry has a unique and timely opportunity to achieve maximum impact by driving innovation and technology development towards lower CapEx and OpEx costs, and increased annual energy production (AEP).

By Philip Totaro, Founder & CEO Totaro & Associates, LLC

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Renewable energy Internet of Things to hit US$ 5.3 billion annually by 2030

RE IoT Platform CapabilitiesDigitalisation and Internet of Things (IoT) technology adoption in the renewable energy (RE) sector is still in its infancy. This immaturity of digital services platforms in RE leaves a major opportunity for revenue growth. The emergence of the RE digital services ecosystem creates a definitive need and opportunity for data-as-a-service (DaaS) and analytics-as-a-service (AaaS), both of which are likely to be a significant revenue driver as part of the overall RE digital services sector. The market for digital services in RE is likely to grow to US$ 89.4 billion by 2030 with annual revenue of US$ 5,3 billion in that time-frame.

By Philip Totaro, Founder & CEO, Totaro & Associates

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