VLEEMO NV is a collaboration between the Flemish energy companies Aspiravi NV (50%) and Polders Investeringsfonds NV (50%). These companies specialize in renewable energy. VLEEMO built and operates 33 wind turbines on the Right Bank of the Port of Antwerp, with more turbines under construction.

Vleemo: Customer Success Story

Wind turbine operators such as Vleemo have to respect shadow flicker and ice formation limitations but still keep their turbines running as much as possible within these boundaries. In the past, turbines were primarily monitored using remote-controlled SCADA systems. Now, all sensor information from the Vleemo turbines is stored in InfluxDB using multiple Factry OPC-UA collectors. Factry then augments this information with external data such as weather forecasts. With InfluxDB, they collect and analyze process inputs and outputs, and suggest optimized setpoints to the SCADA system with the OPC-UA server capability. Examples include using neural networks to analyze data or incorporating weather forecast data into the control mechanisms.

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The Problem

Vleemo’s business challenge was to generate as much electricity as possible given variable weather conditions while staying within two regulatory boundaries: shadow flicker limitations (casting of shadows by turbine blades, in direct sunlight on nearby buildings and homes) and ice formation hazard on turbine blades. To solve their business challenges, Vleemo needed centralized real-time insight into the status of all their turbines. Each of Vleemo’s six wind farms in the Port of Antwerp has its Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Before Factry, Vleemo were using remote desktop connection to log into each individual SCADA system, view the turbine status, and make decisions based on that.

The Solution

Prior to adopting Factry Historian (which is powered by open source InfluxDB), Vleemo was only collecting one set of data with their SCADA systems. Over time with Factry, they were able to layer additional data sources on top of what they were collecting, making it richer and so much better for forecasting and boosting production efficiency. Besides the basic sensor data, Vleemo added temperature sensor data, temperature forecasting, neighbor scheduling, and personnel scheduling to guide their turbine operation scheduling decisions within variable weather conditions and regulatory restrictions.

Factry’s solution for Vleemo achieved quantifiable and qualitative business value for Vleemo. The solution for Vleemo goes full circle: from data collection to analysis, adherence to regulations, operational optimization, and data flow back to the devices themselves in order to further control the environment. Through sensor information gathered in InfluxDB using Factry OPC-UA collectors, Vleemo is adhering to regulations while maximizing energy production and optimizing its operation in real-time through data-driven analysis and decision-making.

“By gathering all this data centrally and in InfluxDB from all of these different sources and adding custom interpretation on that, Vleemo is able to perform operational improvements.”

Frederik Van Leekwyck, Business Development and Marketing Manager at Factry.io

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