Private 5G, a tool of choice for the maintenance of wind farms

Controlling the maintenance costs of wind turbines is a significant challenge to ensure their profitability. For this reason, it is essential to equip them with sensors to ensure their good condition through a visual inspection or on-site intervention. We then quickly realized the importance of a reliable, high-speed wireless 5G bubble connecting these sensors and potential stakeholders.

Predictive maintenance and private 5G

Multiple sensors measuring, for example, the vibrations of rotating parts or the speed of the blades, are already equipping wind turbines. Their data show the rotors' state of wear, decide the blades' orientation or the azimuth of the nacelle, and ultimately the energy efficiency of the complete installation. Beyond capture, data analysis based on artificial intelligence models makes extending a wind turbine's lifespan possible. Finally, their integration into a virtual machine representation makes constructing a digital twin represented in a Condition Monitoring System possible. According to the European ROMEO project report, low available bandwidth was a key factor preventing such technologies' implementation in existing fleets.

A very high-speed connection for the safety of workers

But, more than remote control of installations is needed to ensure fleet maintenance. At regular intervals or triggered following an event, visits by qualified personnel to sites are necessary. In these situations, mainly if the intervention takes place at sea, the safety of personnel requires using a critical high-speed communications service to ensure voice transport and provide geolocation information or send alerts.

Use of drones

To facilitate this on-site maintenance work, the wind turbine sector is finally studying the use of drones. Remote-controlled and providing live video feeds, they can help visualize the condition of the blades or the wind turbine tower. They are also used for cleaning surfaces.

Why use private 5G in the wind sector?

High speed for connecting sensors, high sensor density on a wind farm, critical multimedia communications services, and very high mobile speed for video streaming from drones are all reasons to use private 5G. In addition, with a view to analysis based on artificial intelligence, private 5G opens up standardized and extensible interfaces to recover data reported from sensors.

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