Data communication for renewable energy systems promotes sustainable energy transition

#KRITIS #Energytransition #Energyasaservice

Renewable energies require innovative operating models

“It’s only the components of INSYS icom for secure data communication that enable us to offer the operators of renewable energy systems complete maintenance and an operational safety model ‘as a service’. For operators this also means that they can offer ‘Energy as a Service’.”

Mohamed Harrou
Head of SCADA

BayWa r.e. Operation Services GmbH

BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH is a developer, service provider, wholesaler and supplier of leading energy solutions in the renewable energies sector. The company plans, builds and operates wind and solar parks, together with bio-energy plants for worldwide use. In addition to maintenance and repairs, the service includes the technical and commercial operation of renewable energy systems.

Challenges for system operators

Supplying power is classed as a critical infrastructure, meaning very stringent operational requirements are applied. The sustainable energy transition increases the proportion of renewable wind and solar energy, which is generated by decentralised installations that are usually smaller. These must be fully maintained and managed by the operator. In addition, renewable energy systems are increasingly being linked together into ‘virtual power plants.’ This involves extensive communication activities to reliably enable remote maintenance, 24/7 monitoring, administration and related services. In addition to the resulting personnel costs, the requirements for critical infrastructure also needs to be taken into consideration: geographically distributed renewable energy systems are more vulnerable than power stations to IT risks in the area of cyber security and therefore additional costs.

Overall management as a service for operators

The BayWa r.e. solution SystemSafe offers operators a reliable and cost-efficient all-round carefree package in the form of Communication-as-a-Service (CaaS). It includes service, hardware, network access, on-site support and standardised, remotely diagnosed fault analysis. Each system equipped with a gateway from INSYS icom communicates redundantly as required via LTE, DSL or fibre optic. Data communication with network operators, virtual power plants or for remote maintenance takes place via a secure VPN solution designed by INSYS icom especially for these requirements. In the event of faults or breakdowns, integrated remote diagnosis functions can trigger alarms in line with a wide range of criteria. Via the BayWa r.e. servers the systems are made available in line with strict criteria to authorised groups such as technicians. This enables flexible service and maintenance models with a high remote component, which in turn provides positive cost effects.

Operation, monitoring and maintenance all in one

BayWa r.e. Operation Services GmbH provides answers to all the challenges in an overall management solution for renewable energy systems under the name SystemSafe. Operation, monitoring and maintenance are conveniently combined in a coherent overall system. The solution’s high level of IT security and simple operation have proven themselves in practice. This is reflected in terms of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty to operators.

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