Energy industry: Connecting wind turbines into a wireless network

Energy industry: Connecting wind turbines into a wireless network

Wind power is one of the two leading technologies that is driving the development of renewable energy. But the next stage of making wind a more productive form of energy production is making wind turbines talk to one another in a wireless network and with utility companies and gaining the capacity to adjust themselves automatically, according to Green Tech Media.

For instance, a wind farm could communicate how much the wind is blowing at any time and hence how much energy it is generating. If the winds are calm, the utility company can put more conventional power plants, say those that run on natural gas, online. If the winds are brisk, with more energy being generated, the utility can take conventional power plants offline, thus saving money. Utilities are also investing in real-time wind forecasting technology, the better to adjust the operation of their wind farms accordingly.

Sometimes the wind turbines that are catching a wind gust first tend to block the wind from turbines further behind them. The turbines can adjust their speed and angle, allowing more of the wind farm to catch the wind and thus generate more energy.

If a wind turbine needs maintenance, it can report that fact to the utility, allowing workers to perform the operation more quickly, keeping the facility online. Along those lines, some utilities are investing in aerial drones. The drones can visually inspect the wind turbines close in, noting whether the blades and other parts of the facility are operating at peak efficiency.

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