4Subsea offers monitoring services that allow operators to predict possible problems and come up with solutions before they even occur. Using the SMS Guard™ Sensor Monitoring system, we can oversee your operation remotely and create a digital twin example for every possible scenario.
Let’s see in more detail how digital twin technology works.
The Role of IoT in Digital Twin Expansion
In the last few years, the Internet of Things has taken over the globe. Today, we have more than 31 billion connected devices and by the end of the year, IoT spending is expected to reach $1.3 trillion. Thanks to the development, we have access to numerous new technologies, including digital twins.
Digital twin technology has been around for almost two decades at this point. However, not until IoT devices became widespread did we see the technology become more popular.
What’s Digital Twin Technology?
Digital twin technology is a program that analyses data and allows us to create a replica of an actual physical asset. This allows you to simulate real-life scenarios and foresee possible problems your business operation can face.
The technology is only going to become more popular in the following few years. The technology has already spread all over Asia, Africa, Europe, South, and North America. According to Global Market Insights, the digital twin market is expected to grow to over $20 billion during the next five years.
Read more: Sensor Technology
How Does Digital Twin Technology Work?
Digital twin technology was developed by the University of Michigan to help companies improve their ROI and lower the risk of failure. By creating a digital model of a product or a piece of equipment, you’ll be able to see potential problems before they occur.
In order to create digital twins, data engineers collect information from numerous physical sources. Subsequently, they feed that information to a program, which in turn, creates a virtual model of your product/machine/piece of equipment.
The more data you feed the program, the more likely it is to give you accurate predictions. As we mentioned before, the global digital twin market is only getting bigger and bigger. Some of the main driving factors behind this growth are:
- Further use of Supply Chain Management Services
- Increased adoption of the Internet of Things
- Growing demand for connected devices
- VR and AI innovations of recent years
- Quicker adoption of Industry 4.0
One of the earliest industries to adopt digital twin technology is offshore wind.
How Are Digital Twins Affecting Wind Power?
Let’s look at some examples of how digital twin works: In the offshore wind industry, digital twins asses the “health” of a wind turbine to see at what capacity it will be able to work for a certain period of time. That helps the company know how much money they’ll need to spend on maintenance.
Maintaining a wind turbine is not cheap at all. It’s estimated that in the United States, an average company spends $48,000 per MW on the maintenance of their wind turbines. Unplanned maintenance, which occurs when something suddenly malfunctions, increases these costs even more.
Companies that want to spend less on maintenance can get a lot of value out of digital twin technology. By creating a virtual model and scheduling regular maintenance a couple of times a year, offshore wind power companies can save a lot of money.
Read more: Offshore Engineering
Benefits of Digital Twins in the Offshore Wind Industry
For the offshore wind industry, making data-driven decisions can make or break a company, especially since so many organisations are less than a decade old. Let’s look at examples of how digital twin technology can help offshore wind companies make actionable decisions, backed up by valuable data.
1. Increased Energy Production
Not only will a digital twin make the assets of your company more reliable, but it can also help you become more efficient. Research has shown that digital twins can help offshore wind companies increase their per-hour MW output by up to 7%.
2. Accurate “What If” Scenarios
Possible malfunctions are not the only thing digital twins can help you predict. For instance, by using a digital model, you can easily see what would happen if you increase your turbine power rate or what would happen if you lower your production when electricity is at a low price.
3. Stronger and Easier Communication
People understand and retain visual information way better than they do verbal and written. Since most workers now work remotely, digital models add another layer of information. That makes communication much easier for all parties involved and makes meetings more effective.
What’s Next for Digital Twins?
Now we’ve looked at some examples of how digital twin technology can assist offshore companies. So, what’s next for digital twins?
4Subsea provides technology and support systems that allow companies to predict and prevent malfunctions before they even happen. A digital twin solution will give you the ability to gather real-time data from a wind turbine, save it on the cloud, and analyse it later.
We use a sensor kit called SMS Guard™ to monitor floating wind structures and substructures. That allows us to help you optimise your production, detect anomalies, and prepare for problems that will happen a few months down the line. Fix any problem before it happens with our digital twin services.