Digital twin wind farms: Siemens and NVIDIA are modeling reality via AI in the metaverse
When you plunk a $100 million wind farm down on 98,000 acres of varying terrain, you want to know a few things. You want to know that you’re optimizing the location of your multi-million-dollar turbines. You want to know that the turbines you source can handle the gustiest gust of wind they will ever encounter without shattering dramatically in some loudmouth YouTuber’s viral video. And you want to test potential uses cases and changes in software, which is cheap and changeable, rather than in hardware, which is expensive and notoriously hard to edit.
Which is why Siemens Gamesa, the global renewable energy company, is working with NVIDIA to generate AI-powered digital twins of its turbines.
“What we want to do in moving into the digital twin space is to be able to have an accurate digital model of the entire wind farm where we can play out scenarios,” Greg Oxley, a lead data scientist at Siemens told me in a recent TechFirst podcast. “This could be … incoming weather events and we want to see how to optimally operate that wind farm as we move through these type of events. We could be testing new control strategies or something that we want to look moving to the future and we want to see how the wind farm will perform under those new control paradigms.”
Siemens has thousands of turbines around the globe that together produce over 100 gigawatts of wind power, enough, the company says, to power 87 million homes every year. That’s enough to want to optimize how they function, and protect them in case of storms.
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