Wind power is a renewable source of energy and China has been actively expanding its wind installations over the past decade. Presently, China is the leader in wind power capacity, making up over 26% of the world total. Wind farms can consist of several hundred wind turbines in remote, harsh environments. Researchers believe that, with China’s land mass and long coastline providing the necessary wind resources, all of its electricity can come from wind power by 2030.

The Challenge

Wind power can be constrained by environmental conditions, with wind turbines operating year-round in harsh, unattended wind farms. This is a concern for most wind power generation companies, including a company in China that needed a stable and reliable communication platform to help supervise and monitor their wind farms. With a communication platform, information from the wind farms could be collected, stored, and analyzed remotely without having staff at these remote locations. This company had very specific requirements for their communication platform and needed a customized solution.

The Solution

Lanner was the perfect partner for this project, working side by side with the China-based wind generation company to provide a customized version of the LEC-3110–-Lanner’s high performance, low-power consumption, fanless industrial computer. The modular design of LEC-3110 allowed for easy configuration based on different product specifications to meet the customer’s requirements.

For this project, Lanner made the following customizations to the LEC-3110:

  • Number of serial ports: Instead of the standard 10 serial ports, the customer requested only 4 serial ports.
  • USB port layout: The original design had 4 front USB ports. Lanner modified the placement of the USB ports, with 2 front USB ports and 2 rear USB ports for greater flexibility.
  • Power input voltage: The standard 85-264Vac input voltage was specifically changed to 220Vac as per thecustomer’s requirement.
  • Nameplate and packaging: Customer logo was added to the nameplate on the front panel and packaging. These customizations demonstrate Lanner’s ability to quickly meet the customer’s requirements, while maintaining our high standard of product quality and customer satisfaction.

System Architecture Diagram

Wind farm management systems consist of three parts: the central data center at headquarters, the data center at the regional branch office, and the field data collection center. The field data collection center is responsible for collecting information from wind turbines, wind test stations, step-up substations, compact substations, weather monitoring systems, and wind power forecast systems. The regional branch office is responsible for collecting and storing real-time data in their territory, while aggregating this information and sending it along to the data center at headquarters. The central data center at headquarters collects real-time data from every regional branch office, and analyzes the information. It is at headquarters where you can find a wealth of information for each wind farm.

Figure 1. The wind power monitoring system architecture.

System Functions

The communication platform is utilized at the wind farm data collection center. The data from the step-up substation, wind turbine monitoring system, weather monitoring system, wind power forecast system, and compact substation monitoring system is stored locally, and also uploaded to the back-end server, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. The architecture of a wind power monitoring and data collection system.

The wind power monitoring system stores several types of data from the field data collection center and regional data centers. By setting up a web server in each wind power monitoring system, users can browse for real-time and historic data from their office or at any location. Historic data is used to forecast power output, with short or long term projections. Weather data is collected by multiple methods and sent to the back-end server. The compact substation monitoring system collects and control digital and analog signals internally, while uploading the information to the back-end monitoring system. The step-up substation monitoring system operates in a similar fashion, where it collects each electronic signal and transfers to the monitoring system through Ethernet networks.

The Result

Lanner’s LEC-3110 plays a vital role in the supervision and monitoring of wind farms for one of China’s wind power generation companies. Real-time data can now be collected, stored, and analyzed remotely, giving assurance to a safely operated and reliable wind farm. The initial project was a success, and brought on more projects with other wind power generation companies based in China. Lanner’s LEC-3110 is now being utilized in wind farms across China, including Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, and Hunan.