Derek Belote, Chris McNalley, and Jason Ugartechea represent the Automated Analytics for Renewable Generation team at CMS Energy.
PUF's Lori Burkhart: Chris, describe the innovation that led to you and your team winning the Francis Upton Top Innovator Award for Analytics, how it works, and what the benefits are to CMS Energy.
Chris McNalley: There are two parts to the renewable side of what we do, engineering and data analysis. These groups must work hand in hand. The overall engineering group handles wind, solar, and battery storage technology. The two pieces that come into play are for wind generation for drivetrains specifically and solar module performance.
What it does is the system of analytics we have created is a dashboard screen for an entire site. We could expand that to an entire fleet. By pre-alarming on a wind turbine, the display will indicate an anomaly through statistical analytics, "Hey, we've got an anomaly or it's trending upward," and will flag that and count the number of flags on top of that. Allowing for inspection and repair prior to the unit coming offline for a fault.
So, if you see a little anomaly versus a big anomaly from a scale perspective, it'll count those. If you see a temperature excursion happen often rather than one big one, it will indicate that, or if you see an exception to the performance of the specific site, the fleet turbines will also pop up and say, "Hey, we may have a problem that's trending up here."