Interactive Real-time Wind Park Monitoring

Overview

Softvise's first technology demonstrator is a system for remote monitoring and control of wind turbines in a wind park.

Function

The wind park data server continuously provides information about the state of each individual wind turbine. This data is processed via a business process automation software and delivered to the visualization and control system.

The Softvise 3D graphics technology translates this data stream – the data on its own is hard to interpret – into a visually graspable and intelligible presentation.

For that purpose, each wind turbine is represented by a 3D model positioned in a virtual 3D scene at its correct geographical location.

On changing wind direction, each wind turbine rotates its engine nacelle to keep the rotor headed optimally into the wind. The data server sends the new nacelle orientation to the visualization system where the 3D model automatically keeps track.

The graphics system also translates the rotor's current number of revolutions into a computer animation of the rotor blades.

This way the user can make a rough estimate of each turbine's operational status merely by visual inspection.

In addition, the most important data can be displayed in numerical form above the wind turbine. Certain values, especially anomalous values, are highlighted in color to attract the user's special attention.

Information Processed

For each wind turbine, the system displays the following data:

Additionally, the optional overlay window offers buttons to control the wind turbines:

Navigation and Control

In the 3D scene, the user can freely define his position and direct his view by means of keyboard and mouse controls. Each wind turbine can be selected with a mouse click.

For the selected turbine, a property window can be displayed. It contains a summary of all data currently sent by the server.

The wind turbine can also be controlled using integrated buttons. The control control commands are sent back to the data server which passes them on to the wind turbine.

Technical Implementation

Communications Scheme

The wind park monitoring system consists of the following components:

Wind park monitoring communications scheme

Data Server

The data server receives state information from each wind turbine and makes it available via a ReST interface in JSON or XML data format.

It also offers a reverse channel, again via ReST interface, to allow for sending control commands to the wind turbines.

In the technology demonstrator the data server is not connected to a real wind park. Instead it communicates with a simulation system developed by Softvise in C++.

Business Process Automation

In the next step the raw information sent by the data server in JSON format needs to be processed. To this end, Softvise has devised a process using a business process automation software. The server integrated in this software executes this process specification. Some client software can retrieve the results in XML format via a ReST interface.

Graphical Client Application

The graphical client implements the fully interactive graphical user interface based on the computer graphics technology developed by Softvise. It can be positioned anywhere on the internet, like the data server and the business process automation solution.

Main purpose of the client is to demonstrate that Softvise's 3D graphics technology can easily be integrated with business process automation solutions and that both systems cooperate effectively and efficiently.

Both forward and backward communications channels are implemented via ReST interfaces. They support JSON and XML data format.

Web-based Client Application

A second client is implemented as a Web application using HTML and Java.

It features a classical table view including control buttons to manipulate the operational state of each wind turbine and a real-time map view based on OpenStreetMap.org.

Furthermore, a custom-made wind gauge exemplifies how to design a user-friendly graphical interface for numerical information.