TBEA New Energy: Achieving Lifecycle Management of Intelligent Power Stations With AI

PVTIME – With the advent of the digital era, AI, blockchain, cloud computing, and other technologies are widely used in more and more fields.

As a multiyear TeraWatt sponsor of the SNEC International Photovoltaic Power Generation and Smart Energy Exhibition & Conference, TBEA Xinjiang New Energy Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “TBEA New Energy”) exhibited its 1500V string and central intelligent PV power generating solutions for the era of grid parity, power quality solutions, intelligent microgrid solutions, TB-eCloud Intelligent Operation and Maintenance solution which incorporates AI and cloud computing technology, and a new generation of intelligent products such as TS228KTL-HV string inverters, energy storage converters PCS, and TC3125KF centralized inverters at the 14th SNEC last month.

From intelligent devices to intelligent power stations, creating a different type of AI

In the photovoltaic industry, many companies are trying to improve power generation efficiency by applying digital technologies such as AI and cloud computing to equipment such as the inverter and the module individually. However, TBEA New Energy’s approach to AI technology is completely different.

“The AI ​​application of TBEA New Energy does not focus on a certain device or individual link, but on the entire power station, the entire region, and the entire group.” Xu Bofeng, Deputy General Manager of TBEA New Energy, said in an interview with a reporter from PVTIME. “Currently, intelligent operation and maintenance in the market is more inclined to standardize the operation and maintenance specifications of power stations, and intelligentize the inspection, maintenance, safety, quality supervision, and other aspects of an operation, while the intelligent operation and maintenance of TBEA New Energy is to integrate and open up the relationships between people, people and equipment, equipment and equipment, rather than just equipment intelligence.”

“Take dust accumulation in power stations as an example. The accumulation of dust on photovoltaic panels has a definite affect the its power generation efficiency. According to common sense, if there is dust accumulation, it must be cleaned. However, if you learn in advance through the weather forecast system in the operation and maintenance platform that there will be an 80% chance of heavy rain the next day, the cleaning work should be properly delayed. Conversely, even if it does not rain the next day, you must still consider when and how the panels should be cleaned.” Xu Bofeng said. “If the dust accumulation at the power station is a “point”, then the power station is a “line”, and all power stations in the region are on a “plane”. What TBEA New Energy is doing with AI technology is connecting the “points” to “lines”, then connecting the “lines” to “planes”, and reducing the electricity cost per kilowatt-hour of the power stations with our lifecycle operation and maintenance method.” Xu added.

Different power stations have different characteristics, and in the face of complex development environments and power generation systems, progressively declining electricity prices, and increasingly accessible data and information, the traditional design ideology cannot meet the complex design requirements of these modern power stations.

Combining its 20-years of experience in the development, construction, and operation maintenance in photovoltaic, wind power, power transmission and transformation projects, with its industry status and foresight, TBEA New Energy has invested a lot of resources into the creation of a digital system suitable for the entire lifecycle of a project.

This digital system, capable of governing 9 aspects including a project’s macro site selection, resource evaluation, micro site selection, economic evaluation, project design, project construction, project construction management, project O&M, and project optimization and improvement, has one interface, three supports, four sections, and five platforms. The one interface refers to TB-eCloud, the new energy industrial internet platform which supports new energy cooperation, co-construction, and information exchange. It is also the foundation to IoT, data analysis, capability sharing, and applications development. The three supports serve as a key mechanism for digitalization and enables the construction of a digital culture, recruitment of digital talents, and improved digital organization. The four sectors covered by the SaaS system include the digital wind/photoelectric field operation, intelligent manufacturing, engineering services, and integrated energy management. Lastly, the five platforms refer to digital engineering design platform, digital engineering service platform, intelligent electric field platform, integrated energy platform, and intelligent equipment management platform.

Ensuring power station revenue generation with powerful intelligent system support and dual terminal integration

It is understood that TBEA New Energy’s system has already been fully applied in the resource evaluation and design process of multiple photovoltaic and wind power projects. A TBEA New Energy intelligent photovoltaic solution based on this system, with the TS228KTL-HV high-power string inverter at the core, can achieve dual terminal data integration from the cloud to the station. The cloud provides TB-eCloud photovoltaic power plants the intelligent O&M system as well as the TB-eCloud mobile operation APP in order to facilitate the integration of resources. On the station’s end, an intelligent photovoltaic monitoring system and an intelligent photovoltaic analysis system provide analysis of the power station’s health, equipment, operation, and generates visual reports which can provide strong support for decision-making at all levels.

The TBEA New Energy intelligent photovoltaic solution incorporates a new generation of IV curve detection technology which can improve the scanning speed by 20% compared to conventional scanning method during the IV curve scanning stage. The scanned IV data is transmitted to the backend through the high-speed PLC + optical ring network for IV Curve analysis. Then, the powerful computing capability of the TB-eCloud platform calculates and analyzes the parameters of the string, and can diagnose the fault type of the IV curve from the database in the shortest time, and finally provide the clients with a visual, highly accurate, low-cost maintenance solution for the power station.

On top of achieving precise operation and maintenance, the solution also opens up the data channel between the inverter, tracking bracket, communication box, and photovoltaic zone monitoring system, integrating the tracking bracket communication with the intelligent inverter, and matching the branch to the MPPT. Corresponding to the connected tracker, a dynamic ‘fuzzy’ algorithm is used to actively adjust the tracker of the corresponding branch in order to ensure precise control and avoid issues with coordination and control. The maximum output of power generation of each circuit, each inverter, and each square array then subsequently increases the power plant’s revenue generation.

Intelligent channel trailblazing leads to performance improvement

The construction of a digital system platform has opened up a real-time channel for the sharing of power station application data and information across various industry sectors, and also helped TBEA New Energy’s performance soar. According to statistics, the global shipments of TBEA New Energy’s inverters have exceeded 30GW, and the number of wind power and photovoltaic power plants has surpassed 5,000. In the “Top 500 Global New Energy Companies in 2019”, TBEA New Energy jumped by 8 places to the 89th place.

2020 marks TBEA’s 20th year in the field of new energy, and is also an important year strategically for TBEA New Energy. Xu Bofeng revealed that in the coming days, in order to adapt to the changing trends of the times, the company will work with all partners in the ecosystem to innovate business cooperation models, and jointly explore areas such as green finance, energy trading, energy efficiency management, intelligent power plants, and intelligent energy equipment, so as to lead the wind and photovoltaic industries into a new era of grid parity!