Qair Simplifies Asset Management Using Power Factors’ Greenbyte Application on AWS
Renewable energy sources are the future of electrical power, and independent power producer Qair is helping realize this future by building offshore and onshore wind farms, photovoltaic plants, green hydrogen production units, and other renewable energy facilities around the world. As it expanded, the company realized it needed effective ways to monitor its energy production facilities, gather data, and compile reports.
To solve these challenges, Qair used Greenbyte, an asset performance management (APM) software-as-a-service application for renewable energy assets, provided by Power Factors, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner. With this APM software as a service, Qair is monitoring and managing its assets worldwide using one centralized dashboard and improving problem-solving and reporting for its operational control centers.
Building the Renewable Energy Future
Founded in 2017, Qair quickly grew, building its first gigawatt of energy production within 5 years. The company has continued growing rapidly ever since. With dozens of wind farms, photovoltaic plants, and other renewable energy facilities in 20 territories, Qair and Power Factors have set up a digital infrastructure that’s spread out widely across countries and geographies. Qair operates and reports on assets worldwide but also has local offices in some countries, such as Poland and Brazil. If there’s any issue—or event—that needs attention, the operational control centers are close to the wind farm or photovoltaic plant and ready to fix it.
It was challenging to monitor and manage these assets and local teams across multiple continents, and Qair relied on disparate data sources that were cumbersome to track and verify before deploying Greenbyte. Monitoring is important for energy producers to confirm that a power plant is running at its expected performance and reliability for its projected lifetime. Using Greenbyte, Qair managed to deploy its entire digital infrastructure worldwide, increasing operating efficiency and helping global engineering and asset management teams to collaborate with Qair’s local operations teams.
“Before deploying Greenbyte, the data collection process from all our assets took a lot of time,” says Sébastien Lefevre, performance engineer at Qair. The company needed a more efficient way that would scale as it continued to expand its footprint.
Improving Visibility and Streamlining Reporting
To improve visibility, streamline reporting, and simplify its asset management, Qair engaged Power Factors to use Greenbyte as its digital infrastructure and APM tool. The application gives Qair a single source of truth across all its disparate assets, making it simpler to monitor its infrastructure and respond quickly to events. The company pulls near-real-time data from all the critical pieces of equipment and control systems in each plant. Then, it monitors the performance of each component with ease to verify that it’s on track to meet expectations and identify potential problems for further investigation. Qair also customizes its dashboards to quickly view alarms and alert local teams, in accordance with its operating guidelines. Thus, Greenbyte empowers operational control center operators to verify that their facilities are operating safely while maximizing generation and reducing unnecessary downtime.
Reporting is greatly simplified too. Compared with Qair’s previous system, Greenbyte is saving 15 days on reporting each month because all the data is in one place. “Using Greenbyte, we can produce as much power as we want and reduce the time spent in reporting or finding the cause of issues,” says Lefevre.
Greenbyte APM is also simplifying the way Qair manages the huge amount of data that it collects and stores. Qair tracks as many as 200 data points from each wind turbine and 100 for each inverter. It collects new data every 10 minutes for thousands of devices, obtaining tens of millions of data points per day. Because Greenbyte does the heavy lifting, storing and processing data using AWS services, Qair can track many key performance indicators and get a detailed view of its overall operating efficiency. The company tracks metrics such as the long-term wind statistics, possibility of wind speed reaching budget, production in megawatt hours, and performance of wind farms versus projections.
With a good sense of its infrastructure and its business through Greenbyte, Qair is positioned to continue growing. And the Greenbyte APM software running on AWS can scale seamlessly along with it. Qair is also speeding the onboarding of new power plants in a reliable and scalable way. “Many companies cannot stand up plants as fast as they want to,” says Jennifer Edwards, senior vice president of marketing at Power Factors. “Greenbyte removes a roadblock by providing scalability and velocity. We provide tools that support the entire lifecycle of a plant, from planning and operations to maintenance and market integration.”
Managing Data Efficiently and Scaling Using AWS
Power Factors’ industry expertise makes it a perfect fit for Qair’s needs. Qair stores all the data it collects on Greenbyte, which uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service built to retrieve virtually any amount of data from anywhere.
And because its Greenbyte application uses Amazon S3, Power Factors can scale and remove repetitive, manual tasks so that it and its clients can focus on innovation. “The volume of data we handle is ever increasing,” says Edwards. “So, we needed a service that puts it into a processing engine and provides educated insights into what actions the client should take.” Improving analytics by cleaning up and augmenting data is a key benefit of using Amazon S3 as the foundation for Greenbyte. “We’re obsessive about the quality and cleanliness of the data that comes out,” says Edwards.
Ushering in the Future of Renewable Energy
Qair is positioned to continue growing and expanding its assets around the world. And Power Factors will use its collaboration with Qair to further improve Greenbyte.
“We want to help reduce human errors, save time with automated calculations, and provide deeper analysis,” says Ricardo Navarro, customer success manager at Power Factors. As an AWS Partner and with the support of the AWS team, Power Factors continues to make improvements and build new solutions that bring value to its customers.