GE engineers are writing software to create a virtual version of GE’s wind turbines

Building a digital twin, bolstering the power of a wind turbine

You may be hearing the term “digital twin” quite a bit recently, but what does it really mean? What are its applications? And how is one built? In one Paris neighborhood, GE engineers are working on digital twin turbines—and working towards a new, predictive future for power generation.

Using the power of Predix, GE’s software platform, engineers are writing software to create a virtual version of GE’s gas turbines, steam turbines, and wind turbines. These “twins” live in the cloud and are supplied with all the data and insights that come from their physical twin—the turbine itself. So what can you do with digital twin technology? The benefits of digital twins are endless—for one, it’s a great way to test different scenarios. For example, a digital twin wind turbine could help determine the impact on the physical turbine if the wind blew harder, if the wind blew longer, and if the wind didn’t blow at all.

Another question digital twins can answer—what is the temperature of the Haliade 150-6 wind turbine’s yaw motors? This matters because keeping the temperature of the motors consistent is a great way to keep track of the turbine’s performance in general. But this isn’t as easy as it seems.

Engineers were able to use the virtual sensors from the Haliade’s digital twin turbine to get the temperature information they needed, then developed an app that both monitors and estimates the physical turbine’s temperatures. This app will help engineers in the field determine whether to keep the turbines running at full power or slightly lessen them.

The app to help field engineers is still being built, but when it’s released into the wild, it will help to keep GE’s efficient turbines running that much better—and it’s all thanks to digital twin technology.

To learn more about the application of digital twin and Predix for turbines, contact GE today.

Read the full story on GE Reports