Renewable energy generation sites for hydro, wind and solar farms can often be in remote or hostile locations. There are many challenges in providing data backhaul from such sites, whether they’re in the development or deployment stages. Ground Control has deployed full end-to-end solutions for renewable energy sites in over 100 countries, working with equipment manufacturers and electricity generation companies alike.
As the deployment of renewable energies grows, so does the investment. Billions of dollars are currently being invested in a range of new and innovative technologies designed to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and carbon-related sources.
For investors it’s a high-risk strategy, as many of these new technologies are yet to be proven. While the potential dividends from a successful trial are massive, the sums involved are huge and the potential losses are significant. So what can investors and manufacturers of renewable energy devices do to lower that risk?
One of the most important stages in a renewable energy deployment is the feasibility stage. Unlike traditional energy sources, renewable sources cannot be relied on to provide a consistent and predictable energy output. This is the same for most renewable sources. Solar energy can be affected by cloud cover and other high-level weather conditions. Tidal energy suffers from similar problems, where output can be irregular and unpredictable. Wind energy is subject to the random fluctuations of cloud and air pressure patterns. All of these things make the location and efficiency of renewable installations quite unpredictable. This is where the resource assessment stage is critical.
Resource assessment is a preliminary stage designed to assess the average potential output of a renewable energy site. Trial equipment is located at the prospective site and regular measurements are taken of that site’s potential energy output. It’s a long and complex process. The measurements are sometimes taken over a period of months and years and there are significant challenges to face in accessing suitable locations. Wind resource assessment, for example, may require a company to monitor numerous hilltops and offshore sites.
Remote telemetry systems are essential for this stage of any renewable energy project. With a remote telemetry system, data can be collected and transported by radio, GSM, or over satellite using the Inmarsat BGAN network. It’s a safer and more cost-effective way of planning the renewable economy and is essential to the successful deployment of renewable energy sources.