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Monitoring Residential Wind Turbines

Small wind turbines are being deployed around the world to help reduce reliance on fossil fuel for the energy requirements of homes and businesses.

Owners of the wind turbines need a way to monitor energy creation. Manufacturers need a way to monitor the health of the machine and to provide reporting services to government agencies to qualify for incentive programs.

To do this, a manufacturer designed an XBee® ZigBee embedded module into its wind turbine. This 2.4 GHz radio module communicates to a ConnectPort™ X gateway inside the home or business that connects to the internet via the LAN. The ConnectPort X regularly communicates back to a central monitoring center at the manufacturer via an IP connection and Device Cloud by Etherios™, giving the customer accurate energy creation data in real-time, and providing the manufacturer with any alerts to maintenance requirements of the turbine. In addition, it allows the manufacturer to make available energy creation data to interested government agencies, with the consent of the turbine owner.

Part of Digi’s Drop-in Networking product family, the XBee, ConnectPort X and Device Cloud work together to allow wind turbine manufacturers to “drop-in” a customized wireless network in a cost-efficient, non-intrusive, and secure manner. This solution offers significant benefits to the manufacturer and customers:

  • Customers may monitor energy creation in real-time, from anywhere.
  • Ability to remotely turn the turbine on/off if problems are detected
  • Ability for the manufacturer to proactively monitor the turbine for preventive maintenance

With Digi’s Drop-in Networking solution, the wind turbine manufacturer is able to offer customers a convenient, cost-effective way to monitor energy creation in real-time, as well as manage thousands of deployed systems on behalf of their customers.

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