Published on 28-Nov-2011
"We have the libraries of wind that we estimated we would be in the range of 18 to 24 petabytes of data. That is equivalent to watching 70 years of high definition video. Without Big Data, we are not able to analyze the huge amount of information we have available in our libraries. Data is absolutely worthless if you can’t retrieve information. And that’s where BigInsights became our preferred solution." - Lars Christian Christensen, Vice President, Wind & Site Competence Centre
Energy & Utilities
Technical Computing, Big Data, Information Integration, Smarter Computing, Smarter Planet
A wind energy company in Denmark reduces the time to analyze petabytes of data from several weeks to a few hours while improving accuracy through additional analytical factors when it adopts IBM InfoSphere BigInsights Enterprise Edition software and installs the IBM System x iDataPlex server, Denmark’s most powerful supercomputer to date, to manage and analyze location factor data for advanced wind turbine placement decision support.
Wind turbines are a multimillion dollar investment with a typical lifespan of 20 to 30 years. The location chosen to install and operate a turbine can greatly affect the amount of power generated by the unit, as well as it how long it can remain in operation. The company was looking for a solution that would improve accuracy with dramatically reduced modeling time and utilization of all available data, in addition to supporting future expansion in modeling techniques.
Use InfoSphere BigInsights system to enable our customers to get their business case going much quicker. This has helped reduce the response time from almost 3 weeks to mere 15 minutes. The solution is run on an iDataPlex system with close to 15,000 cores.
• Reduction by approximately 97 percent–from weeks to hours–the response time for business user requests • Provides the capability to analyze all modeling and related data to improve the accuracy of turbine placement • Decrease in cost to customers per kilowatt hour produced and increases the precision of customer ROI estimates
Headquartered in Denmark, Vestas, the world leader in modern energy, selected InfoSphere Big Insights and IBM storage to build a wind library that ultimately will hold 24 petabytes of information about worldwide wind patterns. That information will help the company's clients choose the best sites to build turbines to produce wind energy and meet the growing demand for alternatives to fossil fuel.
Lars Christian Christensen, Vice President, Plant Siting and Forecasting, Vestas:
Wind energy in today’s world is important because the world is running out of fossil fuels at some point in time, and we have global heating as one of our current challenges.
The 2020 target in Europe is that in 2020, 20% of all energy has to come from renewable energy, and a lot of those 20% is coming directly from wind.
The only way we can maintain being #1 in modern energy is to stay ahead of our competitors using the latest technology. The most windy location may not be that location that generates the best revenue for the customer. So siting of turbine becomes a very complex discipline.
Wind in itself is kind of a volatile source; it fluctuates. You need to convince our customers that what we supply them is a reliable source of energy, and the only way you can prove reliability is by analyzing the data you have available.
We have the libraries of wind that we estimated we would be in the range of 18 to 24 petabytes of data. That is equivalent to watching 70 years of high definition video. Without Big Data, we are not able to analyze the huge amount of information we have available in our libraries. Data is absolutely worthless if you can’t retrieve information. And that’s where BigInsights became our preferred solution.
When we use InfoSphere BigInsights system to give us the answers, that enables our customers to get their business case going much quicker. Questions we have asked in the past would take us three weeks waiting time to get a response back. We expect that we would be able to get an answer back from for the same question now in 15 minutes.
The solution we are running on right now is an iDataPlex system with close to 15,000 cores. That’s where the InfoSphere BigInsights system comes to play, and that’s currently at 2.8 petabytes. And we have it in our scope to expand that to 20 petabytes.
There is definitely a benefit in running, you could say, an IBM solution on an IBM system. We have experts that can tell us about how to optimize the hardware system, but we also have experts readily available that can tell us about how do we get most out of InfoSphere BigInsights solution.
To Vestas, Smarter Computing is to gain the benefit from those combined systems we have and optimize the way we work. We will be able to give customers much better financial warranties. We will be able to substantiate those risks or those decisions with an assessment based on data. And the customer, he needs to get his Business Case Certainty fulfilled; he needs to get predictability, reliability, and that can only happen through systems like InfoSphere BigInsights.