A Use-Case-Driven Approach for Demonstrating the Added Value of Digitalisation in Wind Energy: Article No. 012002

S. Barber, A. Sempreviva, Shawn Sheng, D. Farren, D. Zappala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Digitalisation is one of the key drivers for reducing the costs and risks of wind energy. When considering whether to embark on a digitalisation initiative, two key questions arise. The first is what business or operational opportunities might feasibly be addressed and the second is which of the many potential aspects of digitalisation are relevant to those opportunities. In this work, we show how these questions can be answered with a use-case-driven approach, based around a survey aiming to collect and collate the main "pain points" (or everyday challenges) of people in the wind energy sector. Although the relatively low number of participants of the survey (46) means that the results should only be used indicatively, it is still possible to make some general recommendations for priorities for digitalisation efforts in the wind energy sector. Firstly, digitalisation efforts should focus both on supporting people carrying out cross-lifecycle tasks, in particular sharing data, managing data, undertaking general data analyses and accessing data. Tools to do this should deal with varying data formats and naming conventions, make metadata more accessible, define data and metadata standards, make more data publicly available and improve the quality of data. Secondly, efforts should also focus on supporting people in the wind farm operational phase, in particular with failure detection, fault diagnosis, failure rate modelling and predictive maintenance. Solutions to do this should focus on accessible and validated tools for fault detection, cloud or other data pipeline solutions for SCADA data and tools for exhaustive data documentation. Finally, digitalisation efforts should focus on better communicating and helping people become aware of existing solutions and tools, as well as on helping people to exert a stronger influence on possible solutions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-87063


  • digitalisation
  • failure analysis
  • fault detection
  • life cycle
  • metadata
  • wind farms


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