Case Study: DEPCOM power optimizes operation of solar-generation assets

Oct. 20, 2020

Seeq Corporation released a case study with their customer DEPCOM Power and system-integrator Vertech. “Don’t Look at the Sun—Look at the Data,” shows how DEPCOM uses Seeq to improve operating efficiency and optimize maintenance across multiple solar generation sites. The story further describes how DEPCOM Power found a better way to create insights from the wealth of data sourced from multiple solar generation sites. 

At DEPCOM, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and historians were already providing extensive weather, power controller, and position tracking data and automation, per the partners. The performance-engineering team had invested years of effort creating and fine-tuning spreadsheets to view and analyze this data, both live and historical. But the spreadsheets became enormous, making this approach burdensome in practice and difficult for collaboration, all while introducing delays and the possibility of user error. DEPCOM desperately needed to efficiently apply their deep expertise.

Realizing there must be a better way, DEPCOM engaged Vertech to develop a solution based on Seeq’s Server, Workbench, and Organizer applications, which enable stakeholders to rapidly investigate, collaborate, and share insights to improve operations and business outcomes, according to the case study.

An architecture consisting of a centralized enterprise “hub” and many local site “spokes” was quickly established, and Seeq was linked to Canary Labs historians. Seeq connected to and indexed the source data for best fidelity—never moving, copying, or transforming the data. Modular and hierarchical asset-tree-model structures matched the available data with the physical world in a logical way, aiding with identification, deployment, and re-use of configurations. Analyses and dashboard displays were readily arranged to evaluate operations against industry-standard benchmarks and calculations including expected performance level, instantaneous generation, and other energy key-performance indicators. Users were then able to delve into the details and share their investigations as they developed insights.

The initiative has empowered DEPCOM’s experts to apply their expertise and provide timely reports to their solar-site clients for optimizing operations, while freeing up performance engineers to work on other tasks.