Dundalk Institute of Technology

Dundalk Institute of Technology

Company Profile

In 2002 the Dundalk Institute of Technology established The Centre for Renewable Energy. The manager of the centre, Mr Lawrence Staudt has been involved with renewable energy since 1978, in both Europe and the USA. The aim of the centre is to assist with Ireland’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, through research, academic programmes and information dissemination. The centre awarded a contract to Vestas Celtic Wind Technology to erect a wind turbine on the campus and the project was completed in August 2005.

The Situation

While Vestas provides systems for monitoring large wind farms, there was no cost effective solution for monitoring a single wind turbine. In addition, the Centre for Renewable Energy was looking for an extensible monitoring system which could monitor future projects such as wood chip burners.

The Solution

Measuresoft developed a solution to interrogate the web server embedded in the wind turbine using an XML protocol. Measuresoft used a secure VPN over the college network to access the turbine. Measuresoft ScadaPro product records the data every 12 seconds in an Access database on a PC in the offices of the Centre for Renewable Energy. A set of web pages (see below) to allow other college personnel to view the current and historical performance of the date were also provided.



- The turbine is rated at 850 kilowatts, and provides over half of DKIT’s electricity needs, with the rest coming from the national grid.
- The average power output over the year is approximately 250 kilowatts.
- Any excess electricity is sold to the electricity company, Airtricity.
- The turbine stands 60 metre tall, with each blade length at 26m.
- It is the first large “urban turbine” in Ireland.
- It is the first turbine in Ireland to produce electricity for use “on site”.
- It is the first large turbine on a college campus anywhere in the world.
- The total cost was €1m.
- The turbine will pay for itself in five years, through reduced electricity bills.
- It will reduce national Co2 emissions by over one thousand tonnes annually, saving the country about €25,000 in emissions penalties annually.

DKIT Screen

Benefits

Our solution offers a range of benefits.

The system can be extended to monitor new projects being developed by the Centre for Renewable Energy.

The turbine’s current and past performance can be monitored across the campus via a web interface.

The turbine data is permanently archived so that historical turbine performance can be used in MSc projects for example.