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Transforming renewable energy: reducing costs with physics modelling

Renewable energy sources have emerged as a critical solution to address the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation, and energy security. These sources, including solar, wind, and hydropower, offer the promise of sustainable energy generation while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies presents its own set of environmental and engineering challenges.

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

One of the primary benefits of renewable energy sources is their minimal greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy technologies have a lower impact on air and water quality compared to fossil fuels. Wind and solar power produce no direct air emissions and have minimal water usage compared to coal and natural gas power plants.

The deployment of renewable energy infrastructure can have land-use implications and potential impacts on local ecosystems. The production of renewable energy technologies requires materials like rare earth metals, which can have environmental and ethical concerns regarding mining and extraction.

Many renewable sources are intermittent, meaning they generate electricity inconsistently based on weather conditions. Ensuring a stable power supply requires advanced energy storage solutions and grid management, efficiently developing these technologies remains a challenge.

Integrating renewable energy into existing power grids also poses challenges, including grid stability, capacity management, and the need for smart grid technologies.

Digital engineering as a solution

Model based engineering is a transformative approach that uses digital tools, data analytics, and simulations to design, optimise and manage complex engineering systems. Here’s how digital engineering can help address the challenges of renewable energy:

Optimising resource allocation: digital engineering tools can analyse geographical and environmental data to determine the optimal locations for renewable energy installations. This helps maximise energy output and minimise environmental impact.

Simulating energy generation and storage: advanced simulations enable engineers to model and predict energy generation patterns, considering factors like weather conditions. Additionally, simulations help design and test energy storage solutions for efficiency and reliability.

Grid management and integration: digital engineering facilitates the design of smart grids that can efficiently manage the integration of renewable energy sources. These grids can balance supply and demand, incorporate energy storage, and improve grid stability.

Manufacturing optimisation and predictive maintenance: digital engineering tools assist in the development of renewable energy technologies with lower environmental footprints. This includes optimising material use, reducing waste, and improving manufacturing processes. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can be applied to predict maintenance needs for renewable energy infrastructure, ensuring optimal performance and reducing downtime.

Energy efficiency solutions:  Digital engineering improves the accuracy of decision-making and the economic viability of renewable projects by simulating various scenarios and optimising designs.

Establishing a continuous digital thread between virtual and physical testing increases simulation use across the product lifecycle. Advanced measurement and data analytics ensure the validity of these simulations.

Read more on the Smarter Testing project to find out how simulation tools allow test engineers to understand how defects will manifest in sensor measurements.

CFMS is at the forefront of supporting the renewable energy sector with cutting-edge digital engineering solutions. Our knowledge helps optimise wind farms using extensive wind data and machine learning methods.

Our engineers can use digital engineering to accurately anticipate wind patterns, optimise turbine siting and design, as well as preventative maintenance. Understanding that renewable energy is the key to a sustainable and ecologically responsible future drives our dedication to it.

Digital engineering advances bring us closer to a future where renewable energy is the main source of electricity. Our dedication to a cleaner, more sustainable world matches this goal. Our secure on-site data centre supports our whole digital engineering offering, including design, modelling, and data analysis. This makes CFMS your trusted partner in digital innovation to create more efficient and effective renewable energy engineering solutions.

To find out more about how we can support your business contact us.

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