IBM Collaborates on New Wind Energy Technologies

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IBM announces that energy system supplier Alstom and Ikerlan-IK4, an energy technology research and development organization, are using IBM software to develop wind turbine control systems that significantly improve the performance of sustainable power systems based on wind-generated energy. The new wind turbines leverage a sophisticated system of electronic sensors combined with software from IBM to gather input regarding wind direction, speed, temperature, and other factors to optimize performance and increase efficiency. A central control system collects and analyzes data from each turbine to remotely control individual turbine subsystems, perform diagnostics and manage wind farm power generation. Alstom and Ikerlan-IK4 are using IBM software to help develop and automate the “system of systems” that controls the turbines and their interconnected communications systems.

“Leveraging IBM software helps us apply an automated process to the design and development of Alstom Wind control systems,” says Alfonso Faubel, vice president of Alstom Wind. “This advantage definitely allows us to deliver tailored solutions that are fully adapted to new emerging standards, markets, and client needs.”

Alstom and Ikerlan-IK4 are also using the Gears Software Product Line Lifecycle Framework™, from IBM business Partner, BigLever Software™, to customize their designs to accommodate the varying climates and geographies where the wind turbines will operate.  Alstom and Ikerlan-IK4 estimate that their use of IBM and Big Lever Software reduces development costs by as much as 25 percent and decreases development time by a factor of 10 for each product variation.

“The fact that the wind turbines can be customized to accommodate geographic differences and also adjust to ambient environmental changes adds a layer of complexity to an already a complex software development process,” according to Dr. Salvador Trujillo, chief product line engineer at Ikerlan-IK4. “By using IBM Rational Software for model-driven development combined with BigLever Gears for product line engineering, we can reuse software assets and manage these variations at a pace that allows us to keep up with market requirements.” To learn more visit www.ibm.com.