With IBM technology: Vestas wins Computerwoche's Big Data Award 2012


The partners were awarded the Big Data Award 2012 in Offenbach last night. Second and third place went to the projects of Bild.de and EXASol.

Vestas Wind Systems is the world's largest manufacturer and operator of wind turbines. To make the wind turbines projected by Vestas customers even more cost-effective, the wind turbine manufacturer uses hardware and software from IBM: with the help of one of the largest privately-used supercomputer named "Firestorm" and a bespoke Big Data analytics solution from " Big Blue "Vestas can already calculate in advance in a few hours for project planning in a specific location, how much energy will be generated there in the next few decades, how high the yield is and how fast the plant pays off.

Vestas Wind Systems has more than 50, 000 wind turbines in more than 70 countries with an installed capacity of 51 gigawatts and, with a world market share of 13 percent, is the largest turbine manufacturer of wind turbines. Vestas' Firestorm supercomputer has a storage capacity of around 2.8 petabytes. Comprised of 1300 servers, the Firestorm is one of the fastest mainframes worldwide and - thanks to the analysis software "IBM InfoSphere BigInsights" - can do the calculations so easily. For this purpose, the data of the sites in question are linked with other factors such as terrain altitude, soil conditions and satellite imagery. In total, 160 factors that affect the performance and lifetime of the equipment are included in the analysis. The amount of data to be processed includes both structured and unstructured data - a classic big data task.


"Vestas' wind turbines often run for decades, so of course our customers want to know how much energy they will produce and what their ROI will be before they start building, " says Anders Rhod Gregersen, Vestas Wind Systems Senior Specialist for Plant Siting and Forecasting A / S. "IBM's software and hardware solutions enable us to answer these questions quickly and reliably, identifying new markets for wind energy and helping our customers achieve their ambitious renewable energy goals."

Among other things, exact airflow models can be calculated for any location. This increases the efficiency of positioning and at the same time eliminates unnecessary planning time. Vestas Wind Systems is currently the only manufacturer in the highly competitive wind market to offer such an asset planning option.

On the next page we present you the further projects in a short overview.