This is the second in a two-part blog series on trends in next-generation digital efficiency. In part one, I wrote about how commercial fleet vehicle management systems can drive efficiency while reducing CO2 emissions. To learn more, check out the eBook we created in partnership with GE Ecomagination titled “Digital Efficiency: Driving Decarbonization and Unlocking Business Value Across Industries.”
One of the most pressing global economic challenges today is the global productivity slowdown. That’s why I’m excited to share how the Industrial Internet has made marked advances resulting in both economic and environmental benefits, demonstrating the potential of what is to come as new solutions are developed, deployed and scaled across industries. There’s never been a more promising time for global, industrial digitization solutions.
Improving Digital Efficiency
For most industrial segments, improving the efficiency of industrial machines by a mere 1 percent used to require a dedicated new technology introduction cycle that can take up to 10 years to develop. Today, thanks to the Industrial Internet, benefits are exceeding far beyond the traditional 1 percent target, without a lengthy technology introduction cycle or replacing hardware.
The industrial sector accounts for the largest share of energy consumption delivered and accounts for more than half of total delivered energy. This is why the Industrial Internet is transformative and opens the door to accelerated resource productivity and reduced environmental impact across global industrial systems such as power generation, oil and gas, aviation and rail transportation.
Renewable Energy: GE’s Brilliant Wind Farm
One of my favorite examples of the transformational change capable with the Industrial Internet is seen in the way GE’s PowerUp Platform has been extended to enable GE Digital Wind Farm. With this solution, GE extends analytics and optimization beyond a single wind turbine to the entire wind farm. GE harnessed the power of the emerging Industrial Internet to create the Digital Wind Farm, a dynamic connected and adaptable wind energy platform that pairs wind turbines in a wind farm with digital infrastructure to optimize efficiency across the entire wind farm. The GE Digital Wind Farm solution generates up to 20 percent more energy output thanks to the GE Predix-ready gateway with Intel technology.
This platform can account for the wind farm’s topology, surrounding geography, wake effects, and other inputs to control individual wind turbines and optimize the operation as a whole. Through these techniques, the Digital Wind Farm technology boosts a wind farm’s energy production by up to 20 percent and could help generate up to an estimated $50 billion value for the wind industry. The Digital Wind Farm uses interconnected digital technology to address a long-standing need for greater flexibility in renewable power.
The Future Looks Bright
As seen with GE’s Digital Wind Farm solution, Intel processors underline GE’s Predix solutions and provide both high power and flexibility. Powerful processors embedded in machines allow for software developed on Predix to run at the most effective point, embedded either in operations or in the cloud. Scaling out other solutions across industries in this manner, the combination of GE software and Intel hardware will provide the foundation for digital efficiency by enabling the development of Industrial Internet applications that provide the full range of potential economic and environmental benefits.
To be sure, a new world of possibilities is being unlocked through the Industrial Internet and digital solutions currently available and under development are just the tip of the iceberg. At GE and Intel, we are excited about the opportunity to play a role in helping to confront global resource challenges and accelerate the pathway to the low-carbon economy using digital technologies. The future has just begun and the best is yet to come.