Supervision of a wind farm in Kenya
Wireless data transmission solutions in the Kenyan desert ensuring efficient site maintenance.
Facilitate the centralization of wind farm information from a single control room.
In 2015, in Kenya’s Turkana Corridor, the largest wind farm in Africa was built, with 365 generating towers of 310 MW. This facility supplies the energy needs of more than 15% of the country.
Within the framework of this large-scale project, Siemens launched a call for innovative solutions aiming at connecting the wind farm: more precisely, to centralize the system of detection of tower breakages.
Atim and its partner JS Automation were selected and realized the technical solution under the supervision of Siemens: a wireless Modbus Master-Slave communication system.
Each of the wind turbines of the park weighs in a way in the global electrical production. To this end, minimizing downtime is a major challenge. A shutdown or a disjunction leads to a significant drop in production.
1 ARM-D radio modem (modbus slave) interfaces with the electrical panel of a tower. It transmits by radio the status of the circuit breakers to the control room periodically.
The Turkana wind farm has been divided into several clusters or radio sectors; the semi-desert area presents hazards to radio communication.
Radio repeaters are fed by autonomous batteries rechargeable by solar panels and are strategically placed in order to cover all the zone.
They ensure periodic upward transmissions: information on the status of the circuit breakers from each tower to the control room; and downward transmissions on command: requests for information from the control room to one or more wind turbines on the status of their circuit breakers.
The command and supervision center is located in the control room.
Each ARM-D (modbus slaves) sends the information about the status of the wind turbines to the ARM-SE radio modem (modbus master).
This modem interfaces via Ethernet to the general monitoring program of the wind farm, allowing real-time visualization and supervision of the status of the wind turbines from a central computer.
In addition to receiving periodic information from each of the towers in the control room, the wind farm manager can query any of the towers on the status of their circuit breakers at any time.