Interviews – An Interview with Manuel Losada of Isotrol

100 GW, a milestone. What are the important thing elements which have enabled Isotrol to succeed in this level?

On the one hand, our expertise: We now have been working within the power sector for greater than 37 years. We have been pioneers within the monitoring and management of the primary wind generators, once they have been nonetheless experimental prototypes, almost 30 years in the past. All of the information we now have accrued is mirrored in our options and in our Bluence platform, till we reached this achievement, which we’re very happy with.

Alternatively, this expertise wouldn’t have been potential with out our purchasers, of whom we contemplate ourselves to be their technological touring companions. The origin of our identify comes from Engineering, Software program and Management, so we now have all the time had one foot within the actuality of our purchasers’ enterprise, from our engineering facet, and one other within the digital transformation and technological points. As they’ve been evolving, this has allowed us to adapt our options to their wants, together with new functionalities and providers.

Our platform covers the whole cycle: ranging from options to optimize the administration and management of the renewable power era, bettering its effectivity, to modules to combine this power into the electrical energy grid and options for the transactions of this power generated within the electrical energy markets. This world imaginative and prescient along with our coverage of fixed funding in innovation are Isotrol’s distinguishing options within the sector.

Of these 100 GW, what number of are renewable and by which international locations are they?

The overwhelming majority are renewable. Bluence covers completely different applied sciences: wind farms, photovoltaic crops, concentrated solar energy crops, hydropower and biomass. In recent times, we now have additionally been managing battery storage, a key know-how for renewable energies to take part on equal phrases within the electrical energy markets. It is a crucial facet in flip to realize decarbonization in cities and the remainder of the planet. Our options are primarily built-in in North America, Europe and Latin America, though we even have services in Australia and different geographies, and are actually current in additional than 45 international locations.  

Isotrol provides options to handle participation in wholesale power markets. Because of the talk across the rise in electrical energy costs in latest months, do you consider that the marginalist system utilized by the electrical energy market is the most effective? Are there different alternate options?

We now have to consider that marginalist methods have been applied within the overwhelming majority of power markets globally, based mostly on the benefit of a suggestion based mostly on alternative prices, whose goal and common result’s to switch to the market gross sales costs that favor era and proceed investments within the sector. Nevertheless, in these difficult instances, as the costliest know-how units the worth, the rise in demand and gasoline costs has led to a powerful distortion in pricing outcomes. The futures markets point out, nevertheless, that the state of affairs might be progressively regulated, with the standard costs and a continued decline within the following years. We consider that the progressive decarbonization of the power combine, by which Isotrol participates with its options, will result in a discount in power costs and a excessive stabilization of costs within the close to future. On this way forward for primarily renewable era, a state of affairs like the present one couldn’t happen, whatever the pricing system.

We normally hear that renewables are the most cost effective power sources immediately, however their rising implementation coincides with electrical energy worth will increase that we now have by no means seen earlier than. When will we understand these qualities of unpolluted energies?

Undoubtedly, there’s a advanced financial state of affairs in electrical energy costs, which is immediately related to the present state of affairs of the gasoline markets and its impact on marginal costs. Nevertheless, the contribution of renewable energies to the discount of electrical energy costs has been plain in recent times. This contribution will proceed to extend as soon as the present circumstances are resolved. A circumstance that, by the best way, would have been clearly aggravated if the present percentages of renewable era had not been out there.

What can already be seen is that, for instance, on days when it’s windier, the market worth is lowered due to the impact of renewables, in comparison with what it will have been with out them. Equally, it may be seen that costs in the course of the sunniest hours of the day are inclined to fall.

Immediately, renewable energies account for roughly 26% of the full generated worldwide, whereas a share of greater than 85% is anticipated by 2050. We’re satisfied that the long run power combine, based mostly on renewable energies, complementary storage methods and lively demand administration, will progressively scale back electrical energy prices and keep away from conditions akin to the present one, by decoupling costs and damaging elements exterior to the manufacturing international locations.

Asset administration is increasingly more linked to digitalization. Is there nonetheless a lot to be achieved on this regard? Is there room for enchancment? Please, give a grade to the administration of renewable belongings in our nation.

The renewable power sector is a younger sector, present process a powerful strategy of each growth and maturation. This second is a related problem for all actors, because it permits innovation with nice agility, with digitalization being one of many essential fields of motion.

There’s a lengthy strategy to go, each within the standardization of processes, in addition to in high quality requirements and their digitization, which can enhance their operational effectivity.

What we understand is that nice strides have been made on this course, resulting in higher availability of crops and era components and, subsequently, to higher operational effectivity.

There’s a pattern in the direction of an growing professionalization of administration groups, and to have state-of-the-art instruments with which managers can get essentially the most out of the crops. Managers are confronted with the problem of accelerating their operational effectivity, since there was a shift from having a number of managers at every plant to having a number of crops per supervisor. That is undoubtedly a problem.

We see the primary room for enchancment within the means to take advantage of the data out there, which is quite a bit, with a purpose to enhance the effectivity of the belongings. On this regard, we’re already serving to our purchasers with instruments based mostly on synthetic intelligence and digital twins.

The progressive implementation of renewable era crops makes the administration of the electrical energy system extra advanced. What do we’d like for the system to stay technically dependable? What sort of investments needs to be made? Are they being made?

Undoubtedly, primarily as a result of, at current, renewable crops have an excellent capability to foretell their manufacturing, however to not handle it. As well as, the steadiness of the electrical energy system—by way of voltage and frequency regulation, for instance, or the protection of sudden power calls for—depends on conventional applied sciences that may have much less and fewer weight within the electrical energy system.

There are two main actions. On the one hand, there’s higher manageability within the era of renewable crops, which is achieved by combining storage with the supply of providers to the grid. Alternatively, the grid should be ready for abrupt adjustments in manufacturing by incorporating clever administration by way of numerous levers to make it extra versatile. These levers could be, amongst others, the storage included in crucial factors, or the lively administration of demand with the electrical car. These are fundamental instruments to facilitate the combination of power into the grid. To make use of a simile: it will be like an orchestra conductor, who ensures that every instrument combines with the remaining, attaining concord.

Are there variations between the administration of a wind farm and a photovoltaic plant? Is one simpler than the opposite? Why?

They’re clearly completely different in technical elements. They’re complementary applied sciences which have particular traits.

Within the wind sector, we face the issue of sustaining a fancy era system, with a number of mechanical components at top and with entry difficulties (each onshore and offshore). This upkeep requires optimum administration of data, planning, logistics and processes to hold out main corrective repairs, the place predictive and/or early detection means are essential to anticipate incidents and adequately plan the ranges of upkeep to be carried out.

Relating to photovoltaics, the issue is sort of completely different, since we shouldn’t have top or entry difficulties, or mechanical components challenges (apart from trackers), however we do have an infinite variety of era components distributed over an enormous territory, which signifies that the bushes don’t enable us to see the forest. For this reason we have to have methods that enable us to optimize upkeep administration, acquiring the utmost return (by way of discount of misplaced power) for the sources devoted to upkeep. On this case, categorization, early detection and built-in administration are the pillars for bettering operational effectivity.

Generally, the pattern in wind energy is to have wind farms with fewer and bigger wind generators of greater than 10 MW, whereas in photovoltaic, the pattern is to extend the variety of equal components to realize larger energy crops.

Briefly, we face a really thrilling state of affairs, by which renewable energies and options for the Power Transition are going to make a distinction. We even have the luxurious of with the ability to compete at a global stage, primarily from Seville, due to a group of pros with nice expertise in a sector that’s quickly increasing and that generates precious employment.

For extra info: