Don’t Look at the Sun—Look at the Data

Feb. 26, 2021
DEPCOM Power and their system integrator partner Vertech use Seeq to support data-based decision-making for performance optimization across wide-ranging solar power generation assets.

Seeq Corporation, a leader in manufacturing and IIoT advanced analytics software, announces a success story bylined by their customer DEPCOM Power and system integrator Vertech. The story shows how DEPCOM, based in Scottsdale Arizona, uses Seeq to improve operating efficiency and optimize maintenance across multiple solar generation sites. The story further describes how DEPCOM Power found a better way to create insights from the wealth of data sourced from multiple solar generation sites.

At DEPCOM, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and historians were already providing extensive weather, power controller, and position tracking data and automation. The performance engineering team had invested years of effort creating and fine-tuning spreadsheets to view and analyze this data, both live and historical.

But the spreadsheets became enormous, making this approach burdensome in practice and difficult for collaboration, and introduced delays and the possibility of user error. DEPCOM desperately needed to efficiently apply its deep expertise.

Realizing there must be a better way, DEPCOM engaged Vertech, a systems integrator based in Phoenix AZ, to develop a solution based on Seeq’s Server, Workbench, and Organizer applications. Seeq empowers engineers and subject matter experts to rapidly investigate, collaborate, and share insights to improve operations and business outcomes.

Seeq was selected for its abilities to:

  • Connect with most any type of historian
  • Work well with time-series process data
  • Cost-effectively be procured, installed, run, and maintained
  • Scale for any size application
  • Flexibly enable users to configure, run, and report on varying assets

An architecture consisting of a centralized enterprise “hub” and many local site “spokes” was quickly established, and Seeq was linked to Canary Lab's historians. Seeq connected to and indexed the source data for best fidelity—never moving, copying or transforming the data. Modular and hierarchical asset tree model structures matched the available data with the physical world in a logical way, aiding with identification, deployment, and re-use of configurations.

Analyses and dashboard displays were readily arranged to evaluate operations against industry-standard benchmarks and calculations including expected performance level, instantaneous generation, and other energy key performance indicators. Users can delve into the details and share their investigations as they develop insights.

Seeq has been instrumental in empowering DEPCOM’s experts to apply their expertise and provide timely reports to their solar site clients for optimizing operations while freeing up performance engineers to work on other tasks.