December 7, 2015 | by Rob Cole | Engineering + Technology, Solar Resource Assessment, Wind Resource Assessment

henry 3 Our newest data logger, SymphoniePRO, is purpose-built for renewable energy applications.

Renewable NRG Systems’ products are purpose-built for renewable energy professionals. Our focus on designing complete solutions specifically for the industry dates back to our earliest days over three decades ago, and in the time since, it has yielded impressive results. Since 1982, renewable energy projects developed with our measurement tools have collectively generated over 2,000 TWh of electricity.

Our newest data logger, SymphoniePRO®, builds on this proven approach. The result is a data logging system optimized for each step of the resource assessment process, from configuration to data processing. Here are five benefits of using a data logger designed and manufactured specifically for applications in renewable energy.

1. Easy, Repeatable Configuration

Configuring your data logger should not be the hardest part of your measurement campaign—our customers have plenty of things to worry about once they leave the office and get out into the elements. Whether it is from the comfort of your office or in the field, you can configure your logger using our SymphoniePRO Desktop Application and a simple USB cable. Additionally, changes can be made after the fact using our MetLink protocol to connect to your device remotely.

Each campaign is a little different, but many of our customers employ standard configurations fleet-wide. SymphoniePRO’s default settings are optimized for resource assessment. Beyond those settings, SymphoniePRO Desktop Application contains a default sensor dropdown menu that automatically configures each channel for the appropriate signal and default scale factor. Data transfer schedules are set with a few clicks and can be changed remotely if necessary. Location data can be configured in the office before deployment or set with GPS coordinates once the logger reaches the field. Once established, your preferred configuration can be saved and easily re-applied for future deployments, making subsequent deployments even easier.

2. Streamlined Installation and Maintenance

In developing SymphoniePRO, we reused our familiar modular architecture, which minimizes the number of “peripheral” devices. We included everything you need for a resource assessment campaign and nothing else, all designed to fit together and work seamlessly. Rock-solid mounting hardware keeps everything organized and makes it easy to remove individual components for maintenance, without disturbing the rest of the system. Sensor channels are grouped by type using both color-coding and text labeling right on the wiring panel so you do not have to second-guess which sensor goes where.

Not every installation goes according to plan, however, and that’s when our dedicated technical services team comes in handy. Just like you, they’re immersed renewable energy applications all day every day, and they’re dedicated to making your life easier.

3. Robust Data Acquisition and Storage

With 26 total channels, SymphoniePRO has the right balance of plug-and-play and flexible channels on our spacious wiring panel to accommodate your sensor configuration. Surge protection is embedded in each individual channel—a design which has been tested to IEC 61400-4-5. This provides robust defense against the electrostatic discharge common to the remote areas where renewable energy facilities are developed. Once commissioned, SymphoniePRO generates efficient binary data files and stores them on internal Flash memory, with an additional copy placed on an industrial-rated SD card. This redundant data storage, along with a logger access PIN and advanced file encryption, combine to keep your data safe in any location. With abundant channels tailored to renewable energy measurement campaigns, SymphoniePRO can handle your preferred sensor configuration and keep acquiring and safely storing data even in the harshest environments.

4. Flexible Data Transfer Options

There is no “one-size-fits-all” data plan. The optimal configuration depends on the particular needs of each project and the cellular service available at the site. For this reason, SymphoniePRO enables a wider range of data transmission options than previous Symphonie loggers.

SymphoniePRO uses the popular iPackGPS communications and autonomous power modules, and therefore comes fully compatible with WindLinx, a resource assessment-specific service plan provided by RNRG partner Wireless Innovation. A WindLinx SIM card is already installed in your GSM iPack when it arrives. Our customers are also free to use a GSM SIM card from their carrier of choice, and a CDMA option is also available in North America. Once network connectivity is established, customers have the ability to deliver data via email—a proven method for reliable data transfer—and now connect to the logger remotely using our MetLink protocol. This enables customers to view system diagnostics and live data in real-time and allows for remote firmware updates as well as configuration changes (and, since we only serve renewables, you won’t be overwhelmed with changes that are irrelevant to your business).

5. Versatile Data Processing

SymphoniePRO’s advanced data collection capabilities allow you to analyze data in ways not possible with previous Symphonie models. To streamline configuration, it still comes with the industry standard 10-min averaging interval as the default setting, but users can now access shorter statistical intervals and/or 1 Hz sample data as desired. For measurement statistics, average, standard deviation, min and max 1-sec samples, and now maximum 3-sec gust with direction are available, as well as channel configuration information, internal diagnostics, logger events, and communication session information. You get the full picture of what is happening at each site and can render time series of measurement statistics to perform preliminary quality control right in the SymphoniePRO Desktop Application, before moving on to more rigorous analysis.

SymphoniePRO Desktop Application provides a modern and intuitive interface by which to process data from binary *.RLD to versatile tab-delimited text (ASCII) files in a way that is familiar to Symphonie users. To automate the processing of large amounts of data, SymphoniePRO Desktop Application has command line functions to convert and import data, which are evoked through the use of scripts.

The Purpose-Built Advantage

RNRG’s focus on renewables gives our products an inherent edge, because we don’t build data loggers for every application. We build data loggers for renewables.

Customer feedback from our earliest data loggers through to the latest model in the Symphonie line has ingrained a deep understanding at RNRG of the unique needs of our growing industry, from its early days in the 1980s to today’s global landscape. All along the way, we have been there helping our customers overcome the challenges they face in this dynamic and crucial business, and the popularity of our loggers speaks to the effectiveness of our approach. We look forward to continuing to help our customers address their evolving challenges in the years to come as we collectively work toward a world powered by renewable energy. 

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Rob Cole

As a product manager, Rob's focus is on wind resource assessment and remote sensing technologies. He first became interested in renewable energy while studying in Denmark during his junior year of college, where he witnessed firsthand the impressive changes the Danes have made to their energy system. Rob wants to bring products to market that make it easier for the world to transition towards greater penetrations of renewable energy.  He writes about industry trends and how NRG’s products address our customers’ challenges.

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