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50 Most Admired Companies of the Year 2021

‘It is crystal clear to me how we can optimise offshore wind using digitization’: Founder of Offshore Digital Engineering Ltd.

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“What sets us apart is we bring in experience from different sectors including the finance sector (FinTech and open banking standards), and the entertainment space, using the gaming platform for the EOS WindSim™ visualization.”

Offshore Digital Engineering Ltd. is an offshore renewables company based in the United Kingdom. A small yet diverse professional team offering a unique mix of skills and experience, giving them the capability to develop a unique software solution.

To highlight and further understand what Offshore Digital Engineering stands for and seeks to explore in this segment, I sat down with Carl Ketteringham, who is the founder of the company.

Below is an excerpt.

Q. How did Offshore Digital Engineering come to the fore? Was there any prior experience that led you to the establishment of the company?

After a decade in the finance sector, I moved to the offshore deep seismic industry (Oil and Gas exploration), data acquisition and manipulation being the link. However, the industry was hit hard, and exploration came to a halt with the 2007 downturn. Carl had already had a taste of offshore wind with a small contract on one of the early UK projects, so a move to the still-emerging industry was an obvious one. Offshore experience and data acquisition again forming the common thread.

ODiGE was formed initially as a contracting vehicle but after a decade of projects and the acceptance of offshore renewable energy, ODiGE changed direction to develop a solution to address the need for digital innovation in the industry.

Q. Why did you decide to take the plunge? What made you decide it was time to get more digital?

Multiple projects for multiple utilities and still the same silo-based digital results, a control desk with a suite of different systems loosely coupled together only by necessity (normally grid compliance). If the offshore wind was going to be efficient then a unified holistic view was needed. To me, the solution was crystal clear.

Q. What makes your company great? And what are your focus areas?

Our extensive hands-on project experience from the early days of offshore wind gives us the depth of focus that most developers do not have. Our focus is all offshore SCADA and digital, we don’t do anything else. With that said, we do have our sights on battery storage and hydrogen which are now coming into view, but basically, we stick to what we know and this is the space that can be used to optimise operations and reduce costs.

Q. ‘EOS WindSimTM is an industry-first Operational Digital Twin, a true game-changer!’ Sounds Interesting! Could you elucidate more on it?

EOS WindSim™ is a part of the overall EOS solution, a unique flexible data-driven platform designed to optimise the operation of an offshore wind park or fleet. 

The principle is simple: ‘actionable insight’. Look for those small anomalies in the data and alert this to the operational team real-time so they can act. This is done by galvanizing the data from the multiple SCADA and monitoring systems and adding context so the data is useful. Then with ML, look for those small differences that could be a problem manifesting — could be a WTG underperforming, a cable running a fraction hotter at certain loads, or even a tiny indication in the high-resolution HV data that something isn’t right! Changing the running arrangement or curtailment may give you time to understand the issue and plan an exchange instead of a costly full-blown failure.

Q. How is Offshore Digital Engineering helping its clients to develop Control philosophy and SCADA Procurement strategy?

This is the bread-and-butter day job; we present the client with procurement options based on previous projects. The SCADA and digital is low value compared with the main package and so often isn’t given much thought during the early phases of a project. However, with a small number of hours, a project can position itself well from a SCADA and digital perspective and avoid the pain of variations or delays later in the process.

Q. Tell us about the people who work at Offshore Digital Engineering. What sets your company’s culture apart?

ODiGE is a network of experienced contractors/partners that we utilise as required. What sets us apart is we bring in experience from different sectors including the finance sector (FinTech and open banking standards), and the entertainment space using the gaming platform for the EOS WindSim™ visualization.

The energy sector is behind the other sectors when it comes to tech, so it’s time to capitalise on what the other sectors have been doing for almost a decade with open banking security and cloud SaaS services.

Q. Will your company be bringing on any new products or services that we should be aware of?

EOS is a platform that we will continue to develop and bring new functionality into the design. Our immediate focus is a pilot on a floating R&D project, we will then focus on developing the EOS insight tool, which is a cross-assets risk profiling model to help operational teams understand where their risks lie in relation to each other. Understanding the risks will help owners/operators focus and optimise their maintenance/retrofit campaigns, a big move from being reactive.

With the industry moving into deeper water and the need for floating foundations, we know there will be a demand for digital innovation in this area. EOS WindSim™ is perfectly positioned for asset monitoring below the waterline where data from the mooring and subsea cable join systems needs to be correlated with turbine and HV data to get the full view of the asset performance.

Q. How do you plan to transform your company into a future that is unfolding before you?

We started our transition around three years ago. We saw the changes happening from within the industry which has driven the development of the EOS platform. ODiGE is well-positioned for the huge changes that are affecting the way we produce, transmit, and trade energy. We are expanding but also realise that to stay involved in a rapidly expanding sector, we need to work faster. Therefore, we are currently seeking an investment partner to take the EOS solution forward. There is a huge potential and we have the industry experience and a solid solution to address the industry pain points.

Carl Ketteringham | Founder

Carl Ketteringham is the founder and owner of Offshore Digital Engineering Ltd. (ODiGE). He has over 15 years of offshore wind projects experience. Working on the SCADA and digital areas of projects in the UK/Europe, the Far East, and now the US, Carl has accumulated a unique understanding of the dynamics hindering the digital revolution when it comes to offshore wind.

“Our focus is all offshore SCADA and digital, we don’t do anything else. With that said, we do have our sights on battery storage and hydrogen which are now coming into view, but basically, we stick to what we know and this is the space that can be used to optimise operations and reduce costs.”