Digital Solutions

Transitioning through digitalization

Digital Solutions continued to build a position as a leading, global, and trusted provider of software and enterprise solutions, helping customers digitalize and manage business critical activities.

The lion’s share of our activities is directed at assuring safe and reliable energy production, supply, and use. 

Throughout 2021, this business area focused on transforming its products, services, and operations to further support the energy transition. Going forward, the anticipated accelerated growth and digitalization within renewable energy are expected to significantly increase the demand for digital solutions.

Assuring digital twins to enable unmanned offshore platforms

The oil and gas industry faces substantial challenges related to operating and maintaining offshore assets. At the same time, digital twins, linking digital models and simulations with real-world data, pose a great opportunity to optimize and reduce operating time and costs. Assets can be planned and designed, and performance improved, through datadriven operations. DNV’s recommended practice RP-A204 offers valuable guidance for digital twin developers and is a framework for the qualification and assurance of digital twins. 

In 2021, DNV performed extensive work to develop a digital twin that enables the remote operation of Aker BP’s offshore platform in the Norwegian North Sea. This project demonstrates the strengths of combining deep digital insights and technical domain knowledge across DNV’s Digital Solutions and Energy Systems business areas. 

DNV’s recommended practices are based on internal expertise and feedback from key customers, consulting companies, and experts in the field, and are freely available for download.

Supporting carbon capture and storage through CO2 software

When processing, transporting, and storing large quantities of carbon dioxide, as is the case in carbon capture and storage infrastructure, there is a risk of hazardous releases into the atmosphere from blowdown vents and process equipment, pipelines, and storage tanks. In 2021, DNV entered into a long-term partnership with Equinor and TotalEnergies to continue the development of detailed simulation capabilities in our KFX computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. 

KFX CO2 is used for safety analysis when planning and operating new low-carbon infrastructure. The software takes into account the important effects of CO2 thermo-dynamics, complex geometries, and terrain. Reliable CO2 safety analyses are crucial for regulatory and public acceptance when planning and operating a new low-carbon infrastructure.

Automating complex consequence analysis tasks

With the successful pilot launches of two new tools, Synergi Gas Overpressure Analysis and Synergi Gas Outage Analysis, DNV’s pipeline product line has taken a major step forward on the journey towards software-as-a-service applications. 

These are DNV’s first multi-tenant software-as- a-service applications based on the new foundation from CommonSpace, a platform developed by Digital Solutions. The two new tools are now being used by five key customers, and the 2022 product release incorporates feedback from the pilot project. 

The overpressure analysis tool uses Synergi Gas model data to analyse the consequences of an overpressure event, while the outage analysis tool examines the consequences of unplanned and planned outages in a network. Both tools support investment strategy and key decisions regarding the safety and reliability of supply.

Pipeline leak detection software for major Canadian pipeline operator

Considering the severe consequences of accidental releases from liquid and gas pipelines, it is critical to develop accurate and powerful tools for simulation and leak detection. In 2021, Canada’s third-largest pipeline operator, Pembina, purchased DNV’s leak detection solution, Synergi Pipeline Simulator, and tested this software in a pilot project covering three pipelines. 

The contract is significant for Synergi Pipeline Simulator in the North American market, where DNV aims to increase our pipeline leak detection activities, ensuring that the most accurate modelling and analysis are available to reduce the risk of an accidental release. Currently, the three largest pipeline operators in Canada all use Synergi Pipeline Simulator for leak detection and prevention. The software will be implemented on Pembina’s entire network of pipelines in 2022.

Software reduces wind turbine simulation costs

As wind turbines are scaled up, mitigating risk by understanding turbine behaviour is key. In addition, increasingly advanced models are required to analyse the turbine’s response to wind and ocean conditions at each windfarm location. 

DNV’s turbine design software, Bladed, provides a sophisticated numerical model of wind turbines and their operational environment. Bladed can be run in the cloud to make use of large computing resources. DNV has been working to increase the simulation speed to reduce costs. 

The improved code is now available on Linux as well as on Windows, giving a further 50% reduction in cloud compute cost. In addition, new interfaces between Bladed and Sesam are saving engineering time by reducing errors and the time spent on model conversion. Key players using Bladed in the offshore wind market, such as General Electric and Goldwind, will benefit greatly from the improvements.

Cascade software supports the digital future

Over 100 utilities globally depend on DNV’s Cascade software solution to manage critical assets, tracking age, usage, maintenance history and a range of other variables. As power utilities face rising pressure to deliver increased reliability while also reducing costs, it is critical to meet asset performance management objectives. This flagship software supports asset performance management with predictive maintenance, allowing utilities to optimize data collection, analysis, and operations for improved reliability and regulatory compliance. 

In 2021, our electric grid product line made extensive progress on its digital transformation of the Cascade software. The improved software solution includes cloud support, a modernized user experience interface, and strong performance improvements. The release of the Cascade next-generation software is planned for Q3 2022.

Ensuring accurate and confident energy production estimates

As the demand for renewable energy increases, offshore wind development zones are becoming more crowded and solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants are being built on more complex and irregular sites. Consequently, energy production is being underpredicted more frequently, creating challenges for owners and investors alike. 

In partnership with key industry players RES and Engie, and with the support of multiple community funded research and development programmes, Digital Solutions’ WindFarmer and SolarFarmer software packages are leading the charge on the prediction challenges in both industries. The software provides physics-based modelling for solar PV power plants, and new machine learning methods for wind flow and wake loss prediction, all packaged in web API calculation engines to provide customizable and cloud-based workflows.

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