A peek under the hood of Duke Energy's wind turbine analytics

Industry Trends

​In my recent ARC forum wrap-up I noted that there's a mystery with the Industrial Internet of Things:  Exactly how does raw data get transformed into insight?  Following that post, RTI contacted me.  Turns out that RTI provide a piece of the puzzle for Duke Energy's IIoT microgrid solution which includes wind turbines. 


Connext DDS is RTI's integration solution based on the Object Management Group's Data Distribution Service protocol.  OMG describes DDS as "the first open international middleware standard directly addressing publish-subscribe communications for real-time and embedded systems."  While a new protocol to me, the more I learnt about it, the more familiar it seemed.  In a previous role I was part of the marketing team for the Sonic Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).  Many foundational concepts are similar:

  • Fully distributed, peer-peer architecture avoids a single point of failure and provides easy scalability.
  • Service-oriented publish-and-subscribe architecture to provide flexibility and agility - applications neither need to know or care where data is coming from or going to.
  • Guaranteed delivery.  Messages put on the bus are guaranteed to be delivered, no matter what.


DDS adds to that foundation in several ways, most notably real-time performance.  While an ESB can provide good response times across an enterprise IT architecture, the DDS protocol can provide millisecond or microsecond response times.  Such performance is essential for plant operation and control. 


For Duke Energy, Connext DDS provides a flexible, easy way to integrate and communicate with OT systems and devices, such as smart meters, transformers, vibration sensors,  accelerometers - and so on.  Raw data that is ultimately used for analytics is flowed through Connext DDS where if can be refined and turned into management information.  It that sense, it facilitates OT/IT integration.  


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