Cloud-Based Services Provided to a Power Generation Company

One of the companies we have worked with is a leader in specialty products, best practices in sustainable process technology and equipment hygiene, and energy technology services. They provide chemistry programs and services to the upstream and midstream oil and gas industry, downstream refinery and petrochemical plants, power generation operations, and many other use cases. Through onsite problem solving and the application of innovative technologies, such as cloud-based predictive


Traditional versus remote troubleshooting scenarios. (From O'Sullivan, K., "Outotec's digital services platform: How OSIsoft is helping transform our business." Presented at the 2015 EMEA Users Conference, Prague.,2015.)

analytics, this company strives to help their customers maximize production, optimize water usage, and overcome technical challenges.

In the power generation industry, they monitor customer condenser and heat-exchanger activity 24/7 in their cloud service activity center. They have collected data from more than 200 condensers at 100 customer sites in the United States. Relying on their many decades of experience, they have imparted their domain knowledge into digitized rules and key performance metrics, resulting in the creation of their predictive analytic models that are run at the service provider's centers.

In the past, customers sent this service provider data sets through Excel files and other customized methods. Now they have adopted the PI CC platform, as 80% of their power generation customers utilize OSIsoft's PI System as their plant EIDI.

This service provider has also developed PI AF database templates for condensers and other types of plant equipment. With that, they are able to create a "digital twin" representation of the customer's physical environment.

When the analytical models are run and compared against the customer's actual data, the servicing company calculates equipment performance versus design performance and can determine if there is a problem with current operations. It may be that the condenser has tube leakage or a fouling issue, or there are cooling water cleanliness issues. These conditions may cause high condenser backpressure levels, resulting in increased energy costs and potential equipment failure. In some cases, they have predicted potential failures or problems more than three months before actual failure. As a guideline, the service provider asserts that 1 inch of increased condenser backpressure equals a 1% increase in energy use for combined cycle plants. Solving this can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in fuel cost savings.

To enable this 24/7 service, they partnered with a large systems integrator and thought leader for analytics and visualization support, Microsoft (Azure Cloud Services), and OSIsoft (PI CC). Because of their cloud-based analytics service, they have helped customers realize significant operating and energy cost savings, predicted performance of critical assets, prevented unscheduled downtime and lost production, and prolonged asset life and production run times. As an added bonus, they provide both site-level and enterprise- level KPI dashboards showing all condenser KPIs and color-coded operating status.

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