Can Automation Enhance the Economy of Power Plants?

By CIOReview | Wednesday, October 23, 2019

With the arrival of automation tools, controlling and monitoring of power have become more advanced and accessible. The energy industry is experiencing a transformation in today’s time, which brings with it vast opportunities and added challenges as well, enforcing the industry to transform.

FREMONT, CA: With changing times, automation has turned out to be an integral element in the power industry, which has been meeting every growing demand. Automation has fulfilled the needs of boosting plant performance with the help of reliable and predictable operation to produce superior economic returns.

When it comes to the competitive energy generation market, power utilities work on optimizing performance. Meanwhile, it reduces operational costs and provides higher quality energy at lower prices to the customers. Nevertheless, it is considered that particular needs can balance the trade-offs between performance, functionality costs, and risks.

Performance optimization is highly attributed to bringing greater flexibility, elevated efficiency, better availability, and minor emissions during the fossil generation. By utilizing the data collected from the distribution collection system (DCS) for advanced control concepts is one of the widely-adopted methods to raise plant profitability.

There are numerous methods in which automation systems can compel economic profits for power plants:

• It enables plants to respond to changing power demands and perform a stable operation under advanced control concepts.

• The achievement of optimized control is a tried and succeeded strategy in power plants around the world. By minimizing the throttling losses and triggering the combustion air and the steam temperatures, plants can achieve superior performance.

• Advanced controls allow stable and accurate load changes with the least fuel overshoot with the help of less stress, predictive feed-forward control, and mobilization of preserved energy. It minimizes the damage on the plant components, reduces the outages, and impacts the availability of the plant.

• It brings higher efficiency with extremely low emissions, which yields a parallel reduction of Carbon Dioxide releases. The decrease of ash for disposal in a coal-fired plant can be significantly optimized by almost 20 percent. Furthermore, the average loss on ignition can be cut down to 4 percent, and the overall performance can be improved to nearly 0.3 percent.       

The advanced computer hardware and software technologies in the present time enable optimizing every element of a power plant. Additionally, it also operates the entire plant as a single unit to maximize the value of its assets.

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