Power Plant Performance Analysis, Diagnostics and Optimization Solutions

Maximizing the efficiency of existing power plants is a priority for the utility industry, especially in light of depleting fuel sources, volatile fuel prices and regulatory pressure to reduce the carbon foot print.  Equipment performance in a power plant or any process industry degrades over time due to its working environment and may cause the generation unit to operate under less than optimal conditions.  However, it is possible to address these issues by closely monitoring the system to identify potential problems and take preventive or corrective measures to improve equipment/plant efficiency.

Kalkitech’s ELTRIX Plant Performance Management (PPM) is a performance monitoring solution that computes the value of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in real-time and provides valuable inputs that can be used by operations and maintenance personnel to improve the efficiency of the equipment used in power generation.   This solution is extensively used by various power generation utilities including thermal, gas, combined cycle, co-generation and hydro generation plants.

The PPM solution forms part of Kalkitech’s solution for Power Plant Performance Analysis, Diagnostics and Optimization (or PADO as it is known in the industry) which includes optimization of plant performance by identifying and controlling the parameters that cause efficiency deviations. The PADO application acts as an online decision support system that utilizes information from the plant’s data acquisition system to analyze, diagnose and optimize plant performance.

The Performance Optimization tool provides powerful solutions for monitoring and modeling thermodynamic performance, whether on individual machines or across an entire plant / process. It also provides solutions for process optimization using first principles and fuzzy logic / neural net technologies. Applications range from advanced supervisory control, anomaly detection, predictive emissions monitoring, coal boiler optimization and many others.

The entire solution is based on Kalkitech’s intelligent Power Plant Optimization software called ELTRIX.

The key features of the ELTRIX PADO solution include:

  • Templates enable advanced performance calculations to be done quickly
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive, graphical web based user interface can be used to accurately model the state of the power plant and compare it to an optimized model in real time
  • Rich in analytics and reporting functions, that are easily configurable to user requirements
  • Integration with Merit Order Dispatch & Availability Based Tariff is possible based on requirements
  • Interoperable with any DCS system that supports the OPC interface, and can integrate  with any CIM compliant external systems such as ERP, Asset Management or MIS

The benefits of the PADO solution include:

  • Monitoring and measuring KPIs in real-time helps evaluate the condition of power plant equipment continuously over time and can serve as a predictive indicator of equipment degradation.  This helps utilities look for possible causes, take preventive measures to minimize such degradation and improve plant efficiency.
  • The solution provides emissions monitoring to help power plants keep emissions within regulatory limits.
  • The system supports the OPC interface (OPC is a software interface standard that allows communication with industrial hardware devices) and can work with any Distributed Control System (DCS) from any vendor that supports the OPC interface.  This offers interoperability and can be used in different industry segments.
  • The solution is Common Information Model (CIM) compliant and can integrate with ERP systems.  The CIMM protocol allows it to seamlessly integrate with other systems like Merit Order Dispatch (MOD) and Availability Based Tariff (ABT) systems (Generation Management).
  • The system can identify potential loss making factors making it possible to isolate the controllable losses and flag them to the operator.
  •  An advance feature of this system is data validation and reconciliation.  A neural network is trained based on design parameters, to validate the input data that is obtained from the DCS, to check that it is within acceptable limits (or flag instrument errors if any).  This feature helps to check the integrity of the data that is input into the system so that the computed results provide meaningful and accurate information that can be used to improve the efficiency of the plant.
  •  The scope of optimization includes Heat Rate, Boiler and Turbine Performance, Combustion and Soot blowing, Alarm Diagnostics, Water Chemistry Management and Emission Reductions.

Additional benefits are possible when integrated with other solutions within the power plant ecosystem such as:

  •  Performance Optimization to improve efficiency by reducing heat losses
  • Equipment Stress monitoring, diagnosis and lifetime monitoring
  • Reliable plant maintenance and minimization of plant down times