The energy landscape is changing. The move from coal and gas as the primary source of power, to cleaner, more environmentally friendly renewable methods are forcing a shift in the utilities industry to support a mix of offerings.
As wind and solar alternatives start to change the way the industry is moving, power companies must also deal with aging equipment. Meanwhile, there will be a 25 percent increase in energy demands by 2040. This means power companies are in the mode of having to do a lot of maintenance while contemplating how to switch over equipment without impacting customers.
Balancing the trilemma of equity, security and sustainability, utilities must find ways to reduce outage frequency or outage duration (or both) and keep equipment at a level consistent with minimum generation costs and load management objectives.
What these companies need right now is asset management—and more specifically, it must be predictive, because no one wants to deal with a problem after it has already occurred. Abnormal conditions need to be addressed and actions need to be outlined before there is ever an inkling of an issue.
Schneider Electric’s new Predictive Asset Analytics Suite for the Power Generation sector, which will roll out later this month, provides companies with the ability to have real-time performance monitoring on everything in the equipment infrastructure in order to understand specific patterns without any performance degeneration.
The suite delivers standardization, knowledge management, contextual information and case-based analysis while predicting equipment failures by connecting applications and devices. The software leverages Schneider Electric’s Avantis PRiSM Predictive Asset Analytics for early warning notification and diagnosis, coupled with connectivity to the PLC, distributed control system (DCS) and historian control layers. Intuitive dashboards offer a view into performance based on integrity levels, as well as detect and alert non-conformity as a result of integrity violations or advanced pattern recognition methodologies.
This turnkey solution, which is part of Schneider Electrics’ Industry Solutions for Power, builds upon the company’s existing product portfolio including model-driven workflows from Skelta business process management (BPM), Avantis condition monitoring and enterprise asset management (EAM), as well as SimSci ROMeo for process optimization.
“We are layering these together for purpose-built functionality,” said Maryanne Steidinger, director of industry solutions marketing for Schneider Electric Software. “The strategy of the Industry Solutions groups is to look at specific sectors, like power generation, and bring together solutions that fill the gaps in the way problems are being addressed in the industry.”
Specifically, operational data management (OPD) provides the ability to federate multiple asset models into a unified model. A key performance indicator (KPI) manager connects to data sources and defines calculated variables and KPIs with boundaries and store. And a decision manager offers the ability to capture cases and manage them through the lifecycle. All of this is captured through a unified operations console.
Using the Schneider Electric integrated applications enables power companies to have a full view of what is going on—and what could happen—in order to remediate problems quickly. The key is to transform the data into decision-making contextual and historical information.