GE has released the latest in a range of management suites intended to increase the efficiency and reliability of digital power plants, including a new management system for hydropower plants that will reduce maintenance and increase efficiency.
Earlier this year I covered the release of a new digital intelligent Conditional Monitoring System (iCMS) for hydropower plants from GE Renewable Energy. The iCMS, using machine learning to enhance the efficiency of its own monitoring, helps plant managers keep a closer eye on all the working parts, reducing maintenance down-time and theoretically allowing the plant to generate an additional 1% of extra energy.
Announced earlier this month, GE revealed a significant expansion of its suite of Predix-based software for power producers, grid operators, and energy managers, which will reduce unplanned downtime by up to 5% for gas, steam, and nuclear plants, while also reducing false positive alerts by up to 75%, and reducing operations and maintenance costs by 25%.
More important to CleanTechnica’s interests, however, was the parallel unveiling of GE’s new Digital Hydro Plant, the company’s fourth major Predix-based Digital Power Plant solution which is intended to provide benefits including up to 10% reduced maintenance costs, 1% increase in plant availability, and up to 3% increased revenue.
These might sound like insignificant numbers, and if we were talking about wind or solar they might be, given the relatively-fledgling contribution they provide to global electricity demand. Hydroelectricity generates 17% of the world’s electricity, however, as well as being the only source of energy that can be stored at utility scale, making it a vital future energy source. Subsequently, any increase in performance and efficiency can have incredibly valuable outcome.
“In just the past year, we’ve seen more than 30 international, state and private power producers and utilities begin their digital journeys with GE,” said Ganesh Bell Chief Digital Officer GE Power. “Today’s announcements represent another major step forward in the digitalization of the industry. I believe we will look back on 2016 as a tipping point when digital transformation went mainstream.”
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