GE Digital’s OPM for Power Generation to Provide Modular, Interoperable Performance Optimization Tools

By Harry Forbes

Category:
Company and Product News

GE Digital introduced its Operations Performance Management (OPM) solution for Power Generators.  This three-module solution helps increase revenue and margins by coupling Process Digital Twin technology based on first principles (physics-based modelling), AI, and advanced machine learning, with cutting-edge modelling and analytics and edge control, enabling optimized power plant performance across a generation fleet.

OPM can improve the performance of plants, sites, and generation portfolios by consolidating data into a coherent single source of truth available to users across the organization, from the plant to headquarters.  It also ties in historical context and economic impact with expanded operational capability to drive actionable insights and decision support.  This information is used to monitor and diagnose performance issues, identify areas of improvement, and predict capacity and its cost, to improve day ahead and intraday planning. The resulting guidance and executable advice drive desired outcomes for improved efficiency, flexibility, capacity, and emissions.

With a connected UX from plant to trading floor, traders, dispatch planners, and commercial teams can have accurate and timely information on plant-specific capabilities and costs, and as a result, optimize their market offers and dispatch decisions to manage risk and uncertainty, while increasing margins and profit.

With better monitoring, diagnostics and guidance, generators can ensure performance is maintained to minimize costs and improve output.  They can apply models and analytics at the plant and asset level to open operating boundaries and optimize operations.  They can bring individual plant capabilities to the forefront of the decision-makers – traders and dispatchers – in a way that presents advice, rather than just data, in real time and contextualized for the role and decision that needs to be made.

OPM for Power Generation is made up of three interoperable modules that connect users, asset capabilities, and market analytics to remove inefficiencies and drive profitability:

  • Performance Optimization, to safely expand operating limit boundaries, understand economic tradeoffs and close the loop to improve performance with ML/AI-enabled optimizers and advanced Edge controls.
    • Start Optimization: Drive start consistency, up to 40% improvement in start fuel, time, and / or emissions.
    • Capacity Dispatch Optimization: Trade efficiency for 3.5% maintenance free output.
    • Efficiency Optimization: Reduce fuel consumption up to 2% in the plant.
    • Automap: Lower costs and improve efficiency and emissions with AI/ ML-enabled combustion control and emissions tuning.
  • Production Planning, to maximize margins and manage risk with accurate performance predictions and decision support.
    • Dispatch Position & Market Share (Dereg): Increase profitable dispatch with more accurate capacity and heat rate predictions and guidance.
    • Dispatch Efficiency & Fuel Savings (Reg): Improve dispatch efficiency and reduce fuel costs with more accurate capacity and heat rate predictions, and dynamic economic dispatch advice.
    • Risk Management: Minimize real-time exposure and maximize on-peak offers.
    • Fuel Purchasing: Reduce risk of imbalance fees with fuel demand forecasts and advice.
  • Performance Intelligence, to achieve operating targets with key performance indicators (KPIs), scorecards, and analytics-based alerts and advisors.
    • Fuel Cost Reduction: Improve plant heat rate through thermal performance monitoring, alerts, and recommendations providing performance degradation impacts and recovery advice.
    • O&M Process Improvement: Improve O&M activities through operational decision support tools providing plant thermal performance and business impact information and recommendations.
    • Dispatch Operations Improvement: Improve plant starts and generation through operational performance monitoring tools, insights, and guidance.

 

Harry Forbes, ARC Advisory Group, commented, “Power generators tell ARC that today they face far more complex operations.  Long before COVID-19, their fleets had to operate with more frequent cycling, yet with higher performance and environmental targets.  Now they also field smaller and more remote staffs and face still lower capacity utilization.  GE Digital’s OPM solution takes a broad view of this situation – examining the power value chain all the way from dynamic fuel prices to unit performance and electrical locational marginal price (LMP).  It also lets utilities evaluate both the financial and the operational impact of short-term opportunities.  This is the kind of multi-faceted analytics and decision support capability that today’s utilities require.”

 

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