Digitalization has had a positive impact on almost every sector and the power plant division is no exception. The digital transformation means a lot to the power plant sector. With the increasing demand for electricity and renewable energy, the methods followed at the conventional power plants will soon be unable to meet the growing requirements. This is where the importance of digital power plants comes into play.

Digital power plants are not science fiction anymore, but rather reality. They have already entered the arena fetching along a host of benefits, thus unlocking new opportunities. This is where software meets hardware to improve the way in which power generation is done and delivered to the world. As the existing power plants get smarter with digitalization, the future digital power plants will bring about a vast revolution in this field.

Smart digital power plants to meet the future power requirements

The power generation sector takes pride in having a proven track record of innovation and resilience even during times of disruption. However, it also demands smarter solutions to achieve its aim of delivering affordable, safe, and reliable power.

In the next two decades or so, the world will need 50-percent more power – power that is sustainable, reliable, accessible, and affordable. Digital power plants are the way to go to enable this transformation and accelerate the developments in this sector. If smart digital power plants are the solution to the challenges faced while enabling the evolution and growth of new business models, things can go beyond expectations to meet the future increase in power requirements.

The power industry is already in the phase of going through a drastic digital revolution, leveraging analytics and software to offer complete eco-friendly digital solutions with improved efficiency. Leading engineering companies like QuEST offer efficient solutions for digitalizing power plants. Once this digital transformation happens completely, our society and global economy will experience immense benefits as electricity, which is the source of power to the economy of the world, becomes digitally connected. Smart digital power plants are expected to be the game changer for the future of power generation.

How can digital power plants prove to be beneficial?

Digital power plant is more than one solution. Once the power plant is completely digitized, it can implement applications to incessantly enhance operations and assets. It is integrated with several applications that are beneficial for smarter power generation. Few of its capabilities are discussed below:

  • Asset performance management: The integration of this application in digitalized power facilities can continuously monitor the health of the power plant, thus assisting the operations team to improve the performance of the plant, decrease unplanned downtime, and extend the life of the power plant with the least investment of capital.
  • Predictive management of assets: These digital solutions are likely to help the plant operators by giving them a better insight into prediction and diagnosis of asset failures with adequate lead to efficiently plan the maintenance schedules with improved reliability, while also ensuring high accessibility and a steady flow of revenue from plant operations. This results in many operational benefits like enhanced reliability and accessibility through better predictions and precise performance monitoring.
  • Optimization of operations: With advanced analytics that these digital power plants come equipped with, operations of the power facilities can be optimized to enhance flexibility, capacity, and accessibility. The operations team can get fleet- and plant-wide visibility of the impact that the operational decisions will have on emissions, production costs, capacity, and efficiency. Specific capabilities like business optimization for the power plant, boiler optimization, and analyzers make the operational tasks simpler.
  • Enhance overall efficiency: Digital power plants come with a suite of smart technologies that can drastically cut down the greenhouse gas emissions. This, in turn, improves the overall efficiency and performance of power plants.

This transformational technology can manage each and every aspect of power plant in a smarter way, paving the way to efficient power generation and a cleaner environment.

In a nutshell

Once power plants are digitized with smart solutions, unplanned downtime becomes a thing of the past. It’s the perfect synergy of software and machinery, blending the varied requirements of power assets with intelligent, high speed digital infrastructure. Irrespective of whether you need software-defined operations of software-defined machines for a power plant, digital solutions can flawlessly blend with your business, bridging the gap between machines and people. Once digitalized power plant solutions get implemented widely, we can say that the future of power generation is already here.

Written by Srikanth Subba Rao

on 04 Dec 2017

Srikanth Subba Rao is a Manager in Technology Excellence Group at QuEST and provides solutions to customers along with operations team. He has over 23 years of experience in Design and Detail Engineering of Process/Piping for Process Industries & Auxiliary system of Power Plants. He has handled new customer engagements from the stage of understanding the customer requirement, preparing proposal, estimation & project execution. He is responsible for setup “Plant Design and Engineering” Center of Excellence and also supporting new programs for establishing processes. He is conversant in ASME, API, EN and JIS standards.