Remote monitoring service for turbines and generators to enable data-driven plant management

02 April 2020, 8:37 EEST

Early signs of operational disturbances in turbines and generators often go unnoticed. Automated remote monitoring, with a real-time data stream, makes it possible to identify and react to abnormal behaviour without delay. Fortum eNext has developed a remote monitoring service to allow energy producers to avoid unplanned outages, optimise outage intervals and have better control over maintenance costs.

A real-time data stream continuously captures operational data from a local power plant and transfers it to our experts for monitoring and analysis without delay.

Substantial improvements in operational efficiency can be achieved by investing in preventive maintenance. By constantly monitoring and analysing critical data from the turbine island, even the very first signs of disturbances can be identified without delay, allowing more time to react and plan proactive measures before equipment failure. 

The remote monitoring service by Fortum eNext offers a modular, scalable and cost-effective cloud-based solution for turbine island condition monitoring and diagnostics. A real-time data stream continuously captures operational data from a local power plant and transfers it to our experts for monitoring and analysis without delay.  

In addition to traditional process data monitoring, our solution includes sophisticated vibration analysis of the whole turbine island and detailed condition monitoring of the generator stator, rotor and shaft system. Fortum eNext provides three different remote monitoring modules which allow tailoring of the service according to exact business needs, ranging from small-sized municipal utilities to large-scale industrial power plants. 

As an independent service provider, Fortum eNext can handle equipment originally supplied by a wide selection of different OEMs.

"Defining the optimal operation range for each machine and developing failure pattern recognition is where we can put our extensive expertise in turbines and generators to good use,” says Vesa Kylmälä, Head of Turbine and Generator Services at Fortum eNext.

In case a sudden issue occurs, the data is readily available and allows our experts to perform root cause analysis without unnecessary delays, travelling or costly separate on-site measurements. Besides proactive problem recognition, our experts also offer decision making support for operation and maintenance and fast response to optimise costs. The service includes follow-up of long-term operational trends and KPIs that reveal gradual weakening of parameters.

Through remote monitoring of the turbine island, energy producers can minimise unplanned downtime, equipment failures and loss of production, and shift from scheduled and reactive maintenance to data-driven proactive maintenance. The continuity of turbine island operations will be ensured and the lifecycle of the plant’s high-risk and high-value turbomachinery extended.

Operational excellence put into practice

The remote monitoring service by Fortum eNext has been developed through a pilot at one of our own combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Suomenoja, Finland, where the last coal-fired unit is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2025. The aim of the ongoing remote monitoring pilot is to guarantee high plant availability for the remaining years and to secure the safe and cost-efficient shutdown of the unit. The decisions on the overhaul and maintenance activities of the unit have been supported by in-depth analysis conducted on the basis of data gathered at the power plant’s turbine island.  

”Operational excellence is one of the key elements of Fortum’s strategy going forward. All operators in the energy sector need to optimise operational efficiency and minimise costs in order to stay competitive and profitable. The pilot at the Suomenoja CHP plant has further deepened our knowhow and understanding on how to increase plant availability, how to have control over maintenance and investment costs and how to optimise maintenance and overhaul schedules in order to shift unplanned turbine and generator outages to scheduled ones,” Vesa Kylmälä concludes.

At Fortum eNext, we are committed to supporting energy producers as they adapt to the ongoing industry transformation by optimising the performance and availability of conventional power plants, thus securing the supply of energy and reasonable energy prices for end-users during the transition period. 

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