Empower energy evolution
/ Enerlytics: Uniper’s IoT solution for the energy industry, set to boost your power plant’s path towards higher efficiency and energy transition. /
The world needs more energy than ever. Urbanization, a growing economy and a rising global population will lead to a considerable increase in the demand for energy in the years to come. Providers must meet the need for more electricity, while at the same time tackling another pressing challenge: Making a success of the energy transition.
With decades of experience in operating and analyzing power plants, Uniper has built up immense expertise when it comes to improving the efficiency of power plants and securing energy supply. This experience is what will allow them to further meet the energy needs of tomorrow while driving forward decarbonization by optimizing electricity generation.
Uniper approaches big energy challenges with big data analytics – offering solutions that meet market demands and create value for the customer. To go carbon neutral, the company has focused on their business investment in digital solutions which combine their knowledge and help tackle environmental problems. Uniper now wants to share what they have learned regarding energy transition with the market.
Holistic solutions for groundbreaking change
An integrated approach is fundamental to Uniper’s goal of driving the energy transition forward. To be able to create attainable change and lead continuous improvement, managers and operators need to adopt a holistic view of power generation and trading functions.
Based on Uniper’s extensive knowledge, they have built a sophisticated set of individual solutions that were needed but not yet available on the market. Eventually, they combined all of the individual components on a single, innovative platform to help fellow owners and operators, who are starting their transition, to ensure that they stay relevant.
There are currently five clusters comprising the Enerlytics digital platform, each covering a range of functionalities and tools, from asset performance to market enterprise. It is possible to focus on single clusters or to receive data from several or all of them for a complete overview of the power plant and its predicted future performance.
Enerlytics: The powerful software for power plants.
The need for increased efficiency of power plants implies a change in how operators run assets. Using deep data insights, Enerlytics’ Asset Maintenance & Reliability Management harnesses digital monitoring technologies to collect and analyze machinery condition data across equipment in the organization. Employing scenario modelling and pattern recognition, the cluster provides an early warning system for potential faults and failures, alerting operators so that a predictive maintenance strategy can be developed and implemented, with minimum disruption to production time.
Also vital to smooth operation of the power plant, the Asset Performance Management cluster features Enerlytics’ primary big data performance management functions. This offers actionable insights into emissions monitoring, plant efficiency, thermodynamic performance and more, enabling plant operators and managers to monitor and assess the performance of individual assets as well as the entire fleet. Units at various sites can be tracked against each other, allowing quick identification of best-performing units and analysis of comparative performance.
Machine health data that is generated by these clusters can be cross-referenced, for example, with the Asset Market Optimization cluster, which focuses on the commercial performance of the operation to ensure that the plant remains aligned with industry demand and market changes.
Using stochastic optimization, Enerlytics can produce robust estimates and forecasts that enable plant managers to maximize expected value across the full range of conditions, and overcome the challenges of long-term uncertainty. The Asset Planning & Valuation cluster can provide interactive models of energy systems, including markets and advanced price forecasting based on market conditions, to evaluate asset investment and enable optimized design of energy systems depending on user-specific criteria. Using this cluster, the plant manager can explore potential scenarios relating to carbon intensity, energy prices, security of supply, and other metrics.
To ensure safe processes, operators need to consider the level of risk they wish to take, depending on their short- and long-term goals. Created with industry experts, the Asset Risk Management cluster enables power plant managers to develop and track a structured risk assessment and management strategy to make power generation more flexible and responsive to market changes. No matter the size of the organization, Enerlytics Asset Risk Management is scalable to individual requirements.
Uniper – the innovative partner in change.
Uniper leverages its century old expertise to achieve the highest possible efficiency of power plants and to contribute to the ongoing energy transition. It can bring stakeholders together and share knowledge with the help of the digital solution Enerlytics. Solving tomorrow’s problems properly requires a broader and holistic view which Uniper can provide. Since they share many experiences and challenges with their customers, they can understand intricate systems, lead industry optimization – and discover better ways to better energy.
Playing catch-up in the US
“In Europe, offshore wind has been there for a number of years, but I think in the United States we're a little bit behind that,” said Karustis.
Should it be successful, Halo’s approach could lead to a surge in US onshore wind, which has historically lagged behind other regions in terms of wind installation and production. Since 2016, according to the International Energy Agency, the US has installed just 22.6GW of new onshore wind capacity, compared to 30.7GW in the EU, and 50.3GW in China, struggles that Karustis hopes to address.
Last December, the Chinese Government approved a number of new offshore wind projects, totalling 13GW of production and costing around $13.3bn, as the country continues to invest in utility-scale power. Karustis hopes projects like Halo’s distributed turbine can contribute to a more balanced wind sector in the US, with both large- and small-scale operations expanding renewable power.
“The large-scale wind turbines wouldn't be phased out, it's kind of an ‘all of the above’ thing,” he said. “The large wind farms play a very important role for us in reducing the carbon footprint globally, and hopefully the micro wind market is going to augment that by producing energy where energy is being used. It's a good two-pronged approach.”
This two-pronged approach also includes other renewable power sources, including solar and utility-scale wind; Halo is not trying to replace all clean energy with its turbines, but offer another option for people eager to engage in renewable power, who may have been historically sidelined due to the high costs of building utility-scale facilities or the unsuitable geographical characteristics of the places they live.
“When you look at that market we're very excited because just as megawatt-scale wind is a large market, I think distributed wind can be as big of a market or bigger over time,” said Karustis.
“When you have incentives and improvements in the technology, the costs go down, so you can be more competitive and compete, and that's certainly the case with megawatt-scale wind,” he continued. “Just 15/20 years ago, it wasn't competitive with natural gas [and] coal, but it is now. So those government policies have helped and they've driven the technology improvements, so it's all bundled together.”