Digitalized Asset Management:
/ Enerlytics – Uniper’s New Digital Technology to Enhance Flexibility Across Power Plant Operations /
CHANGING CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY, AND INCREASING GLOBAL MARKETS ARE CREATING A NEW WORLD OF DISTRIBUTED AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS, WITHIN WHICH POWER PLANTS MUST EMBRACE INNOVATION TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE AND ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS.
Over the last two decades, Europe’s energy markets have undergone dramatic changes. With increased demand for renewables, reliance on conventional power generation has dropped. As emissions regulations become more stringent, and technological advances in big data analytics affect how assets and organizations operate, the energy industry is having to adapt.
Old models of market behavior and demand no longer apply in this new landscape. While risks and opportunities have increased, the drive for flexibility requires plants to create more agility in their operations and smarter investment strategies. In today’s volatile market, only the most adaptable will be able to meet fluctuating demand at short notice and survive into a sustainable future.
In response to the complex shifts in the global energy landscape and an unstable grid, oil, gas, and electricity have all shown increased volatility. To be able to identify favorable trading positions, and to maximize sales in an increasingly open market, managers therefore need to adopt a holistic view of power generation and trading functions.
Comprehensive big data asset management
Uniper is ideally placed to understand the demands of the changing energy markets. By incorporating its extensive experience of owning and operating international power and distribution assets into the design of its new Enerlytics digital platform, the company has created a tool that can help plant managers and operators respond to the transformation in energy markets and meet environmental standards.
The Enerlytics platform follows an agile development methodology. At the heart of the software is a pool that captures data from multiple sources and performs streaming and batch analytics on it, using various applications or “clusters.” This allows access to and manipulation of big data within one ecosystem and on one central dashboard.
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, obtaining a complete, holistic overview of the power plant and its predicted future performance.
Powerful plant optimization software
The need for increased flexibility implies a change in how operators run plant assets. Using deep data insights, Enerlytics’ Asset Maintenance & Reliability Management harnesses digital monitoring technologies to collect and analyse 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 the plant remains aligned with industry demand and market changes. Once traders are equipped with an accurate, 360-degree overview of asset activity and optimal performance, they can capitalize on key market trends and execute a strategy that delivers maximum economic value.
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 energy prices, security of supply, carbon intensity, and other metrics.
In a volatile market, 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.
Custom-built analytics for improved flexibility
With Enerlytics, plant managers and operators are never more than a few clicks away from the complete picture. Presenting customer-built analytics on a single platform, the digital tool offers users the autonomy to optimize plant performance, and to make better, more informed decisions for improved flexibility, financial gain, and market leadership into a safe, secure, and sustainable future.