Competition in the electricity market forces producers to achieve — in compliance with safety — efficiency of production as high as possible. This efficiency and heat rate is an important indicator of both the condition of the power plant equipment and the quality of power plant operation. To cope with these challenges, powerful methods are process data reconciliation, statistical data processing of large data sets and process simulation. These functions and methods can be used to obtain useful information about process quality and equipment and sensor health.
The paper discusses practical experience from six years of using a thermal performance monitoring and optimization system in the Dukovany nuclear power plant. The system is integrated into the overall nuclear power plant process information system and data warehouse. The system provides information in near real time.
The major benefit of the system lies in a deep view into equipment behaviour and process which ensures timely detection and identification of functionality degradation of process and equipment or sensor faults. The system also helps to find and use margins of equipment operation and the overall thermal cycle.
Selected practical examples are used to demonstrate specific benefits of the system for operation and maintenance of the Dukovany nuclear power plant. There are examples of equipment fault detection and sensor degradation detection. The optimization function is explained with an example of cooling circuit optimization aimed to increase the delivery of electrical power into the grid. A detailed description of behaviour of the main components can be used for their performance evaluation and their repair planning. The benefit of more accurate determination of parameter values is reflected in more accurate determination of reactor thermal output.
The conclusion of the paper provides an overall evaluation of system benefits for operation and maintenance of a nuclear power plant.