Power plant owners have been monitoring the performance of their power plant processes, equipment and instrumentation for several years. In recent years, however, they have been increasingly confronted with several challenges in maximizing the value of their generating plant assets.
The challenges include: deregulation, increased competition, aging of power plant equipment, inadequate instrumentation, aging workforce, lack of experienced/qualified personnel and tools to effectively monitor the operation, performance and condition of plant processes and equipment. These constraints have adversely impacted the capacity, availability and reliability and efficiency of the generating plant asset as well as the total cost of ownership and return on investment. On a positive note, however, technological innovations and tools such as the advent of the Internet, web-based and wireless technologies, advanced software applications and tools, automation, smart sensors and instruments with diagnostic capabilities, are all now making it possible for power plant owners to do more with less.
Using case studies, this paper discusses various initiatives and technological advances that are being utilized to maximize power generating asset value through performance management.