Power generation companies are facing a growing number of challenges, ranging from increased market complexity and demand to regulatory compliance, sustainability goals and increased uncertainty caused by Covid-19 .
The pandemic has pushed the industry to ramp up remote work and address maintenance gaps created by supply chain disruptions.
This highlighted the need for operational resilience and agility to ensure energy delivery, and Gartner reported that resilient delivery is one of the top utility trends in 2021 due to the industry’s underlying belief that this volatility will continue.
Power plants are becoming increasingly digital, and the combination of assets with connected devices – and especially the data captured from those assets – supports the industry’s growing focus on resilience, agility and reliability.
According to Gartner, 50% of utilities will have advanced their use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to create dynamic capabilities that optimize processes and improve decision-making by 2024.
Additionally, 40% of new monitoring and control systems in this industry will use IoT to enable smart operations by 2025.
The benefits of digital transformation
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enables organizations to gain complete visibility into operations and create insights that can help overcome some of the industry’s most disruptive challenges. .
The amount of big data produced by power generation companies means that forward-thinking companies are investing in monitoring and predictive analytics tools that help harness this data to its full potential.
Navigant Research, for example, estimated that nearly $50 billion will have been spent on asset management and network monitoring technologies by 2023.
By supporting agility, organizations can react faster to change. Predictive maintenance allows the energy industry to identify malfunctions before they occur, ensuring the reliability of their operations. This positions them better for growth in the uncertain times ahead.
What does predictive analytics offer?
Predictive analytics allows operations and maintenance personnel to be more proactive in their work. Plus, asset reliability and performance are improved with early warning notifications and diagnosis of equipment issues days, weeks, or months before failure.
It can even predict the remaining useful life of assets to help provide in-depth insights into operations and maintenance risks.
Using predictive analytics, companies are able to implement asset strategies designed to avoid unplanned downtime of their most critical assets, while also deciding which preventive or corrective asset strategy is best. the best option for less vital equipment.
But the benefits go far beyond optimizing maintenance schedules to ensure reliable operations.
As risk assessment becomes more accurate, prioritization of capital and operational expenditures can be optimized, and businesses can also realize financial savings by avoiding the costs associated with power loss and /or productivity, replacement of equipment and overtime accumulated in the event of a breakdown.
Tangible business benefits
A great example of the benefits of predictive analytics in the energy industry comes from EDF.
French utility company uses predictive analytics for fleet-wide asset monitoring (coal, gas, renewables – wind and solar – and the world’s largest fleet of nuclear assets), and to verify the health and performance of equipment and identify failures before they occur.
To date, this has helped the company not only optimize power generation, which in turn improves energy security, but also ensure resilience and the sustainable and continuous delivery of critical services by avoiding downtime. ‘stop. For example, a single early warning capture saved the company around €1.5 million.
Knowledge capture and transfer
Knowledge capture and transfer is another key benefit of predictive analytics, an area of critical importance to an industry that sees many of its experienced employees reaching retirement age.
Accumulated knowledge remains available to new employees when they join the company, ensuring that best practices, operating procedures and maintenance processes are passed on to the next generation, again reducing risk and thus improving reliability .
Stay competitive in today’s changing times
The power generation and utilities industry is grappling with a more volatile and complex world, but one that demands more speed, agility and resilience.
In response, it is undergoing a digital transformation that improves the way electricity is generated and delivered.
Predictive analytics plays a key role in this transformation, as it enables organizations to become more resilient, reliable and efficient by moving from a reactive way of working to a proactive way.
As more power generation companies adopt this technology, we will see reduced risk, accelerated crisis response, and improved resilience, helping organizations stay competitive and profitable in our “ new normal” more uncertain.
To understand how AVEVA™ Predictive Analytics benefits power generation companies, please click here.