The subject of big data and how global technology trends are revolutionizing the power generation industry was tackled today by experts from ABB.
At POWER-GEN Asia in Seoul, two speakers from the company described how the intelligent use of data now available in power plants can not only deliver a competitive edge, but provide a solution to current and future challenges in the power industry.
But they were keen to stress that care had to be taken with both the volume of data and the ways in which it is handled.
Manjay Khazanchi, head of Asia Pacific for ABB’s Power Generation unit, said that “the most important thing is to be secure. The biggest challenge for all of us today is on security. We are spending a lot of money on R&D to ensure that our systems are secure and safe.
“All this data has to be handled in a manner in which the operators are able to judge and take actions in a proper and appropriate manner, without any loss of data or loss of production.”
He stressed that “too much data is also not good. We have seen cases in power plants where data has been delivered and people do not know what to do with it.
“Not having the right infrastructure in place at root level makes big data meaningless. We need to have strong infrastructure procedures in place.”
Marco Sanguineti, ABB’s power generation head of technology, referred to what he called the “Internet of Things, Services and People”.
“The success of our power generation customers will be more and more supported by the intelligent use of data generated by ever-increasing connectivity of devices. The integration of this data with people expertise and knowledge will create additional services in a cycle delivering unprecedented knowledge of the behavior and potential of their assets.”
He spoke about the ‘internetization’ of power. “What is changing is the direction of electricity. Where once just went left to right is now going left to right, right to left and back again and again.”
Sanguineti said that ABB’s own Symphony Plus distributed control system was “the result of our careful analysis of the evolving power generation market, and our customers’ changing needs driven by global mega trends”.
ABB has won an order from Doosan Heavy Industries to use Symphony Plus to automate a 600 MW supercritical coal plant in Vietnam.
The project is an expansion of the Vinh Tan 4 plant which once completed will provide an additional 5600 MW of electricity to the national grid.
ABB will supply Symphony Plus to control the plant’s boiler, turbine generator and auxiliaries.