As change comes to the power generation industry, an engineered approach to reliability is more important than ever

by ronfluegge 1. June 2010 15:08

When U.S. electric utilities began deregulating in the 1990s, they reduced their focus on internal RAM monitoring and analysis in an effort to cut costs that did not contribute directly to the bottom line. Today, a new set of changes, from the entry of renewable energy sources to the prospect of carbon trading, is on the verge of transforming the industry once again. This time, however, the changes promise to highlight – and heighten – the importance of an engineered approach to reliability and maintenance.

Based on abrupt changes in plant utilization observed in Europe after the introduction of carbon trading in 2005, we can anticipate similar upheaval at U.S. plants as renewables and potential cap-and-trade legislation transform the usage profile of generating units. To mitigate the impact of these changes, operators will have to reassess the best way to utilize and maintain their units for optimal performance. In this article, we take a look at some of the expected changes and how operators can prepare for them.

All data in the following analysis come from Solomon Associates’ proprietary database, utilized in our company’s worldwide benchmarking and consulting services. For this article, we studied data from participating power generation units from 2005-2008, concentrating on U.S., Canadian and European generation, further segregated into coal-fueled steam and gas-fired combined-cycle technologies. Cogeneration combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units that exported more than 20 percent of their total energy in steam were excluded in favor of units whose production was primarily electricity for comparison.

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RELIABILITY REPORTING: Understanding NERC Requirements for Hydro Reliability Reporting

by ronfluegge 1. July 2009 17:16

Understanding why NERC – the North American Electric Reliability Corporation – requires specific reliability data on hydroelectric generating units can help project owners better manage the gathering of this data.  Click on link below.

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Solomon Associates' Announces its Newest Subscriber to GADS NxL(TM) - Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) of Mexico

by ronfluegge 31. May 2006 23:27

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 31, 2006--Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) of Mexico joins a growing number of generating companies and regional transmission operators (RTOs) to select Solomon's GADS NxL(TM) as their tool of choice for analyzing generating unit performance, reliability, availability, and maintainability data. GADS NxL offers the industry's most accurate, reliable, and powerful level of performance for data entry, reporting, and analysis for power generating companies. Additionally, GADS NxL is the only GADS software available for nearly every platform, offering both Microsoft(R) Windows(R)- and Web-based interfaces. 

GADS NxL conforms to the North American Electric Reliability Council's (NERC's) Generating Availability Data System (GADS) standards and will facilitate CFE reporting data to NERC GADS. Such a possibility supports NERC in assuring the long-term reliability of the North American bulk electric system by promoting uniform reliability standards. Originally developed by NERC as a defined set of performance and event standards, GADS has been accepted across the globe as the most rigorous of standards.

CFE provides generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power to 23.5 million customers, nearly 80 million Mexicans. Within their generation business, CFE has about 37,400 MW of net installed capacity from thermal, hydro, nuclear and wind power generation. Additional information can be found at their web site 

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