Improving Power Plant Efficiency
As the population of the world grows at a staggering rate, there is an increasing need of sustainable resources that do not impact the environment. One of the best solutions to this dilemma is to improve efficiency of power plants that energize our homes and businesses. Unless those stations are not designed to use less energy future generations will miss out. A few of the issues that should be taken into account to address this issue include:
- Optimizing all processes in the plant by introducing advanced software and tools
- Determining and implementing best practices that are current
- Training employees in energy efficient processes
- Upgrading equipment such as steam turbines
- Lowering temperatures
- Using motors that utilize variable speeds
- Reducing leakage of air, fluids, steam and water
- Conducting online and offline real time analysis of plant efficiency
Several technologies can be utilized many of which are commonly available via suppliers. These include:
- Variable speed drives that can be used in place of traditional throttling technologies for systems where the load is varied or in case there is a pump or fan in place
- Replacement or regular repair of transformers before they get too damaged or too old to function and need more energy to work. These are responsible for regulating power in each part of the plant so ensuring they are in working order should be a priority.
- Using state of the art blades for low pressure turbines which can reduce the amount of fuel that is used to power them and keep units cool
- Replacing motors for ones that give better performance and efficiency when it comes to fuel and fluid handling systems. This is preferable over rewinding them which requires more effort and reduces efficiency. Doing so can give the motor 10% more power.
- Improving thermal efficiency by improving the performance of feedwater chain systems. This can be done with the use of compact heat exchangers as opposed to traditional models which require more effort to work. As the extraction steam is reduced with the new models thermal efficiency will increase.
- Reducing losses of kilowatts of energy by maintaining and upgrading generator cooling systems about the required 95%.
All in all the best way to improve power plant efficiency while reducing costs is via regular maintenance of all units. This should be combined with efficient monitoring and control practices that takes all plant operations into account. Site development can also be optimized and efficiency can be maximized with low cost operations that are better than traditional models. This can be done if plant owners stop copying old designs of existing power plants which are not beneficial to this day and age. Other solutions such as monitoring and preventing leaks, steam trap management and preventing material loss will also go a long way in improving plant efficiency. The bottom line is that the demand for clean energy is driving power plant projects today and its influence has spread across the globe. The growing need for performance management is more important than ever making audits essential. If a station is examined for energy inefficiencies and a plan is set in place to solve those issues, plant owners can save time, money and resources that can otherwise be spent elsewhere. A comprehensive plan should be set in place that can result in maximum yield with minimum to no waste at costs that are far lower than what we have to contend with today. This will also reduce the capital that is spent on plant construction and maintenance costs which can then be used to create a new plant that is as energy efficient.
Whether you are the owner of a power plant or a worker in one, training will help you improve performance and become an asset to the business. 360Training’s Distribution Training course is designed to cover the operation of distribution systems in a power plant.