A Cutting-Edge Solution
The 445-megawatt Whitegate gas combined-cycle power plant is located 25 miles east of the city of Cork, and provides power to 10% of Ireland. It’s owned by Bord Gáis Energy, and is the premiere site of GE’s Reliability Excellence software technology. This groundbreaking solution uses big data to help the plant avoid potential operational issues by identifying them before they occur, as well as reduce maintenance costs.
The Power of Big Data
GE installed a condition-based, monitoring solution featuring 141 total sensors throughout the plant. These sensors allow for 24/7 monitoring of the plant’s hardware, offering Whitegate’s engineers operational recommendations while still providing a single, consolidated view of plant performance.
“The software that GE’s developing is not just about collecting big data,” remarked Whitegate Project Engineer Chris Barry. “It’s about turning that data into useful information, into intelligence, and it can help us make better decisions.” It’s this intelligent mix of data that allowed Whitegate to make almost immediate changes, such as identifying an incorrectly installed component that, when corrected, provided a 25 percent savings on gas usage.
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, recently pointed to Predix—the platform that powers solutions like Reliability Excellence—as a great example of the company’s “ability to combine the knowledge of the assets, the physics, and the analytics.” Leveraging excellence in both power generation products and leading-edge software development, GE was able to implement predictive analytics at Whitegate.
With European government regulations demanding more renewable energy production, in turn creating a greater need for reliable, on-demand generation capacity, Bord Gáis Energy understood it needed to prepare the station for future grid challenges, and by working with GE to install and use Reliability Excellence, the company has demonstrated that it’s more than prepared to meet future operational challenges.
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