With technology moving faster than at any time in human history, utilities are turning toward data platforms and analytics to fine tune power delivery or move toward predictive maintenance to help the bottom line.
With a proliferation of devices however and a lack of interoperability between systems and processes, accurately identifying how to interpret the numbers and where to focus operational improvements remains a challenge. It’s not just about big data but smart data.
This was a challenge that Polish oil and energy group PKN Orlen was determined to crack.
PKN Orlen, the largest industrial producer of electricity and heat in Poland, has integrated downstream assets in three countries across Central Europe and energy assets in nine locations and three countries so required an integrated, collaborative and long-term approach.
At the OSIsoft EMEA users conference in London in October, Pawel Vogtt, Head of Power and Heat Performance Department at PKN Orlen, highlighted the three-fold challenge:
- Need for a single platform and integrated view of all real-time data to implement net power generation monitoring of the Orlen group power plants.
- An online live analysis of power plant performance.
- Corporate level production and financial management, to enable business critical decision making.
It is one thing to use sensors and platforms to track trends and have engineers monitor technical details, observes Vogtt, but the aim was to make this more meaningful.
He says: "Could we move towards a system that looked at the economic impact of these trends and engaged at a management and corporate level? What is the financial cost of the performance variables being tracked and how can they be measured to make business decisions?"
Partnering on real-time data monitoring
To connect the sensor-based data and real-time information, PKN Orlen turned to long-time partner OSIsoft for the solution, leveraging this data to provide more efficiency and reliability at plant level and reduce costs.
With the PI System, PKN ORLEN team created the visualisations that moved real-time data from technical information to business decisions. As Vogtt stated in his presentation, the utility can readily see:
- Marginal cost of el. Production
- Variable cost of el. Production
- Net electricity produced
- Steam transferred to Orlen production facilities
- Overall efficiency
Once any of the parameters drop, management can drill down into each power plant and look at detailed information which caused reduction of one of the KP’s. For example, they can see plots of net electrical efficiency as a function of net electrical load, electrical load vs gas consumption or each plant’s EBIT by minute and hour.
The advanced skills of the PKN team combined with the PI System has also created additional advantages within the company's financial and operational performance, with the symbiotic tandem acting as a catalyst for further companywide automation of business processes.
During the OSIsoft User Conference in London PKN ORLEN was awarded the Innovative Award for Business Transformation, the first recipient of this award category.
Download the full presentation on real-time data monitoring by PKN Orlen from the OSIsoft Users Conference.