JERA, as part of its pursuit of advanced operations & maintenance (“O&M”), has established its vision for “Digital Power Plants” that transform thermal power plant O&M through the application of digital technology. Today, JERA has established the Digital Power Plant Promotion Section within its O&M Engineering Department to implement the transformation to digital power plants.
JERA’s vision for the digital power plant of the future is as follows:.
• The world’s top O&M professionals will change the way power plants work.
• Through the use of a common data platform as well as the standardization and increased sophistication of work processes, facilities will become “ever-evolving.”
• Workers will shift from many troublesome tasks to creative data-based work.
JERA has implemented the following initiatives for the digital transformation of power plants:
1.Operational optimization of coal-fired power plants using AI
At the Hitachinaka Thermal Power Plant, JERA started operational optimization of the boiler using AI in April 2020, achieving a reduction in volume of fuel used and environmental impact.
2.Power plant anomaly detection using IoT
Since January 2018, JERA have used IoT services at the Data monitoring and Analyzing Center to detect signs of abnormalities at power plants, achieving improved availability by reducing unplanned shutdowns and forced outages.
The digital power plant of the future that JERA envision will create new value through a digital transformation that links data about power plant facilities and the people who work there and makes it visible in real time, combined with its strengths in O&M Kaizen (constant improvement) and technological strengths JERA has developed over the years. As a result, power plant work will change as follows:
Operations will no longer depend on the expertise of skilled workers or scattered information, and can be rapidly optimized and improved through AI support. Shifting to remote, automated inspections and the digitalization of records eliminates inefficiencies across all business operations.
AI reduces costs while maintaining equipment reliability. JERA is able to optimize the scheduling of planned outages based on trends in fuel/power markets and power demand. Equipment inspection shifts from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance while the promotion of data-driven Kaizen for on-site tasks optimizes work processes and further increases productivity.
By recreating the power plant in cyberspace, AI provides real-time solutions to improve power generation efficiency and optimizes the consumption of chemical agents and electricity in the plant, reducing both costs and CO2 emissions.
The digital power plant of the future will not only be developed for JERA’s own power stations; it will also be deployed as an application at domestic and overseas power plants.
By achieving the digital power plant, JERA aims to improve the cost competitiveness and market responsiveness of JERA’s power plants and, by shifting to higher value-added work at power plants, further increase the sophistication of its O&M.