Optimization… the dictionary defines it as making something as perfect or effective as possible. The Power Optimization Center… based in Dallas… defines how to enable power plants… natural gas… coal… and nuclear… to achieve the highest possible levels of efficiency, reliability, and power generation. The POC gives personnel at plants owned by Luminant and generators beyond Texas… real time operational and diagnostic support 24/7.
Our mission is to help those plants realize optimum levels of performance in the areas of power plant reliability and thermodynamics and emissions.
The POC is unique… because the early indications of potential challenges of plant equipment and thermal-performance issues… are analyzed by highly skilled experienced people. They have a breadth and depth of knowledge unmatched across the monitoring and diagnostics industry. Every staff member here worked previously at a power plant.
Not only do we have the data and do we have the experience associated with understanding what the data is telling us, we have deeper knowledge in any areas of power plant equipment that we need in order to really refine the knowledge that we have about the equipment and the data we’re collecting.
That data is scrutinized at a much finer level of detail through the application of advanced technologies enabling the POC to identify emerging issues well in advance of plant operators being challenged. This deeper insight is complemented by wireless automated sensing technologies installed by the POC to enable visibility into critical machine performance where previously not possible. These sensors are on all kinds of equipment… from feed pumps… to mining tires. When those sensors send an alarm… the POC goes to work.
The operations specialists are the first to evaluate the alarms and make a determination whether we have an emerging issue that we call the plant about or whether it needs an evaluation whether it be an equipment reliability issue or a thermal performance issue.
When needed, the operations specialists turn to the larger team of power plant engineers and technical specialists to perform a deeper analysis.
Chris, would you take a look at Oak Grove two alpha boiler feed pump inboard bearing.
I’ve got an indication on my Martin Lake two alpha and two bravo feed water heater normal drains.
The software we use, uses advanced pattern recognition so it looks for all the different parameters that are set up around that and it will identify things that are not running as it would expect based on the history of that asset.
We recognize often times things that are emerging in advance of the automated systems at the plants that could indicate that a power plant trip is coming.
The plant management and staff wants to understand what the effect might be on the unit. They’re going to want to know how much time that they may have to react the potential, either equipment outage or if they have to plan for a unit outage they are going to want as much time as possible to make plans for that and avoid having to take a forced outage.
I think the biggest responsibility that for a duty manager would be to ensure that you are aware of everything that is going on in the fleet and inside this center and being able to communicate that information out to plant management and senior executives.
The POC blends advanced technologies with staff experience and with processes and procedures refined since opening in 2005 to establish a record unmatched in the generation industry. And as challenges have grown over the years… so have POC services… such as the addition of the Cyber Security Desk.
We are in a position to be a target for a large number of attacks because of course any company is targeted for a certain number of attacks these days from the internet. In addition, being in the power generation business we could attract some unwelcome attention from you know, certain forces out there.
The POC’s award winning performance is now available to other plants in the United States.
We’ve done some amazing things for our own company and it’s catching the interest of other utilities that are in the same position we are.
We have extended our services to a number of power plants outside our company and we’re very excited about the prospect that brings to us in the future.
The POC is poised for the future… built upon a solid record from the past.
We’re much more efficient, much more cost effective and these guys have paid for themselves many times over as a result of that.
Finding trouble spots before they impact plant generation… by combining experience with advanced diagnostics and leading-edge telecommunications technologies, the Power Optimization Center is defining excellence… now and for the future.