The Problem

VROC's power generation client wished to conduct a comparison study between the performance of two identical air supply units to isolate the underlying cause of a loss of energy production as well as excessive energy consumption and reliability issues on one of them.

The Solution

For the comparison study between the two units’ air supply system, all the critical sensors corresponding to pressure and flowrate of key equipment responsible for circulating the air were selected for modelling. In addition to monitoring the sensors, the calculated and actual air and oxygen demand values were included in the AI model set to compare the calculated and actual demands and highlight the discrepancy between the units.

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The Outcome

VROC concluded that on Unit#1 there was a significant deviation predicted for Gas Air Heater inlet pressure and Gas Air Heater differential pressure. Based on the modelling data it was concluded that there was pressure loss in the boiler and pressure entry to the gas heater which was subsequently confirmed by the client.

  • The issue was causing loss of energy production as well as excessive energy consumption and reliability issues.
  • Air heater seal repair and upgrade across a coal-fired plant can lead to an improvement of up to 0.5% in plant heat retention. For a 200 MW plant (similar to the one VROC's client operates), this translated to 280,000 USD in annual fuel cost savings.