The most significant trend to happen to the power industry in recent years has been deregulation. In a regulated market, many argue that no economic incentive exists for utilities to be competitive or operate efficiently. Deregulation has created a strong interest in operational cost reduction and increased reliability with good reason. A large percentage of the power generating facilities in operation in the U.S. today were built 30+ years ago. Many are now at the end of their design life cycle, and the U.S. has not built power generation capacity for the past twenty years.
In addition, as "green" generation plants come on line, existing power plants are being asked to "fill the void" for power demand. This is requiring older power plants to operate in cycling and load following modes which they were not designed for. Operating in this mode is resulting in added stresses to equipment material and components causing higher failure rates.
As load demand continues to grow, excess capacity has disappeared. The "spinning reserve" margins are minimal, and having existing power generation assets fully operational is mission critical. Yet these complex assets require periodic maintenance and it’s important that maintenance activities (work-scope) are extensively preplanned and well coordinated to minimize outage duration extensions. ATI’s AWARE product is ideally suited to address this issue.
At the heart of the issue is the complexity of these assets and the need to coordinate involvement of OEMs and third party maintenance companies as well as various plant departments. AWARE, among its other attributes, facilitates collaboration of all the open work recommendations from all parties (internal, OEM and third party service providers) involved to minimize the chance of a unit having a forced outage due to an overlooked maintenance recommendation.
ATI’s AWARE software tackles outage work-scope planning from a number of fronts:
- Provides quality data capturing abilities and a reliable way to archive the knowledge for reference in future planning efforts.
- facilitates collaboration among OEMs, service providers, & equipment owners to streamline work flow & decision making during the outage;
- increases the reliability & accuracy of run, repair, replace, decisions;
- increases the performance of personnel by providing equipment condition, procedures, & training material in an easy to access & understandable format, and reduces the risk of forced outages because of overlooked work-scope.