White Paper - It is data that drives efficiency improvements in the Power market

A look at the impact the three mega trends are having on valve performance, and what needs to be considered to drive up efficiency within plants.

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The Power market has faced many challenges over the last few decades and is currently experiencing three mega-trends which are yet again transforming the sector.

With digitalisation, decarbonisation, and decentralization the big themes surrounding the market, the valves used in the critical processes have never been under more strain.

Just changing the design of a modern valve is no longer enough to combat these mega trends

Here we look at the impact the three mega trends are having on valve performance, and what needs to be considered to drive up efficiency within plants.​



Digitalisation

In an increasingly digital landscape, data and information is now only ever a click away for most of the world’s population.

Digital tools and the idea of data driving decision are not new, but the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 increased the speed in which organisations fully embraced the technologies and softwares.

A valve can no longer be just a valve, it has to be an integral part of the data mix at all power plants, from small 9MW CHP plants to 2GW desalination plants.

Be harvesting and analysing data from valves plant operators can increase the life of the valve system and ensure it can live with a sustained period of shutdown and ramp up cycles. 

This becomes the key to plant operators gaining predictive insights into when maintenance is needed and stocking of parts should take place.​​



Decarbonisation

The environmental impact of all industries has never been under more scrutiny, so making moves to improve efficiency and reduce emissions is more important than ever.

Power plants are not the most carbon friendly facilities, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing that should be done to limit the impact on our environments.

By elevating pressures and temperatures and moving to more cycling modes, plants can reduce their emissions and improve efficiency. However, this can severely impact how a turbine bypass valve needs to be designed and manufactured.

As temperature scales increase, valve manufacturers have to make sure the internals can withstand new extremes, and with increased cycling brings more wet steam which can reduce the life of valves which are not designed to cope.

This becomes the key to plant operators gaining predictive insights into when maintenance is needed and stocking of parts should take place.​



Decentralisation

The decentralisation of the Power sector now means valves manufactures have a bigger spectrum of requirements – whether it is from a small 9MW CHP plant, that uses biomass fuel, or a 2GW desalination plant producing masses of fresh, clean water.

As footprints get smaller the proximity of plants to residential areas get smaller, meaning valves must be designed to reduce noise and limit the impact of a plant’s local community. At the other end of the scale, the biggest plants’ valves need to cope with increased cycling loads of up to 7,000, so it is longevity and durability that takes precedent over noise reduction.

By gaining expertise and knowledge from the full spectrum, valve manufacturers are able to customise designs to deal with longer bandwidths of steam loads or achieve steam temperatures as close to two degrees to saturation.​


When it comes to manufacturing and installing valves at today’s plants it is the internet of things that is our new best friend.

It is not enough to just install a new valve anymore. 

For a complete system to work there are three key elements that need to fall into place: hardware design; control algorithms; and installation.

If these three things are done right a plant can enjoy the perfect system that meets the demands and expectations placed upon it.​​​

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White Paper - It is data that drives efficiency improvements in the Power market