The company’s GE Power and Water division will now be giving plant operators an identical, virtual power plant that runs in the cloud.
During an event in San Francisco last month, GE announced the ‘Digital Power Plant,’ which is a real-time simulation that models the present state of every asset in a gas power plant or wind farm.
The virtual plant also lets administrators simulate different conditions and find out how the real plant would respond to them. Ganesh Bell, Chief Digital Officer, GE Power and Water, said, “Utilities need to deal with a growing volume of data as equipment gets more instrumentation and energy grids grow more complex. A typical gas power plant has more than 10,000 sensors, but only about two percent of that data gets analysed today.”
Bell also highlighted that the Digital Power Plant is based on Predix, GE’s software platform for industrial IoT, but isn’t limited to GE’s own components in a plant. It can manage any asset in a power plant.
According to GE, applied to an already built gas power plant, the digital twin can save as much as $50 million over the remaining life of the plant. That includes lower fuel costs, lower emissions, increased performance and reduced unplanned downtime. For a new plant, it could be $230 million.