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Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance secures power plants under partial load

The classic coal and natural gas power plants are not designed for the energy transition. The new flexibility also leads to new burdens on the components. With a rating concept, operators can now accurately calculate possible damage.

14 Apr. 2018
Predictive maintenance secures power plants under partial load (Chart: BINE Informationsdienst Energieforschung für die Praxis - Ein Service von FIZ

Existing power plants run often under partial load because of the electricity feed-in from renewable energies, reports the BINE Information Service . This wears out the components more than planned, because originally they were designed for full-load operation at constant pressure and temperature conditions. Scientists from TÜV Nord , the University of Rostock and the Jülich Research Center have taken a closer look at the changing demands, i.e., more partial loads, more start-up and shut-down cycles, and temperature changes of thick-walled power plant components. From this they have developed an investigation and evaluation concept . With its help, power plant operators and monitoring institutions should be able to more accurately calculate the damage resistance of components. This not only increases security, but is also important for the economic calculation of the operators. There are two reasons for this. The more frequent partial load operation causes higher maintenance costs. At the same time, revenues are falling due to lower electricity sales.

Meanwhile, research is also being done on “power plants of the future.” For example, the WAZ reports on a research project at the University of Duisburg-Essen. A circuit with supercritical carbon dioxide is being developed there, which can dissipate heat even if the power supply fails.