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News BTB Jansky GmbH

Business Cases

Business Cases, ProcessPLUS® as a Plant Monitoring System

What kind of return on investment can be expected from the acquisition of a ProcessPLUS® System?

As is so often the case – it depends. Mainly on which objective(s) the plant is pursuing. Below, a selection of business cases created by working with the ProcessPLUS® System is stated: 


Business Case 1:
ProcessPLUS® as a Plant Monitoring System

Many business cases can be attributed to using ProcessPLUS® as an online monitoring system. Most of them are qualitative cases and hard to quantify with respect to additional revenue: 

  • Improvement of plant safety (complying with limit values) 
  • Partial switch from periodical to condition-based maintenance 
  • Continuous measurement and component monitoring 
  • Fast identification of process anomalies and efficiency potentials such as accumulation of non-condensable gases 
  • The same quality-assured plant data is available to all employees (data democratization) 
  • Easy trending of data 
  • Weekly, monthly report generation 
  • Setting of early alarms 

As can be seen, the business cases are certainly there, but there is no conservative way to estimate a $ or € value to it. It all depends on the current situation of the power plant. 


Business Case 2:

ProcessPLUS® for Power Recovery

On average over the entire BTB Jansky portfolio of nuclear power plants (43 NPP units), BTB Jansky has identified 4.5 MWe per NPP unit. In other words, on average, each plant operated 4.5 MWe lower than their licensed limit. The business case is easily calculated. Considering an average operation time of 8,000 hours per year, a baseload power price for the calendar year of €45/MWh and a power recovery potential of 4.5 MWe, the additional revenue for one unit yields:

8,000 h/a x €45/MWe x 4.5 MWe = €1,620,000 /a 

The additional revenue is therefore approx. €1.6mn per year, resulting in a payback time for the ProcessPLUS® investment of a few months. This is highly attractive in an industry, where e.g. turbine retrofits are realized if the payback period is an estimated 5 years. In total, BTB Jansky has identified a power recovery potential of approx. 190 MWe or €68.4mn/a. In order to find out whether an NPP has power recovery potential, BTB Jansky can generate a ProcessPLUS® Status Report. This report clearly states if there is a power recovery potential and quantifies it. With this potential you can minimize your risk before deciding to install the online system.


Business Case 3:
ProcessPLUS® for Measurement Uncertainty Recapture (MUR)

Originally initiated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in the United States, this approach to uprate the licensed thermal core power by 1-1.7% is based on the reduction of feed water flow uncertainty. This can happen two ways: Either by installing highly accurate ultrasonic flow meters (UFM) or introducing certified data reconciliation. 

The downsides of the UFM approach are: 

  • Installation only possible during plant outage 
  • Pipes have to be cut, resulting in high internal cost and effort 
  • UFM is a single measurement, which is prone to errors 
  • Flow can be obstructed by debris which can lead to faulty readings 
  • UFM reading is “self-checking” and not verified by other process parameters 
  • UFM is calibrated in a laboratory which may differ from the situation in the actual plant (no traceability) 
  • Because no QA’d assessment of the thermal core power level can be done beforehand, it can happen that the post-uprate potential is nil (e.g. in case of prior overpower operation) 

Applying certified data reconciliation, all the above disadvantages are resolved and the MUR level can resiliently be regulated and monitored.  The business case is calculated as follows: Usually data reconciliation can reduce the uncertainty of Venturi flow nozzles (2%) to 0.5%, resulting in an uncertainty reduction of 1.5%. Assuming a power generation of 1,000 MWe, 8,000 operating hours per year and a power price of €45/MWh, the MUR potential yields: 

1.5% x 1,000 MWe x 8,000h/a x €45/MWh = €5,400,000/a 

The business case for an MUR based on certified data reconciliation is €5.4mn/year, resulting in a pay-back period for a ProcessPLUS® investment of several weeks. These are just the more prominent business cases, many more will be added to this list when adapting data reconciliation throughout the plant organization. 


Conclusion

Every nuclear and fossil power plant has to deal with measurement errors. All aspects of power plant operation, plant control, maintenance, optimization, etc. are highly dependent on measurements. If there is a gross error in a relevant measurement, this error can and will lead to wrong decisions. Certified process data reconciliation with ProcessPLUS® takes the risk out of measurement uncertainty and provides you with plausible, contradiction-free and quality-assured plant data, resulting in higher plant efficiency, increased safety and additional plant revenue. A total of 190 MWe of additional revenue have been identified by ProcessPLUS® to date.


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