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Jul 09, 2019

Heading Off Alarm Storms with Advanced Analytics Capabilities

The Prairie State Generating Company (PSGC) is committed to providing clean, reliable, and affordable baseload electricity to 2.5 million customers across hundreds of communities throughout eight Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. PSGC’s member-owners – six public power entities and three rural electric generation and transmission cooperatives – have a vested interest in efficient and safe operations.  


Advanced Software Stems Alarm Tsunamis

With thousands of infrastructure assets in place, asset monitoring was vital to PSGC for ensuring reliable and efficient operations. But because the inevitable flood of alarms threatened to overwhelm operating personnel, the strategy for PSGC management was to augment the skills and capacity of their team with remote support and expertise.

Impressed by the firm’s domain expertise and remote monitoring model, PSGC plant operators chose to work with Black & Veatch’s remote monitoring services team. The Black & Veatch team leverages Atonix Digital’s ASSET360® Monitoring & Diagnostics software, which filters and prioritizes alerts, and accelerates root cause analysis and problem remediation.

Equipment reliability plays a major role in reducing outages and keeping the plant online, “We try to think strategically and stay ahead of issues before they become bigger problems that might lead to forced outages,” states Derek Birch, the Plant’s Engineering Supervisor.

Learn more about what B&V’s remote monitoring team discovered while undergoing performance improvement initiatives.


A Breadth of Knowledge

A team of system owners who report to Birch are charged with developing preventative maintenance strategies and devising processes to support those strategies. Knowledge sharing is critical to the junior engineers in the department. “It’s critical that we train them to see the issues and to start to create solutions,” mentions Birch. “The issue might not be generating an alarm in the Digital Control System (DCS), but the notifications identify deviations that might require additional attention.” Black & Veatch’s Remote Monitoring services apply ASSET360 software automation to support Prairie State’s objectives.

The resulting proactiveness strategy for issues alerts and mitigation will serve PSGC for years to come. Remote monitoring services and systems provided by Black & Veatch and Atonix Digital continues to be critical for identifying issues long before they trigger alarms, cause failures, or force outages.

If you are attending the EPRI Fleetwide Monitoring Interest Group Meeting next week in Phoenix, don’t miss a presentation with Prairie State to learn more.