Digitalization of coal-fired power stations can reduce electricity prices and CO2 emissions
Implementation of digital technologies in coal generation will improve efficiency of coal-fired power stations (CPS), and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is stated in the report of International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Coal Center.
“Digital coal-fired power stations can operate at optimum efficiency, which will result in significant reduction of CO2 emissions from coal-fired energy sector and minimize the environment impact in accordance with sustainable development objectives of the United Nations. In addition, the digitization will help to reduce the fuel consumption, thereby reducing the electricity costs, as well as optimize the operation and maintenance costs, improve the reliability of the stations and make it more flexible,"- declared in the document sIEA Clean Coal Center.
The report outlined that in the future, coal-fired power plants will be focused on cloud-based services that will enable real-time streamline data and link it on a united digital platform at the level of a single power stations or a group of them. The digital platform organizes the data across all stages of electricity generation, distribution and transmission.
“The digital platform enables to efficiently perform complex electricity generation operations and achieve the optimal operational and environmental performance, as well as improve the flexibility, reliability, safety and profitability of the coal-fired generation," the report adds.
Digitalization for efficiency
According to IEA Clean Coal Center, the industrial Internet of things can be used in construction of coal-fired power stations for the data collection, transmission, analysis and management. Artificial neural networks and simulation models can proactively detect errors and prevent problems at the stations, and application of digital twins will assist in modeling the individual equipment and assess the impact of future upgrading processes throughout the enterprise.
“Digital tools are able to detect any anomalies or operational issues, assess the probability of equipment failures, their causes, and when they may occur, and recommend the methods to resolve the issues promptly. This enables to minimize the unscheduled shutdowns, increase the trouble-free operation and lifetime of the power stations, which results in reduction of operation and maintenance costs”, - the organization notes.