By Myrna M. Velasco – September 20, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin
To optimize the efficiency of its electricity generating assets, Aboitiz Power Corporation, which currently has 48 power generation fleets, has indicated that it will be setting up “digital twins” for all of its major operating assets across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids.
Digital twins would refer to the “digital replica” of certain assets that integrate the operational processes and systems of particular facilities. These are generally equipped with artificial intelligence, machine learning and software analytics that will then aid companies on how to maximize value from the operation of their assets.
For power plants in particular, this could help owners and operators shorten downtime period for their generation facilities, and could also aid in early detection of prospective faults or glitches in operations – hence, it becomes easier for them to manage or provide solutions to specific technical upsets in their facilities.
According to Aboitiz Power Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio, their company “has always been looking for ways to improve the way we manage and run our facilities, with the goal of achieving world class operating practices,” adding that “we are looking at implementing this (digital twin) at all our major facilities in the next five years.”
He noted the critical step they have been pursuing is on piloting digital solution on at least three major power plants of the company – one in Luzon, one in Visayas, and another one in Mindanao.
Rubio emphasized that “one innovation that we are considering as part of our ‘digital strategy’ is data and predictive analytics.”
The Aboitiz Power executive expounded their main goal “is to be able to have predictive capability in the way we run our plants and in our maintenance philosophy.”
The Aboitiz group is the country’s energy player with the most diverse portfolio of power generating assets – from thermal facilities like coal and oil-fired power plants; to conventional and emerging renewable energy technologies such as hydro, geothermal and solar facilities.
Rubio added while they consider these facilities to be in their good operating conditions now, “we still want to improve on our availability and reliability performance across all our assets.”
At the same time, he noted that this will further push their team members “to be always inquisitive and curious, always seeking for improvement, thus, a tool like a digital twin is essential… we want continuous improvement as part of our operating culture.”