Condition monitoring for power generation plants

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Faults in power generation plants often cause prolonged downtimes and thus the loss of power generation. In addition, there are costs associated with the repairs. An energy company was looking for a smart solution to this problem and commissioned Codestryke GmbH to build an IIoT solution that provides condition-based monitoring (CBM).
3 minutes Reading time
3 minutes Reading time

Faults in power generation plants often cause prolonged downtimes and thus the loss of power generation. In addition, there are costs associated with the repairs. An energy company was looking for a smart solution to this problem and commissioned Codestryke GmbH to build an IIoT solution that provides condition-based monitoring (CBM).

The challenge: Sudden failure of power generation equipment

Power generation plants for wind power have to operate trouble-free for a long period of time without supervision. Defects in the generators, turbine and pipelines are particularly critical. The equipment is often not easily accessible, so unplanned plant shutdowns result in significant costs. Each failure means costs due to the interruption of power generation.

In addition, further costs are incurred, in part already in advance. For example, spare parts have to be ordered for maintenance as well as repair of defective equipment and may even have to be stored. Personnel costs are incurred because regular maintenance is carried out even when no problems occur.

The energy company was therefore looking for a solution that would firstly minimize the number of shutdowns and secondly reduce the cost of regular maintenance. In addition, the solution should be suitable for operation at distributed locations and, for cost reasons, generate as little data traffic in the networks as possible

The solution: Condition-based monitoring with sensor box

The energy company commissioned Codestryke GmbH to develop a solution. The provider and system integrator of Industrial IoT solutions for mechanical engineering and production technology opted for a combination of IoT devices, edge and cloud computing. With Arrow‘s iCOMOX sensor box, data pre-processing in an edge device on-site, and analytics in the cloud, the company built a modern solution for condition-based monitoring (CBM).

The iCOMOX Sensorbox is an open development platform for IIoT-based plant monitoring. It has sensors for vibration, magnetic field, acoustic data and temperature. Because the sensors generate large amounts of raw data, Codestryke uses an edge device solution. It filters and compresses the data so as not to overload the connection to the cloud. One example: Sensors measure several times per second, quickly generating large amounts of data. The edge device captures the data and forwards only measurement changes to the cloud.

The sensor box supports three different types of connections: Firstly, direct transmission to the cloud via Narrow Band IoT (cellular), secondly, transmission via cable(Power over Ethernet, PoE) and thirdly, wireless transmission with a SmartMesh IP radio network. For the energy company, Codestryke chose the most suitable option depending on the location and on-site capabilities.

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