Why decarbonizing energy sector matters more than ever

Landscape Photography of Power Plant

Did you know that just 5 percent of the world’s power plants are responsible for 73 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions? Let’s understand why these super polluters emit such high greenhouse gases.  

The world today generates 50% more electricity from fossil fuels than 20 years ago. In fact, the power sector reported the highest rise of emissions of 900 Mt – more than any other industry in 2021. Due to the increased demand for electricity in the post-pandemic world, emissions from burning coal resulted in an all-time high of 15.3 billion tonnes – responsible for 40% of worldwide carbon emissions.  

How can Increasing power plant efficiency help?

According to Nature, super emitter power plants can reduce their emissions 25% by boosting their operating efficiency. In addition, utilizing carbon-capture technologies to these inefficient facilities might reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half. 

We are currently shifting from fossil fuels to a cleaner future, but there is still a long way to go until renewable energies become the dominant source of energy. As of now, digital processes are the only way of making power generation as environmentally friendly as possible.

Effects of turbine performance deterioration

During regular operation, every gas turbine suffers from diminished performance, which is exacerbated by high ambient temperatures. When performance deteriorates, power output drops and fuel consumption rises. Both of these factors might have a negative impact on an organization’s operating costs and income.

Gas Turbine Digital Twin

Overall, these considerations can make the gas turbine’s lifecycle costs extremely high. The gas turbine is made up of three parts: the turbine, the combustor, and the compressor.

Block Diagram of Air Compressor

When the properties of any of these components are changed, the heat rate and power output loss may increase. The power plant’s fuel prices can rise as a result of the disruptions. 

Reducing carbon footprint of existing assets is way more cost-effective

Regulatory pressures are forcing operators to prioritize existing high-emitting assets’ improvements rather than investing in new energy sources.  

Generally, utility operator KPIs with respect to high-emitting equipment such as turbines include: 

  • Cost-effective expansion of gas turbine operability 
  • Improved efficiency and increase output 
  • Extend equipment life 

Eugenie makes it possible to prevent turbine efficiency losses caused by clogged inlet filters, filthy compressor blades, broken compressor and turbine blading, excessive clearances between casings and moving compressor or turbine blades, and sub-optimal combustor tuning. 

Reducing gas turbine emissions with Eugenie

Emissions compliance of gas turbines is not only beneficial for the environment, but it also economically viable in the long run. Gas turbine combustion systems are typically ‘adjusted’ twice a year. Each tuning session is meant to optimise the turbine for the upcoming season while ensuring that there are no excessive emissions, combustor dynamics, or flame loss employing a substantial safety margin.  

Unfortunately, tuning services can take a long time, preventing the turbine from reaching its full capacity while it is being tuned. Data-driven automatic tuning technologies such as Eugenie can help in continuously optimising the combustion systems.  

Eugenie continuously determines the ideal operating position for the combustion system by analysing real-time emissions and combustor dynamics data. Plant operators can choose to optimise emissions, combustor dynamics, and/or turbine output in real time. Eugenie’s Explainable AI framework also allows the operators to safely bring the turbine up to OEM-specified settings.  

With “autonomous tuning” using AI/ML, Eugenie continually finds the ideal flame temperatures and fuel splits for combustion and gas turbine optimization. The tuning can take place by Eugenie’s continuous monitoring of changes in ambient temperature, and gas fuel properties. 

Power Plant Diagram

As a result of Eugenie’s robust decision-support system, gas turbine operators can gain the following advantages:

  • Heat rate optimization, resulting in fuel savings. 
  • Reduction in manual and seasonal tuning costs. 
  • Optimized production accounting for emissions constraints. 
  • Steady performance under changing conditions. 
  • Fuel variability to auto-adjust to changing heat valve conditions.

Conclusion

According to the IPCC Working Group I sixth assessment report from 2021, global warming will most likely reach or exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next two decades. Actions taken in this decade will determine if we can keep warming to this level with the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario and avoid the worst climate consequences. 

The good news is that technologies for a rapid reduction in carbon intensity in the power sector are already available. Eugenie is one such solution with a huge potential in playing the key part in reducing carbon emissions across energy sector. 

Eugenie provides turnkey SaaS deployment, with cost-effective scaling for end-to-end operational optimization and emission monitoring.  

To know more about Eugenie’s products, schedule a product demo with us. Alternatively, you can write to us at support@eugenie.ai 

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