How to tackle unplanned downtime and decrease repair costs of cogeneration units?

Cogeneration units (CHP) produce energy by burning natural gas, diesel, or even alternative fuels. They are used wherever there is a high consumption of heat and electricity as an independent and decentralized energy source (medical facilities, schools, sports halls, heating plants, commercial and industrial centers, etc.). It is a powerful resource supported by a subsidy for cogeneration.

Cogeneration units serve as modern and efficient sources of energy

Unplanned downtimes may severely decrease the overall profitability. As with any machine, even CHP Units break – and they often don’t have sufficient in-built monitoring solution to indicate mechanical issues in advance. The trouble is that not all parts and service functions are available on-demand, which causes downtimes.

The challenge is to cover all variables

The CHP units contain many components of different ages and qualities. There are also various service models and contracts in place that affect reliability and durability.

5 steps to prevent unplanned downtime

1. Installation: First, we install 12 contact piezoelectric sensors on each machine: on the middle part of the generator, generator bearings, engine cylinders, turbochargers, and boundary microphones.

2. Data Collection: Then we collect data and assign appropriate tags for major operational events. As a result, we create a comprehensive training data set.

3. Algorithms Training: We train our unique algorithms to evaluate each audio channel or machine component independently. That way, we manage to achieve the best overall results.

4. User Training & Customer Support: Customer’s operators learn how to use our system, and we also help them understand all alerts correctly.

5. Continuous Service Improvement: Feedback is important to us, so we release new features and quarterly algorithm updates.

The result is a response time of 2–15 days before a critical failure occurs

We inform selected users about abnormal machine behavior by e-mail or SMS. These users have 24/7 access to our Analytics & Monitoring Platform. Here they find detailed information, historical data or access raw audio.

First, we deployed the solution to a fleet of CHP units. The results were really positive, so we are now thinking of long-term cooperation, which will benefit the whole group.

Ing. Jan Regner, Manager of Information Systems and Technologies Division, MVV Energie CZ
Jan Regner
Ing. Jan Regner