The Big Picture: The Power Generation industry is being transformed by a number of different factors: Emissions standards, private sources and greater focus on building and equipment efficiency are changing the face and future of the energy industry. Many existing plants are being decommissioned as the economic viability of retrofitting to meet EPA requirements such as the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is not there, putting more pressure on remaining plants to become more efficient without compromising safety. Consumers and industry alike are exploring alternatives for distributed generation, and alternate energy sources are becoming more cost-effective, putting even more pressure on existing plants to maximize efficiency and reduce operating costs.
Fact: Over the next few years, coal-related energy spending will go into plant maintenance, environmental compliance projects and efficiency upgrades, by some estimations over $15 billion over the next five years. Natural gas fueled power plants account for approximately one-third of the power generated in the US, and just under half of new power plants being constructed over the next five years will be gas-powered with an expected investment of around $70 billion.
Solution: Using PIPE-FLO® Professional to model the performance of existing systems and actual operating conditions in the Power Gen industry can identify both where capital investments can have the greatest impact on efficiency as well as highlight causes and simulate multiple solutions for maintenance issues to help reduce those costs. Analysis of PIPE-FLO® models can also reveal potential safety concerns where equipment is operating outside of recommended ranges. PIPE-FLO® can also be used by both operators and engineers to evaluate the impact of changes before they are made to help management make informed decisions.
For natural gas powered plants where many fuel and support systems have large pressure differentials, the accuracy of PIPE-FLO® Compressible can be used in all phases of non-liquid piping system’s lifecycle. PIPE-FLO® Compressible provides insight into high-pressure safety relief systems and has the capacity to prevent catastrophic events due to over-pressurization in gas systems.