27 November 2018

Holistic Optimization of Renewable Energy Production

The optimization of a hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) always follows the customers’ strategy.

Besides the so-called standard modernization projects it might be the customers’ target to add another power unit. This might be another hydroelectric power unit, or a wind turbine, or a PV plant etc. In these projects, the customer may have very different goals regarding their modernization or power or fleet optimization. He can either focus on maximizing the energy production efficiency, on optimizing the tariff situation, on prolongation of maintenance periods, or on upcoming weather conditions based on weather forecast sources. The ideas are almost unlimited.
They are often pointing in different directions, which produces conflicts for their relationships to each other.

This is where the holistic approach comes into play: it allows all these different requirements to be in a balanced relationship. The underlying algorithm makes it possible. It combines the installed plant components with the correct mathematical representation and it links with the controller system and the data exchange with archives and databases. So, the operator is able to run the fleet as wanted. The requirements to revitalize the plant are combined with the requirements to streamline the fleet operation.

The original graph (blue) shows the efficiency of a second power production unit, which was installed in an existing plant without considering a possible optimization of the overall physical fleet configuration. The red graph shows the optimization based on the holistic approach: the algorithm helps maximize according to real conditions through implementation of the knowledge about weather influence on the water withdrawal point. Furthermore, this helps the customer to define points of improvement for investments in the future. In combination with the experience and knowledge of the experts it promises success for the customer all along the line.


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