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Technology for monitoring power plant water chemistry wins R&D 100 Award

PALO ALTO, Calif., — October 20, 2000 — An Internet-based service that monitors plant water chemistry and allows utility chemists to have remote access to critical information has been named a winner in the 2000 R&D 100 Awards program sponsored by R&D Magazine.

SMART chemWORKS, developed by EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) and recognized as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year, remotely monitors the water chemistry in power plants. It uses secure, real-time connections to the Internet to perform simulations of plant behavior and uses this information to “fingerprint” chemistry disturbances in the plants.

“SMART chemWORKs can be used for analyzing current and historical data to identify where the system is headed,” said Peter Millett, director of Software Technologies for EPRI’s applications subsidiary, EPRIsolutions. “The use of the Internet is a significant departure from the traditional way companies perform online monitoring of critical operations.”

Customarily, the approach to checking water chemistry activity has been to create graphs of collected data and have on-site technicians review the information for underlying trends. SMART chemWORKS has revolutionized this process by integrating a plant’s existing data management system and analyzing chemistry information using state-of-the-art simulator models, a library of operating scenarios, and an artificial intelligence engine.

The condition of the water chemistry system is viewed on a secure web-site and alerts of abnormal conditions are automatically sent to experts via e-mail, cell phone, or pager. EPRIsolutions engineers maintain the system servers and monitor its output continuously to provide the customer with round-the-clock technical support. More than 25 U.S. nuclear units use the SMART chemWORKS system.

“SMART chemWORKS is just one example of how we provide solutions to our clients by applying EPRI technology. In this instance, the use of the Internet allows us to extend our applications to real-time monitoring, diagnosis, and control of energy and other systems,” said Philip Curtis, CEO of EPRIsolutions. “The success of this project is due to the collaborative efforts among our clients, the EPRI family of companies, and the EPRIsolutions staff. We look forward to further opportunities to combine these critical elements for the success of our clients and their customers.”

Those interested in more information about EPRI’s technology development programs should visit the EPRI Destinations web site at http://www.epri.com/destinations/.

EPRI, headquartered in Palo Alto, was established in 1973 as a center for public interest energy and environmental research. EPRI’s collaborative science and technology development program now spans nearly every area of power generation, delivery and use. More than 1000 energy organizations and public institutions in 40 countries draw on EPRI’s global network of technical and business expertise.

EPRIsolutions, a wholly-owned taxable subsidiary of EPRI, provides applications assistance, field test evaluations, and privately-sponsored initiatives to help clients maintain technology readiness and facilitate the deployment of market-entry products. The goal of EPRIsolutions is to provide competitive advantage through individual leveraging of EPRI results and intellectual property in emerging technologies.