Optimizing Plant Performance: The April POWERGEN+ series activates today

This month features Entergy, CPV, NAES, B&V, GSE, DroneDeploy, KSB, HanAra and more…

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Back when it was a purely live event, remember those days, POWERGEN International offered a host of session tracks on all facets of the power generation resource and supply chains. Thousands attended and much fun was had and lessons learned.

Optimizing Plant Performance was invariably one of the most popular tracks in the annual POWERGEN bunch. And while we will meet at POWERGEN again live next January in Dallas, the topic is still too importan–and fun–to delay until 2022.

April’s online POWERGEN+ series will focus on Optimizing Plant Performance with presenters from utilities, suppliers, academia, manufacturers, data and operations and management firms.  Registration is free for the event, which runs live April 28-29 and on demand for a year afterward.

The sessions highlighting this month’s Plus presentations include coal-fired plant conversion options, data validation for facilities, drone insights for utility operations, using digital to make the modern plant safer and more predictable and keeping conventional power plants competitive in the new mix.

Among those presenting are experts from Black & Veatch, Entergy, the University of Texas at Austin, Competitive Power Ventures, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, DroneDeploy, GSE Solutions, NAES and HanAra Software.

The array of 45-minute sessions begins 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday, April 28, with “Converting a Coal-fired Plant: Benefits and Challenges.” The moderator will be Jay Dauenhauer, host of the Energy Cast podcast and a frequent POWERGEN+ contributor. He will guide a panel including Garry King, senior vice president of global power generation resources for EPC firm Black & Veatch; Philip Graeter, manager at Energy Ventures Analysis; and Jerrad Thomas, business development manager with MHI.

They will tackle one of the most divisive debates in power generation: What, if any, role should coal plan in our energy mix, and are there realistic options in coal-to-gas conversions, carbon capture and repurposing coal-fired plants to follow load?

April 28’s second sessions will follow beginning at 1:30 p.m. with “Proven Data Validation and Reconciliation Techniques that Improve Performance.” Featuring Greg Kanuckel, senior thermal performance engineering consultant at GSE TrueNorth.

Kanuckel will offer examples on the benefits of using data validation and reconciliation for performance monitoring on the generation side. DVR has been used in nuclear plants to implement power recovery efforts on units suffering from degraded feedwater flow measurements, while bias error has been identified in coal flow measurement at those types of units.

At 2:30 p.m. ET April 28, the next session on “Leveraging Drone Data for Utilities” will focus on use cases for drones in utility operations such as power plants. Josh Voelker, enterprise solutions engineer with DroneDeploy, will lead that discussion, highlighting not only use cases for drone insights at the power sector level, but also how to optimize plant operations with that high-level (literally) data and utilizing unmanned vehicles for asset inspections.

POWERGEN+ April’s first day concludes with “Making the Modern Plant Digital, Safer and More Predictable.” Gary Dickens, vice president for project and construction management at Entergy Corp., will kick off the presentation. Entergy has recently completed and commissioned three new combined cycle gas turbine power plants—the 980-MW J. Wayne Leonard Power Station in St. Charles, Louisiana; the 993-MW Montgomery County station in Texas and the Lake Charles, La., CCGT station (pictured at left).

Dickens will be joined by HanAra Software CEO Hojoon Seo (pictured) and General Manager Sarah Kline, discussing how data management and predictive analysis helped the University of Texas at Austin achieve operational excellence in its power generation assets on-site.

UT-Austin’s Juan Ontiveros (pictured), associate vice president for utilities, energy and facilities, will give a first-hand perspective on the data management upgrades brought to the campus power plant.

POWERGEN+ continues Thursday, April 29 at 11:30 a.m. ET with “Repair, Replace, Re-Engineer: What’s the Solution for Optimizing your Pumping System?” The session features Loyal Fischer, USA regional director of retrofits and nuclear power for KSB SupremeServ.

KSB has about 5,000 pumps and 150,000 values in use at approximately 200 nuclear power plants around the world. The KSBSupremeServ unit is opening a new facility and training center at Port Arthur, Texas this year.

April’s POWERGEN+ rounds out 12:30 p.m. ET April 29 with “Next-Gen O&M Tools to Keep Conventional Power Competitive.” This session partners Preston Patterson, director of reliability and asset management for Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), with Bob Burchfield, NAES plant manager at the CPV-owned Fairview Energy Center in Johnston, Pennsylvania.

Fairview is a 2X1 combined cycle gas turbine plant which went into operation two years ago. NAES handles O&M duties for the facility. CPV developed it and also owns gas-fired, wind and solar projects in numerous other stations, including Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and Oklahoma.

POWERGEN+ is the way to stay connected with industry partners and colleagues. The sessions also offer free insights into what other utilities and companies are doing to meet the power generation challenges of today and tomorrow.

Register here.

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POWERGEN International returns live Jan. 26-28, 2022 in Dallas. The POWERGEN Call for Speakers is now open and seeking submissions for session ideas on Decarbonization, Digitalization, Energy Storage Breakthroughs, the Future of Electricity, Optimizing Plant Performance, Hydrogen:What’s New, What’s Next, the New Energy Mix and Trends in Conventional Power.

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