NEWS RELEASE                                                                                        JANUARY 2017

$125 Billion/yr. Power Plant IIoT Instrumentation, Software and Service Opportunity

World electricity consumption is 25,000 terawatt hours per year. Generation of this electricity costs $2.5 trillion per year.   Machine to machine communication in combination with remote monitoring and service has the potential to reduce this cost by 5 percent and create a $125 billion dollar per year opportunity.  This is the latest forecast in a special ongoing analysis included in  N031 Air and Water Monitoring: World Market.

The opportunity incorporates, smart instrumentation, component monitoring, digital data generation at the plant, software programs, remote monitoring, third party operation and maintenance and a combination of subject matter experts and data analytics.

Smart Instrumentation

The opportunity is shaped by the ability of sensors to accurately detect the flow of liquids, gases, air, water and solids.  The quality of the flow is also critical.  Continuous emissions monitoring systems measure the air contaminants such as NOx, SO2 and particulate. New regulations have added the need to measure mercury in the exhaust gas and selenium in the wastewater. The temperature, moisture and particulate levels for lubricating fluids used in the rotating equipment are also important.

The need for accurate injection extends to corrosion and scale inhibitors, biocides, pH adjusters, polymers for wastewater treatment and many new chemicals needed for air and water pollution control.  These include activated carbon, lime, limestone, ammonia and urea.

Ambient air and water measurement needs include wind measurement for wind turbine optimization, ambient air and water measurement in areas surrounding the plant and many predictive weather measurements for solar and wind operations.

All of these measurements are being enhanced by the development of smart sensors.  Tunable diode lasers allow measurement of O2 at critical points in the combustion zone. The incorporation of an analysis function within the instrument itself rather than through the distributed control system has cost advantages and more importantly shortens response time.

Suppliers of this instrumentation are found in the McIlvaine Air and Water Monitoring report in many categories and sub categories.

Measurement Categories Examples
Function Analysis, extraction, integration, display, services, consumables, accessories
Medium Ambient air and water, process liquids and gases, solids, oil, injection chemicals
Properties Measured Physical, chemical, electrical, other
Measurement Parameters Count, weight, volume, temperature, pressure, contaminants, viscosity
Operating Principles Chemical, electrochemical, light, opacity
Mode of Use Continuous, hand held, laboratory, process

The opportunity varies widely depending on the fuel source.   Coal represents the largest potential because it is the leading type of generation and has high needs for measurement.

Instrumentation Market Size by Medium Measured
Fuel Source Weather Water Air Process Liquids Process Gases Solids
Coal S H H M M H
Nuclear S H M H H M
Gas S M H S S S
Solar L S S S S S
Wind L S L S S S
Biomass S S L S S L
Geothermal S M L H H S
Hydro S H S S S S

L= large, M= medium, S= small

Component Monitoring

Condition monitoring of components is well established for lubrication systems for turbines, compressors, etc.  The growth opportunities are in measuring not only the health but also the operational information of valves, pumps, filters, separators and other components. Mann + Hummel recognizes this opportunity and has just invested in a large filtration IIoT research center in Singapore.  Pentair, Flowserve and other pump and valve suppliers are rapidly strengthening their component monitoring capabilities.

Digital Data Generation at the Plant

GE says that coal-fired power plants could be made approximately 4 percent more efficient with 2.5 percent improvement in efficiencies coming from turbine and boiler upgrades, and 1.5 percent coming from software improvements. The analysis also found that applying all potential upgrades to coal-fired power plants can remove 900 million metric tons of CO2 (11 percent of total coal power emissions) - more than the annual CO2 output of the United Kingdom and France combined.

McIlvaine has conducted nine hours of webinars for PacifiCorp with presentations by GE, Emerson, Siemens and others which pointed the way to large savings with combustion optimization. The reduction in NOx emissions was particularly significant.

Software Programs

The software programs include partnerships between power plant system suppliers and specialized software providers.  GE says Predix will enable GE to lead the next generation of industrial progress, through improved manufacturing processes and digitally manufactured products, transforming GE into a stronger and more valuable company. GE believes its digital business will grow GE’s software and analytics enterprise from $6 billion in 2015 to a top 10 software company by 2020. GE has purchased NEUCO who has developed neural networks to control not only the operation of the furnace but also components such as soot blowers.

General software participants include large companies such as Intel with its Wind River subsidiary and specialist companies such as OSIsoft and SoftDEL.

Remote Monitoring

The large gas turbine suppliers have remote monitoring centers which primarily track the health of rotating parts.  This is frequently part of the warrantee program.  However, companies such as MHPS are branching out to monitor more of the plant’s components.  MHPS just opened a remote monitoring center in the Philippines which is monitoring coal-fired power plants. The service center can also provide assistance to power plants not built by MHPS. In addition to its data analysis capabilities, the center can also manage maintenance equipment and dispatch staff in emergency situations. It will, in addition, serve as a training hub for technicians. Every year, around 200 individuals will be picked from both in and outside the company to transfer technical expertise on maintenance and management.

There is a huge potential for companies such as MHPS and GE to work with other suppliers and incorporate hundreds of individual remote monitoring programs.  For example, Nalco operates an around the clock monitoring center on water quality.  If companies such as Mann + Hummel can operate filter monitoring centers and, if all the results are integrated for analysis and action, it will greatly improve the support for the operators.

There is a big potential for interconnection of facilities in large utility organizations.  McIlvaine has been involved with a program for Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

Duke Power has developed central systems which can for example monitor all the pumps at its various stations. However, it is shifting away from the traditional centralized proprietary systems and evolving to support distributed intelligence, interoperability and IIoT.  Efforts to develop its smart grid have resulted in the enablement of these concepts through what the industry calls OpenFMB (Open Field Message Bus).

Third Party Support for Power Plant Operations and Maintenance

Third party operation and maintenance represents the biggest revenue opportunity for IIoT in the power industry. 

GE Energy is one of the world’s largest third party providers of plant Operation and Maintenance services, currently with more than 16,000 MW at 60 sites in 17 countries under O&M contract. Global resources combined with over 20 years of O&M experience, enable GE to provide complete plant services across the turbine island and balance of plant—for both GE and non-GE equipment.

Siemens, MHPS, IHI and other turbine suppliers also offer similar services.   There are a number of companies specializing in O&M including large companies such as Wood and smaller companies such as Ethos Energy and Proenergy.  Uniper and India Power have formed a joint venture to support operations and maintenance at Indian power plants.

Data Analytics and Subject Matter Experts

The generation of large amounts of data is not of value unless it is properly analyzed for action. XLMPR recommends hybrid data analytics marrying the experience based models with ones based on physics and data.  The IIoT greatly increases the capability for database models but this data needs to be molded by experience.  Subject matter experts are needed to provide the niche expertise in each of thousands of areas.  The pool of recently retired people can be tapped for their unique combination of knowledge and availability for short engagements.

The analysis and forecast of IIoT instrumentation, software and  service opportunities in Power Generation is included as a special report in  N031 Air and Water Monitoring: World Market