2018 12 Paper: Standardising Ops Through Data Driven Decisions

The AGL Dispatch Centre (AGLDC) monitors and dispatches almost a gigawatt of hydro power and an additional gigawatt of wind, solar and battery power. The control room is in Melbourne and runs on a rotating roster of 12-hours shifts, with a single Operator on shift. Operations are governed by many factors, including water management, weather conditions, and wholesale market conditions which are all underwritten by an imperative for consideration to personal, personnel and plant safety.
The historian accompanying these assets is large. The data archive is comprised of over 140,000 SCADA tags across the hydro, wind and solar sites. Asset health, generation performance, alarm and event data is collected by the site control systems and funnelled into the corporate historian where it joins the data from AGL’s thermal and gas storage assets. Classic use of this SCADA historian data is for incident investigation. If a unit trips, a trend of the data can
tell you why. If a level goes high, the sequence of events log can (probably) tell you why. There is no question of the value that these insights can provide and having a reliable record of process data archive is essential to succeed in maintaining plant availability.
But what else can it be used for? Is it worth storing all of this data, just because we can?
What insights can be extracted to improve reliability and availability, and ultimately revenue, through the application of this technology? The answer lies
somewhere in the data; somewhere between the anecdotes that are handed down between Engineering Teams, different Operators’ experience and, as they
say, one’s imagination.
This paper provides a case study of how this data can be used in our hydro business to harness insights and to unlock previously unavailable performance with minimal infrastructure change. The purpose is to demonstrate some of the different ways the same information can be presented to create business value from standardisation of practises.
The story of West Kiewa power station water usage is a classic example of how anecdotes can be passed on as best practise. The case study will explore the rationale that dictated how each Operator would plan generation profiles for the West Kiewa power station and the management of water through the Kiewa Scheme.
Often the gains are small, but when compounded over time, the question then becomes: are they of material value?

  • Author: Luke Shortal
  • Exchange: 2018 - Albury AGL
  • Company: AGL Energy
  • Topic: Controls, Data Analytics, Historian Data, SCADA
  • Key Words: Control Philosophy, Historian, SCADA, computerised