Optimisation of production is key to profitability in thermal energy systems. Our optimisation solution helps you:
- Start and Stop units at exactly the right moment to maximise overall profit.
- Know how much to bid in different markets.
- Weigh operating costs against power price.
- Respect complex technical limitations.
- Select the best fuel mix each hour.
Powel offers a solution based on proven mathematical optimisation techniques.
The most important decision in a thermal power system is which units should produce in each hour. Challenges to the planning are then the time-couplings and the uncertainty of future prices. Other complications are fuel contracts, ancillary service obligations and maintenance aspects.
Bidding the power into the market ahead of time, also increases the price risk. A way to handle this uncertainty is using block bids for thermal generators as.
Power system characteristics
Each thermal power unit has unique characteristics. Some are quick and expensive, like gas turbines, others are slow and cheap, like coal-fired steam turbines. Newer units tend to be more efficient than older units; heat-rate curves vary, as well as ramping speeds and capacities. Using priority-list based methods fails to capture temporal aspects like start-stop costs and minimum up- and down time. Only a dynamic optimisation model can fully incorporate all system characteristics that are relevant for short-term planning.
The Powel solution supports efficiently combined cycle units, where exhaust heat from one or several gas turbines is used to produce steam for a steam turbine, boosting overall efficiency to over 50%. This type of thermal unit is more complex to schedule due to its different production modes (corresponding to on/off statuses for the individual gas/steam turbines). This increases the value of an automated optimisation-based solution.
Powel offers a solution based on rigorous optimisation methodology, guaranteeing that the utmost is extracted from the thermal generation system. Important features are:
- Overall profit maximisation
- Alternatively, cost minimisation
- Bidding in the day-ahead market
- Optimisation of reserve contribution
- Detailed modelling of generating units
- Co-generation of steam for industrial use
- Fuel mix optimisation
- Optimal dispatch
With the ground-breaking Powel Nimbus interface, you get control of the planning process. You can easily monitor and edit input data, and verify output at a glance.