It is most likely that you have power generation goals for a given period. It is important to ensure that power generation is done at full capacity while getting rid of inefficiencies in the system. When doing this, you need to have an effective generation scheduling software that can help optimise the power generation as per your goals. With the right tools, you can analyse the electric power systems and deliver the said capacities under the prevailing constraints, whether they are carbon dioxide emissions or problems with transmission stability. The tools can help schedule power production for the long term whether 10-year plans, 5-year plans or short term such a year, month, weakly or even daily. Just like in any other production plant, the use of software solutions makes works easy as it is easy to automate various repetitive functions with a high degree of accuracy. However, you need to have the right software solution in place so that you can meet your power generation planning goals. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when looking for the ideal software for your power generation plant.
Integration with the Existing Systems
You already have an existing SCADA system and workflow solution at the workplace. Some power generation companies also use slack for the ease of communication between various team members. The right power software should at least work with the core power generation systems at the workplace. It should have a plugin that allows you to integrate it with the SCADA system, a forecast solution and a means of communication. This way, the organisation will not be required to overhaul their entire working systems as this can be very expensive. The integration allows for seamless communication between various modules, resulting in the ease of completing tasks. If the team is able to do all their work from a single screen, this increases efficiency and the speed of implementing various decisions.
The need for having a system in place is to reduce human error and omissions in the power generation process. Therefore, having a software tool that is able to automate most of the power scheduling processes such as know when to scale down or up, forecast, give real-time monitoring feedback to the teams directly handling plants and offer various tools for monitoring and controlling various parameters is an added advantage to any power generating company. When making a selection, it is important to check the automation capabilities of the system and how it lifts the load from the shoulders of various teams working in a power plant.
Monitoring and Data Collection
Power scheduling decisions are made using hard data both at the plant and in the market for the power generated. Therefore, it is important that the data generated is authentic and detailed enough to allow for accurate decision-making. The ideal power generation planning software should have several data points so that teams can monitor various parameters effectively. You may have different software to analyse the data and come up with trends. However, a software that is able to enable data analysis is better by far. It should be possible to pull out production information for a given period, data on breakdowns, warnings, operating environment, heat, transmission limits, water levels and other operating parameters on the system with much ease (This depends on the type of electric production plant you are operating). Besides, the data should be in a format that can be manipulated to come up with trends and patterns.
Ease of Use
The steeper the learning curve, the longer it will take to get everyone on board to use the system. In addition, team members will try to avoid the system in every opportunity. Therefore, the software solution must be easy to understand and implement. Check at the interface for different functions, menus, tables and controls. Does it allow for customisation according to the needs of the organisation? Are there checks and balances in the systems such that different levels of management approve critical decisions? Is it easy to detect errors in the data or actions executed by different members of the team? Can one track decisions and changes in the decision-making process? Are members able to collaborate with ease on the system or via communication plugins attached to the system? Always check the training and support offered by the software provider. Training plays a big role in the user onboarding process. Quality Support, on the other hand, ensures the smooth running of operations and fewer bugs in the system. Go for reputable generation scheduling software that has been tested on similar power generation environments and receive good reviews from various power generation companies.