Remote monitoring of energy plants means safety, efficiency and peace of mind
Adven’s central control room in Vantaa monitors more than 100 plants around the clock, from the southern town of Hanko to Levi, in Lapland. Centralized monitoring means, above all, safety and efficiency: one person can monitor dozens of plants simultaneously without a single disturbance going unnoticed.
The numerous side-by-side monitors in the central control room give the impression of an air traffic control tower. This is an accurate impression, as the control room plays a decisive role in ensuring the safety and flawlessness of the plants’ operations.
Modern safety and monitoring systems are designed to predict disturbances, minimize damage and prevent further damage.
“For example, when an oil leak alarm goes on, the safety system automatically stops the pumps. This ensures that potential damage is kept to a minimum,” explains control room supervisor Sami Naukkarinen.
In Adven’s largest plants, normal monitoring is also accompanied by more robust safety systems that require several safety and circumstantial conditions to be met simultaneously before maintenance and start-up measures can be launched.
Many tasks handled remotely
Thanks to a real-time connection, the control room operator can immediately look into an alarm that reaches the control system, as well as the information that comes along with it.
“The control room operator is the first to assess whether the measure required by the alarm can be performed remotely. In most cases, it can, since nearly 70 percent of all measures required by the alarms are handled by the central control room via a remote connection,” says Naukkarinen.
In addition to various alarm resets, other typical measures that are handled remotely include activating back-up pumps and boilers.
Not all alarms necessarily lead to additional measures. The purpose of the control system is to prevent technical problems and to ensure that energy production proceeds smoothly.
Continuous monitoring helps optimize energy production and costs
Plants’ efficiency and fuel levels are also monitored closely through the remote connection.
“We work closely with our local plant operator, who always has the best insight into the special characteristics of their own plant. The plant operator knows, for example, the detailed oxygen control and boiler parameters, which helps us bring the plant’s efficiency to the best level, and we ensure the right output with the right combination of fuels,” Naukkarinen explains.
“We also have several hundred boilers in various plants around Finland,” he adds.
“Separately monitoring them in each plant would cause a financial strain. We can monitor the operations of all plants and individual boilers from the central control room.”
“Remote monitoring brings our customers peace of mind”
“We are in the business of producing energy, and we are very good at it. We know fuels, machinery manufacturers, automation software and operating systems, which we use to guide our customers’ energy production processes and logics.
“I believe that our central control room brings our client companies peace of mind. It allows them to fully focus on their own operations, since Adven takes care of all aspects of safe energy production for them,” Naukkarinen sums up.