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Mainpac builds information gateway for Delta Electricity

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article image Delta Electricity’s Wallerawang Power Station

A new software application being piloted at Delta Electricity’s Wallerawang Power Station will allow maintenance engineers to make faster, better decisions to reduce the frequency and duration of plant outages.

To be available on mobile devices and desktop computers, the Delta Electricity Information Gateway aims to make Delta engineers significantly more productive. The project is a collaboration between the Cooperative Research Centre for Infrastructure and Engineering Asset Management (CIEAM), the University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology, and enterprise asset management software provider Mainpac.

Though Steve Saladine, General Manager Production at Delta Electricity had seen similar projects in power stations in other countries, the combination of high cost and development and implementation times that stretched over a number of years proved a deterrent. However, following discussions with CIEAM and their commercialisation partner Mainpac, he realised they could produce a solution at a fraction of the cost within six months. Mainpac was able to demonstrate a prototype within a few weeks, which led to the project.

According to Mainpac Executive Chairman James Kirk, the main aim of the Information Gateway is to assist engineers in decision making, allowing them to quickly assess all factors relating to an incident, including the asset’s history and the possible implications of a variety of alternative decisions. The Information Gateway will bring together complex data from numerous existing in-house applications and external data providers, providing instantaneous analysis and presentation.

Highlights of the Delta Electricity Information Gateway project:

  • Deliverables include rapid incident diagnosis, comprehensive decision support, and asset-related business intelligence
  • Future enhancements will include predictive maintenance modelling tools from Queensland University of Technology
  • Aims to provide specific and detailed information quickly to the engineer to assist with decision-making
  • Expected to reduce the risks and costs associated with plant outages as well as the frequency, impact and duration of outage events
  • Disparate data sources are correlated and integrated using tools and techniques developed by CIEAM and the University of South Australia
  • Analytical information is presented using Mainpac Asset Intelligence software
Steve expects the Information Gateway to deliver several benefits including improved electricity supply from the reduced severity and duration of plant outages, increased worker safety by providing staff with relevant information in real time via their smart phones and tablets, quicker and better decision-making as well as reduced operational costs and improved plant reliability.

Delta Electricity’s Wallerawang Power Station, located near Lithgow, New South Wales was chosen because it has high maintenance requirements and the data is configured by plant areas, which enables it to be grouped logically.

The pilot is expected to confirm that the Information Gateway saves time and cost, resulting in better decisions faster. The application will be rolled out broadly across Wallerawang and subsequently made available to other power generation enterprises following the completion of the pilot.

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