Digital Power Plant is Data-Driven

October 01, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

General Electric (GE) announced its Digital Power Plant, a revolutionary software and hardware solution that creates a virtual "Digital Twin" of an entire industrial power plant complex. Powered by GE's Predix platform, the operating system of the Industrial Internet, "Digital Twin" is a collection of physics-based methods and digital technologies that are used to model the present state of every asset in a Digital Power Plant or a Digital Wind Farm. GE pooled approximately 100 million hours of power plant data in order to build its Digital Power Plant technologies in response to and anticipation of exploding energy and data demands over the next several years.

"The world is expected to need 50 percent more power over the next 20 years, including providing electricity for the 1.3 billion people without access today,” said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water. “At the same time, the electricity industry is undergoing a radical digital transformation unlocking whole new opportunities. Imagine the benefits to our global economy and society when the power source of the world's economy, electricity, is as digitally connected and efficient as the modern technologies dependent on that electrical power."

Central generation of energy will account for up to 95 percent of the energy mix by 2025 and as a result GE’s Digital Power Plant, will enable GE’s utility and industrial customers to harness information technologies to optimize the underlying infrastructure that generates electricity, in a manner that will transform the way electricity is generated and managed worldwide, helping minimize the impact of power production and consumption to the climate. The expected benefits include up to $230 million for a new combined-cycle gas power plant and up to $50 million for an existing combined-cycle gas-powered plant in savings. Across the power industry today this will equate to up to $75 billion in savings.

As one of the world’s largest suppliers of power generation equipment and the developer of Predix, GE has been able to combine the right hardware and software solution to securely digitize complex power assets and systems. The Digital Power Plant is more than connectivity and more than just one solution. Once an entire power plant is digitized, it can deploy applications powered by the Predix platform to continuously improve assets and operations.

Predix is the only secure cloud and platform built for and by industry experts to support the unique scale and requirements of industrial data. It also is the only platform with security and governance built in to allow developers to quickly build, test and deploy applications for highly regulated industries. Incorporating decades of experience in operational security and information security, Predix Cloud is designed with the most advanced security protocols available, including customized, adaptive security solutions for industrial operators and developers.

“To transform the entire energy value chain, we need a purpose-built, modern digital industrial stack—from software-defined machines, to the controls, to the cloud,” said Ganesh Bell, GE P&W, chief digital officer and GM of Software & Analytics. “We invite our customers to innovate with Predix to improve their performance and results.”