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Real-Time Remote Monitoring of Power Plants in Terms of IIoT and Cloud Computing



Structural health monitoring measurements in power plants were for many years accessible only on the power plant site. Monitoring of relevant signals and operating variables outside the power plant was impossible and concurrently, the structural health monitoring or condition monitoring was based only on measurement evaluation on site. The breakthrough brought the Industry 4.0 in 2010s. The industrial internet of things connects units over the internet giving the power generation segment new opportunities like remote monitoring of the processes and operating variables. This paper describes the developed remote monitoring system – RMS – including hundreds of operating variables in power plants and covering monitoring function of power plant components in real time. The system is based on data collection unit installed on the power plant site mainly featuring as database storage. TCP/IP communication over the internet connects these units with the cloud computing server. Cloud computing and user-friendly visualization makes this system easy to use for the end-user practically all over the world. However challenges like cyber-security, reliability, long-term stability had to be considered in such a solution. Primary, the system is used to monitor operating variables from turbine control system. Temperatures and pressures in a turbine and other power plant components give the user/operator a basic preview of the system function as a whole. Secondary, the system is used to interconnect any other advanced diagnostic devices such as measurement of the blade vibration, monitoring of rotor/stator rub etc. Monitoring of blade dynamics is necessary for blade state evaluation. Symptoms of change in blade dynamics monitored by RMS are also particularly described in this paper. Evaluation of structural health of the blade material is based on Fast Fourier Transform of the specific monitored variables. Measured data are easily accessible through the web and also by mobile device application which was developed as a simple thin client for visualization of the main power plant functions. Each authorized user of RMS can access the real-time data over the internet.


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