Support for performance issues

CerTa Veritas provides software tools and services for power plant performance issues.

Fouling (e.g. in filters and heat exchangers) and mechanical deterioration of components gradually affect the performance of power plants. The maximum power output decreases and the heat rate increases in the course of time. Timely detection of performance degradation is the basis for adequate maintenance actions.

Since the deterioration in performance is gradual, the performance depends on the load, and the process variables required for the performance indicators can only be measured with an uncertainty, performance deterioration is not easily detectable by just comparing the current performance with yesterday’s values.

Plant operators are generally most aware about the performance of their main components when the unit is operated in steady state at base load conditions.  Certain process variables (such as pressure drops over filters, condenser pressure in relation to cooling water temperature) point them to performance issues of the main components. For this, they rely on the measurement data presented on the DCS operator displays and their professional experience.

However, for units that are being operated under varying (part) load conditions it is much more difficult for the operator to identify if any of the main components is underperforming at the ‘actual’ prevailing conditions.

Nowadays (conventional, large scale) power plants are often operated at varying part load conditions, as the (capacity) share of heavily fluctuating renewable energy sources based on wind and solar radiation in the total power mix has been increased significantly, leading to more varying power production during the day by the conventional plants to balance supply and demand in the grid. This makes it increasingly difficult to detect underperformance. This is especially the case when a measurement of an important process variable does not function properly.

CerTa Veritas has developed software tools which can support the operators and maintenance personnel in identifying possible under-performance issues with main components and correct interpretation of the available measurement data. Furthermore, these software tools can also support the decision makers in carrying out investment analyses.

CerTa Veritas uses these tools on a daily basis for supporting their clients and has prepared a white paper where we present three approaches for keeping track on the performance of a power plant (illustrated in the figures below):

Each of the three above mentioned approaches serve their own specific purpose and are elaborated further in the white paper  “Methods and applications to monitor and identify performance related issues for power plants” (that can be ordered as mentioned below). However, all three approaches have in common that operators get easily insight in actual performance and degradation of their power plant, enabling them to take adequate action / corrective measures preventing unnecessary controllable losses and ultimately saving money!

For more information and a request for the white paper please contact Sjoerd van Rijen:


Mobile: +31 (0)6 1506 3298                

CerTa Veritas uses three approaches (and provides software solutions) to keep track on the performance of power plants. The main characteristics of them (and differences between them) are schematically indicated in the figures below.