October 2016

Brüel & Kjær Vibro wins monitoring order for British biomass power plant

The Danish engineering and contracting company Aalborg Energie Technik (AET) has selected a Brüel & Kjær Vibro online condition monitoring solution for machine condition monitoring of the 40MW Tilbury Green Power biomass power plant in the London area. AET and its consortium partner are responsible for the design, supply, construction, and commissioning of the plant. The plant owner is a consortium with the joint investment participation of the Irish utility Electricity Supply Board and the Green Investment Bank.

This biomass plant plays a very strategic role in the area. 270,000 tonnes of waste wood will be collected from UK’s largest regional waste wood market each year in the London area to run the plant. This helps keep London clean, reduces landfill requirements and at the same time provides 300 GWh of green energy per year to the region, enough to power more than 70,000 homes.

AET carefully selected a condition monitoring system for this project. They have a 20 year operation and maintenance contract to ensure the generating units operate reliably and efficiently with minimal downtime and maintenance cost for the useful life of the machines.  Therefore, information needed to make proper asset decisions during
the service life of the machines relies heavily on the condition monitoring system used. The decision to use Brüel & Kjær Vibro as a partner is based partly on the technical solution offered as well as on proven experience in monitoring biomass power plants, such as the Bischofferode and Piesteritz biomass plants in Germany.

Due to the plant’s relatively small size, the condition monitoring system plays an extremely important role for these types of power stations as they are remotely located with minimal manpower. The built-in diagnostic power provided by the 16-channel VDAU-6000 automatically provides the operators who are not condition monitoring experts a simple clear remote overview on the condition of their machines. Information on fault detection and automatic diagnostics is sent directly to the process control system without the need for monitoring platform software. In this particular application, however, Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s Compass 6000TM version 10 condition monitoring solution has been installed to enable the end-user specialists to trend and analyze the data themselves. If additional diagnostic assistance is needed, time signals can be remotely downloaded by Brüel & Kjær Vibro for a more detailed analysis which can be done as a service.

Jesper Hansen, the Brüel & Kjær Vibro Sales Manager says “the VDAU-6000 solution, with onboard diagnostics coupled with flexible analysis capability options, is well suited to a remote biomass power plant such as Tilbury. This enables staff to be utilized in an effective way to optimize the condition monitoring solution. The end result of this would be maximized production reliability and minimized machine life cycle costs.”