Product News: GE Digital Remote Operations for Power Generators

Sept. 30, 2020
Promises location independence to “operate from anywhere."

GE Digital introduced Remote Operations for Power Generation, a software and appliance solution that provides remote/mobile operator access to essential on-site monitoring and control functions.

“The pandemic and its economic impact have ignited and accelerated permanent operational changes across industries,” said Kevin Prouty, IDC, group VP, Energy & Manufacturing Insights. “A solution like GE Digital’s Remote Operations enables Power Generators and other industrial organizations to adopt remote staffing, flexible resourcing, centralized monitoring, and autonomous operations. Beyond security and compliance requirements, customers need to have granular access, permissioning, and safety controls that allow location-independent work without undue risk.”

Power generators in Latin America, the Middle East and across North America, have chosen Remote Operations to provide weather-proof operations, on-site staff efficiency, reliable remote start-up, support for contingency operations, and multi-plant control flexibility, according to GE Digital.

Maxim Power Corporation chose GE Digital Remote Operations to aid in reliable management of its GE 7FA.05 gas fired power generation facility, Milner 2, remotely located some 600km northwest of their headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

“A key objective of adding Remote Operations capability to the power plant is to empower our workforce and improve safety—not only with remote location flexibility, but also within the plant,” noted Bob Emmott, executive vice president and COO at Maxim Power Corporation. “Onsite operators and maintenance staff can use Remote Operations mobility features to work together efficiently, enhancing overall personnel safety at the plant, while ensuring continuity of remote visualization, command, and control of the power generation assets at the site.”

With remote and dedicated mobile device access to on-site HMI visualizations and controls, Remote Operations aims to serve customer priorities including:

  • · Contingency operations—to handle COVID, weather conditions, and any unforeseen circumstances
  • · Multi-plant operations—a centralized approach to monitor, augment or control normal operations across a fleet
  • · Un-staffed operations—for complete remote controls of simple cycle plants
  • · On-site mobility and collaboration – use of dedicated mobile features to improve the productivity and safety of onsite staff
  • · Remote expert leverage—work from anywhere on anything freedom for key staff members

Remote Operations provides remote and mobile operators with secure and managed access to equivalent on-site HMI visualizations and essential controls regardless of HMI solutions in production, according to its maker. NERC-CIP compliant security, granular, control room managed access rights, and operational safeguards enable secure and failsafe operational flexibility, and cooperation across all staff, on site and off site.

“The Power Generation landscape will change more over the next 10 years than in the previous 100,” said Linda Rae, general manager for GE Digital’s Power Generation and Oil & Gas business. “In this fast-changing world, our customers are on the front line of the world’s toughest industrial challenges and software is more mission critical than ever before. Remote Operations brings important flexibility and cost benefits to Power Generators today and will be a pillar of their evolution toward autonomous operations. We also see strong potential in markets such as Oil & Gas and Manufacturing.”