‘Intelligent’ Controller For Gas Turbines Announced

By Jack Burke22 October 2019

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Siemens said they have co-developed the world’s first thermodynamic digital twin gas turbine (GT) Intelligent Controller, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, minister of Finance and president of DEWA, unveiled the Intelligent Gas Turbine Controller during his inauguration of the 21st Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX). He was briefed by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, on the system specifications that a team of DEWA engineers, led by Emirati and Siemens experts, developed. The Intelligent Controller has improved turbine efficiency, increased its generation capacity, reduced fuel consumption, which in turn reduces harmful emissions. Once deployed across all gas turbines in M-Station, the system will make financial savings of AED 17 million a year. The turbine is located at M-Station in Jebel Ali, which is the largest power generation and water desalination plant in the UAE.

“This first-of-its-kind global achievement, made possible by DEWA’s Emirati experts in collaboration with Siemens, supports our digitalization efforts,” said Al Tayer. “Through Digital DEWA, our digital arm, we aim to disrupt the entire business of public utilities by becoming the world’s first digital utility and expand the use of integrated AI solutions to make Dubai the first city in the world that provides AI-based electricity and water services.

“We are proud of this global achievement that increased both the energy generation efficiency and capacity of each unit by around 3.5 MW. This reduces fuel consumption and eliminates around 10 000 tonnes of carbon emissions per unit per year and nitrogen oxides by 10% annually. Based on these excellent results, we are also working with Siemens to expand the application of the Intelligent Gas Turbine Controller to the other gas turbines at M-Station. This will contribute to enhancing efficiency and reliability in addition to big financial savings,” said Al Tayer.

The intelligent controller pilot project with DEWA has been a success and it will help support efforts to make Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE.

“We are ready to install these AI-driven controllers in more turbines, and to build on our long-term partnership with DEWA as it continues its digitalization journey,” Siersdorfer said.

Nasser Lootah, executive vice president of Generation at DEWA, said that the Intelligent Controller in the gas turbines went through a number of phases starting with performance tests of 22 gas turbines by the Generation division. This division then installed Thermodynamic Diagnostic Systems in 10 gas turbines to collect the needed technical data to implement the smart system. A prototype of the automated response initiated by thermodynamic variables, piloted on M-Station gas turbine number 11, was designed and applied to improve its performance and increase its efficiency. Following the prototype success, an additional feature was added to increase the stability of the combustion systems and reduce emissions, which has resulted in significant and continuous improvement in operational efficiency.

In 2017, Siemens and DEWA announced an agreement to collaborate on a advanced data-driven project to develop new intelligent, self-learning controller for the SGT5-4000F gas turbine.

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