Arizona Electric Utility Expands Predictive Maintenance Investment With Petasense

By Jack Burke28 August 2019

Arizona Public Service (APS), the largest electric utility in Arizona, said it has significantly increased its investment in wireless predictive maintenance with industrial IoT company Petasense.

Petasense provides the ARO system (Asset Reliability and Optimization), an end-to-end system that includes plug-n-play wireless sensors and predictive analytics software designed to give plants real-time insights into the health of all their critical assets.

The decision by APS comes after a successful pilot in 2018. APS will now use the system to monitor three power plants in its fleet of eight combined cycle power plants. With this investment, APS will now monitor over 1000 balance of plant rotating machines that support over 2500 MW of power generation using wireless vibration sensors nd predictive analytics software from Petasense.

Arizona Public Service has 6300 MW of generating capacity and serves 1 million customers in over 11 counties in the state of Arizona. In 2018, APS deployed Petasense’s wireless ARO (Asset Reliability & Optimization) system in the Sundance Power Plant in Coolidge, AZ to monitor over300 balance of plant assets. Sundance is a peaker plant that helps APS meet the increased demand from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) market, a market that it entered in 2017.

“Reliability of our power plants is in the foremost on our minds,” commented Don Lamontagne, Supervisor of Equipment Reliability Engineering at APS. “If we are not able to generate power when it is needed, we are not just faced with loss of revenue but also fines. This technology solves what has historically been a major problem—ensuring the uptime of our balance of plant assets.”

The Petasense ARO system is designed to provide a machine learning-driven asset health score that helped detect 14 critical failures in 2018. APS would have missed catching these with their manual walk-around vibration analysis program.

“We are really excited to see APS scale their deployment. This demonstrates how real-time asset health insights can positively impact a utility’s business,” said Arun Santhebennur, co-founder at Petasense. “The APS team has shown a true commitment to transforming traditional maintenance practices, and this investment shows their role as an innovator in the power generation industry.”

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