TreLab’s high-accuracy sensor data enables Fortum to optimize the operations at Imatra hydropower plant

At Fortum’s hydropower plant in Imatra, TreLab’s Smart Data Mill system generates real-time data about the vibrations in the structures surrounding the plant equipment. With the help of that data, Fortum can optimize the running of the turbines and avoid problematic operational situations, which means less need for maintenance work and saved resources.

– Up until now, we have only had human senses to rely on when evaluating the vibrations in the structures. This has been problematic, since in unmanned hydropower plants there are no personnel there to observe the vibration occurrences. Also, human experience is always subjective, and as such, cannot be compared or reported, says Eero Kukkola, Digital Transformation Manager at Fortum.

TreLab’s system provides Fortum with comparable and reliable data about the effects of the equipment on the surrounding constructions. By combining this data with the plant’s operations data, Fortum is able to define an optimal and safe range for operating each machine, allowing the machines to run at maximum capacity.

– We are also able to foresee and avoid exceptional situations that put extra strain on the structures, meaning less need for maintenance. That brings us real savings, says Erkki Luukkonen, Asset Manager at Fortum’s Imatra hydropower plant.

Agile system up and running in a single day

Whereas many other measuring systems require several months of planning and implementation efforts, TreLab’s system is easily set up. At the Imatra plant, the Smart Tag sensors and the gateways were installed and set ready for use on the first visit. Moving the sensors to another spot is also fast and easy.

“We were surprised by how swiftly and cost-effectively the system was set up and how accurate the data was.” – Eero Kukkola, Fortum

– The reliability of TreLab’s measurement results is a crucial factor for us. The plant has about 50 sensors, and when we compare the data from adjacent sensors, their correspondence tells us that the measured data is indeed accurate, explains Erkki Luukkonen.

Compatibility with a wide range of IoT platforms guarantees the best utilization of data

The data from the sensors is stored in a cloud service maintained by TreLab, from where the customer can retrieve the data at any time. At Fortum, the data is merged with Fortum’s own operations data in IBM’s Bluemix platform, resulting in combined data that gives an exceptionally accurate and comprehensive view of real operational situations at the plant.

”Our high-level data feed gives the customer plenty of new information about the premises. Our system is compatible with numerous IoT and analytics platforms, allowing the data feed to be combined with other process data to create an even more comprehensive view.” – Ismo Laitinen, TreLab

– At Imatra hydropower plant, we have been able to measure the very things we set out to measure. We now have a strong basis to introduce TreLab’s sensor system to our other hydropower plants, Fortum’s Eero Kukkola concludes.


Would you like to know more about TreLab Smart Data Mill?

For further information, please contact Mr. Ismo Laitinen, e-mail: ismo.laitinen@trelab.fi, mobile: +358 50 303 8354. More TreLab references listed here: references.