Eskom, supplier of about 95 percent of South Africa’s power, has been honored for its innovative use of technology in power generation.
Eskom’s Kusile power station, which is currently under construction near Emalahleni (Witbank) in Mpumalanga province, has been awarded first prize in the 2013 Be Inspired competition, in the Innovation in Power Generation category for the innovative development and use of a 3D Plant Operating & Maintenance (O&M) Simulator.
The O&M Simulator was created on 3D-Pact and Flownex technology developed by South African companies Samahnzi and M-Tech Industrial, using CADD 3D model content delivered by EPC contractors for the new power station and integrating it on the Bentley MicroStation platform before migration into the 3D-Pact Simulator technology platform.
The Bentley Innovation in Power award recognises projects that have demonstrated excellence in planning, designing, building, operating, modeling, and analysing power generation plants including traditional fossil fuel plants, combined cycle plants, nuclear power facilities, and renewable power generation.
The 3D, virtual and interactive model of Kusile allows Eskom engineers, operators and plant maintainers a thorough understanding of the plant design and lay-out, plant processes, operations and maintenance requirements.
Changing plant conditions and operating parameters can be simulated in a 3D virtual environment. The 3D simulator will also provide improved emergency preparedness capability; operators can train for abnormal or emergency situations in a simulated environment, reducing the impact of actual plant damage caused by such occurrences.
Proactive training on the 3D plant simulator will assist in reducing the risk of “learning curve” failures during commissioning and operations.
The award ceremony took place at the Hilton Metropole hotel in London on 30 October 2013.
The 3D plant simulator project was headed by Eskom Chief Technologist Riekie Swanepoel, who accepted the award in London on behalf of the Kusile team.
“The 3D plant simulator shows that Eskom is constantly looking for innovative ways to improve the design, operations and maintenance of their power generation fleet,” said Swanepoel.