Full automation for Italian CHP plant

A combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Italy has been upgraded with artifical intelligence (AI) software, meaning it no longer requires on-site staff to operate it.

Italian firm Cogenpower’s 3 MWe/15 MWth plant in Turin includes a heat storage facility and supplies district heating to around 4600 customers through a 13 km pipe network.

Cogenpower says the installation of its Anaconda artificial intelligence software means the CHP plant and district heating operation can be run unmanned.

The software connects the plant, storage facility and network through a fibre optic network. Cogenpower said it is now able to run the facilities, distribute heat through the network and handle billing without any staff.

The retrofit is projected to save the plant’s operator over €250,000 ($268,000) per year.

Dr Francesco Vallone, Cogenpower’s founder and CEO, said: "This breakthrough is a significant step for Cogenpower following an extensive R&D programme to advance our unique technology, which clearly differentiates us from other systems".

"It will generate important efficiencies in any traditional CHP district heating systems in which it is implemented, creating long-term value and driving a low-carbon energy business that ultimately does not have to rely on incentives to fund its growth." 

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