GE Renewable Energy unveils new digital monitoring system at HydroVision International 2016

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GE Renewable Energy officially unveiled a new digital monitoring system today at HydroVision International 2016 that is designed to improve the efficiency of monitoring and maintenance at hydropower plants.

The system, called intelligent Condition Monitoring System, or iCMS, collects and analyses temperature, vibration, acceleration and rotational speed data in real-time to look for early mechanical and electrical problems, and plant inefficiencies.

GE said utilities and engineers can then access data in a virtual reality "human-to-machine" interface that turns the information into interactive visual objects.

"Water has been used to generate power for thousands of years," GE Renewable Energy said in a release. "Today, innovations in hydropower surges into the digital space. In order to meet rising energy demands, other renewable energy sources are adding to the capacity historically generated by hydropower plants. This has created a need for increased flexibility and the accurate data assessment of power plants and hydro equipment."

GE's iCMS technology has already been installed by Energie Developpment Services du Brianconnais' (EDSB) 5-MW Pont Baldy hydroelectric project in the southeast of France.

Since being put into operation in December, GE said the iCMS has collected and analyzed almost two terabytes of data per month, while digesting three years' worth of temperature, maintenance and downtime data previously collected.

"As a result, GE is able to generate diagnostic assessments of the remaining lifetime of turbine components, compute a health index for the plant and make operations and maintenance recommendations," the company said.

GE Renewable Energy is exhibiting at Booth No. 305 at HydroVision International 2016, which runs in Minneapolis through the end of the week.

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