Yokogawa Installs IIoT for Remote Performance Management at Kenya Geothermal Complex

  • August 24, 2022
  • Yokogawa
  • news

Yokogawa Installs IIoT for Remote Performance Management at Kenya Geothermal Complex

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has completed the installation of an IoT system for Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) that uses mobile communications and other technologies to provide integrated remote power management at the I Additional Unit (AU ), II, IV , and V of the Olkaria geothermal complex. The project was carried out under an agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). *1 which was completed in January 2020 using funds from the Department of Economy, Trade and Industry for UNIDO.

In Kenya, electricity consumption tripled in 2021 compared to 2000*2 in line with population growth and economic development, indicating the urgent need to ensure stable energy supply. The country’s thermal power plants rely to a significant extent on imported fuel oil, and renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power and solar power are affected by the changing climatic conditions. The Republic of Kenya has one of the world’s largest geothermal resources, so the Kenyan government has drawn attention to the use of geothermal energy, which is not only an extremely stable source of energy but also has the advantage of low carbon emissions. Since 2000, Kenya has steadily increased capacity*2and as of 2021, geothermal energy is the main energy source in Kenya, accounting for over 40% of the country’s generating capacity*3.

In the Olkaria geothermal complex*4, the largest in Africa, KenGen currently operates Geothermal Power Plants I, I AU, II, IV and V. Station IV is furthest from the complex’s administration office, approximately 20 km by road. Before installing Yokogawa’s IoT system, these geographically dispersed power plants were all managed separately, and it was challenging to take a comprehensive approach to managing their operations.

In accordance with UNIDO requirements, Yokogawa designed and implemented an IoT system that allows access to the data of stations I AU, II, IV and V from the complex’s management office, thus enabling integrated remote power management of power generation output at these facilities allows . The system leverages the Exapilot package to improve operational efficiencies and the company’s Exaquantum asset information management system. Yokogawa also trained KenGen personnel to operate this system. The IoT system makes it possible to centrally manage the performance of the power generation units in each power plant, helps to determine the causes of detected problems and provides information about the maintenance status of the associated equipment. Built-in remote monitoring, automated root-cause analysis, and centralized history management ensure timely maintenance can be performed, maximizing power generation efficiency and ensuring a stable power supply. Together they have a capacity of around 575 MW.

Through digital transformation (DX) and other means, Yokogawa is committed to doing its part in environmental sustainability by providing its customers with the support they need to optimize operations and ensure safety across supply chains, including the production, supply and use of diverse products energy sources such as geothermal and other renewable energies.

Naoki Torii, UNIDO Project Manager in charge of the project, said: “The successful completion of the project was made possible by close collaboration between the project partners as well as insights from the donor, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. We trust that the positive impact of the project will continue and be more widely disseminated across the country and region. The project has shown a way to apply advanced technological solutions to multifaceted development problems we face in particular by addressing climate change, by improving energy systems while reducing carbon intensity and contributing to inclusive, sustainable industrial development.”

Rebecca Miano, Managing Director and CEO of KenGen, said, “The IOT project system will enhance centralized data collection and storage, and provide analytics used to make key business decisions and optimize asset availability.”

Koji Nakaoka, vice president and head of Energy & Sustainability Business Headquarters and Global Sales Headquarters at Yokogawa said, “With our long-term business framework, we aim to provide value based on the System of Systems (SoS) concept. This is a system composed of independent operating and management systems that work together to achieve goals that cannot be achieved by either system alone. By integrating information scattered across assets, DX enables overall optimization. Knowing exactly how much electricity is generated in geothermal plants can properly manage the electricity generated in other ways. Through projects like this, our company will continue to contribute to environmental sustainability.”

*1 UNIDO is the United Nations specialized agency that promotes industrial development for poverty alleviation, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. https://www.unido.org/
*2 Global data, Kenya Power Market Outlook, November 2021
*3 Kenya Bureau of Statistics Economic Survey, 2022
*4 The Olkaria Geothermal Complex consists of Stations I, I Additional Unit, II, III, IV and V. The total capacity of the power plants currently in operation is approximately 930 MW. The oldest station I went into operation in 1981.

About Yokogawa

Yokogawa provides advanced measurement, control and information solutions to customers in a variety of industries including energy, chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals and food. Yokogawa addresses customer concerns related to optimizing production, facilities and supply chain through the effective application of digital technologies and enabling the transition to autonomous operations. Founded in Tokyo in 1915, Yokogawa continues to build a sustainable society with more than 17,000 employees across a global network of 122 companies in 61 countries.

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