Using SUPERSENSE forecasts to boost district heating production capacity

11 Aug 2020| Harri Lääveri
data district heat forecast

Production efficiency is the secret to economic profitability in most industries, including district heating production. However, the production process can be complex, involving several district heating plants, back-up energy production using fossil fuels, and district cooling. Monitoring the efficiency of the total production process can be challenging if a live dashboard view is not available. In order to improve production efficiency, a solution that provides a live dashboard is a good first step, that could be followed by prediction of product demand. 

With the SUPERSENSE products, it is possible to get a live dashboard of the entire production situation, from which one can further inspect individual district heating plants throughout the production process. The data analysed originates from control room system or directly from production.

Now, with production demand forecasts extending 66 hours into the future, we can improve the conditions required to streamline production better than ever before. 

 

The challenges in improving production efficiency are data-related 

In theory, achieving production efficiency is simple - it must be possible to produce the exact amount of power that is needed at any given time. No more, no less.

Of course, in practice this has been much more complicated. Monitoring total output in real-time has proved challenging, if not impossible, particularly with companies that have several different production facilities. 

Traditionally, in individual district heating plants the optimal production level has been estimated based on informed guesses by employees, as accurate data on production was not available. In this situation, forecasting future needs of production is also challenging. 

 

Get the right amount of power at the right time with SUPERSENSE

SUPERSENSE allows us to make a change to these challenges. Data from multiple district heating plants can be connected to SUPERSENSE's analytics service, and the processed data can be presented in real-time both as an overview and for individual production plants. This provides production managers with a monitoring tool to ensure that in-house production is favoured, and that all plants produce the optimal amount. If, for example, maintenance operations are carried out in a particular plant, the tool can be used to control production such that other plants compensate for the underproduction. 

Additionally, forecasts based on production data, weather data and weather forecasts can accurately estimate production demand 66 hours into the future. 

  

Several production plants and forms of production can be taken into account

District heating companies often differ by their number of heating centres, or their amount of district cooling production. The more production facilities a company has, the more challenging it is to monitor and optimise the overall situation if you do not have a live dashboard.  

For SUPERSENSE, however, this does not pose any challenges, as long as the data generated from the production process can be harnessed. All data is routed to the Microsoft Azure cloud service, which is owned by the company, where the data can be analysed, processed, and formatted into useful visualisations that can be utilised to improve production efficiency. 

Forecasts can be made for both district heating and cooling needs. The accuracy of forecasts is determined by the available historical data. Even in the absence of historical data, forecasts are quickly available when required, and their accuracy only improves as more data accumulates.  

 

Our services are constantly evolving

To further improve production efficiency, we are also developing a solution that will enable us to optimise the materials used in production. If heat production is based on several different methods, the use of these different sources can be controlled and optimised such that heating can be produced as cost-effectively as possible. 

 

SUPERSENSE is a service, that provides you with the tools to improve production efficiency

SUPERSENSE is a service: although our customer companies own their data, we take care of the quality of the data and the operation of the service. There is no risk that you will be left alone to ensure our solution works and is suitable for your business needs. Moreover, if in the future you choose to have another party manage the data, we do not want to prevent this either. Instead, we prefer to build our customer relationships based on high-quality service and results.  

Taking advantage of SUPERSENSE does not require anything from a customer organisation other than use of Office 365.  

The steps needed to increase the efficiency of district heating production have never been so clear.


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