Utilities spend significant resources to determine the cost of cycling in their units. Once this investment is made, it is important that utilities use these results to reduce future system costs. One step is to improve system dispatch and operations planning. Cycling Advisor addresses this need.
The Intertek Cycling Advisor program is used on a daily or weekly basis to provide guidance on optimal dispatch schedules including wear-and-tear costs. Application of the program, if used effectively, could save millions of dollars per year in overall costs.
Dispatch models determine optimum hourly dispatch schedules considering unit fuel costs, heat rates, and operational constraints for determining schedules. Recently, with the increases in market interchanges and complex purchase and sales contracts, significant effort has been to model energy and capacity transactions.
Dispatchers and unit commitment vendors do not properly account for the damage or wear-and-tear rates caused by key factors, such as varying generation unit operation practices: on-off cycling, load following, load changes with varying MW ramp rates, load depths, and operation with higher than rated capacity operation; and lower minimum load operation.
Current system dispatch paradigms do not model these damage rate factors other than allowing simple startup costs, which are only a small portion of the true costs.
Adding damage costs for all the key operational options listed above in a current dispatch model would be a difficult and costly task. Intertek has developed a new type of Total Quality Assurance dispatch program called Cycling Advisor™. It accounts for damage costs due to the key factors listed, while also accounting for the other major fuel, heat rate, operational constraints, and transactions factors.
Cycling Advisor finds the lowest system cost hourly dispatch schedule taking into account all major cost factors, including generation equipment wear-and-tear. Its output includes hourly load levels of each unit, the number and characteristics of each cycle type (e.g., starts, load follows, and equivalent hot starts) and total system costs.
Intertek uses its proprietary damage model to provide wear-and-tear rates of each operational scenario. Cycling Advisor’s cost algorithm has a heat rate impact model developed for each unit in the utility's system.
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