We have been awarded Innovate UK funding to develop remote, in-service defect monitoring to aid sustainable recovery from Covid-19 in the UK’s critical infrastructure, including the 32 CCGT and 14 Nuclear power plants nationwide.
Covid-19 has put additional pressures on the UK’s national grid, with a significant 22% drop in electricity demand due to the national lockdown phases, which has forced many of the stochastic renewable sources to be reduced, and a greater reliance on ageing closed-cycle-gas-turbine plants (CCGT) to offer flexibility and grid resilience to meet changing demand.
Statutory asset integrity inspection and fitness for service is required to justify safe and efficient operation between shutdowns and service intervals under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) 2000, Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and to meet climate legislation such as the Large Combustion Plant Directive.
Cracks, flaws and defects in metals and welds contribute to 77% of unscheduled outages, which have significant impacts on availability to the grid as well as huge costs running in to millions of pounds per day of lost productivity and direct costs which are passed on to the consumer. The loss in thermal efficiency due to leaks and steam loss contributes to an equivalent increase of 1-2 kTonnes of carbon dioxide per hour in UK emissions.