The efficiency of any form of power generation depends not only on the technology chosen for a plant, but also on the processes and tools used to control operations and maintain installations and infrastructures.

Maintenance is vital in minimising downtime and fixing problems before they cause damage. We investigate the benefits of preventative maintenance in the case of wind power installations, and also look at the emerging approach of predictive or condition based maintenance.

We also explore the tools used in plant operations, looking at control systems and software available on the market, as well as simulation tools used for the training of operators.

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Bridging the Skills Gap

Even in today’s somewhat depressed economic situation, the demand for engineering talent is high and in many sectors the workforce is aging. We look at the recruitment situation in the power industry and finds out how companies can prepare a new generation for the task of operating and maintaining plants.
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Any Way the Wind Blows

The efficiency of wind power generation depends not only on the capability of turbines, but also on the processes that control their operation. Maintenance procedures are vital in fixing problems before they cause significant damage, which is why many operators are opting for a preventative approach.
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Predict to Prevent

With investment generally limited for modernising T&D equipment, utilities have to squeeze more power from aging grids while the need for steady quality grows. We find out how predictive maintenance can help suppliers to prevent problems in transmission.
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Tricky Tasks

Power plant maintenance can include challenging tasks, many of which require tools designed by specialist providers. We speak to experts about their on-site machine tools and how they can help plant operators in carrying out critical repair and upgrade work.
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Smartening Up the Grid

With many power grids operating under the burden of aging systems, can smart grid technology paper over the cracks? We investigate how one particular approach to smart metering could improve the efficiency of maintenance and help to ease the pressure off aging infrastructure while keeping the costs low for utilities.
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Heavy Maintenance

Cranes are essential whenever the power industry needs a bit of muscle for maintenance or precision conveyance. We speak to international lifting specialist Konecranes about the power generation applications of cranes.
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Next Issue: A Smart Energy Future

The potential of smart grids has been touted nearly everywhere as a realistic solution to power grid strain. But with adoption by utilities happening slower than many expected, we investigate where the technology stands today and whether the benefits of smart grids will make up for the initial costs.

While the application of information technology promises to enhance grid efficiency and reliability, it also brings with it all the vulnerabilities typical of computer networks. We examine the security implications of smart grid deployment and the debate over who should take responsibility for the cybersecurity of our power networks.

We also find out how smart grids can facilitate the integration of distributed energy sources and what benefits small-scale generation could bring to the grid, and look into the future of energy storage.

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