TecOS ALERT: Helping with smart alarms management

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Introduction

Electric power generation plants are often faced with the problem of having to manage avalanches of alarms. During the operation of the plants sometimes the operator is receiving so many alarms on the corresponding control room screen that he is unable to take in all the information that appears. It also occurs frequently that recurring alarms appear that do not provide any additional information for the operator.

All this means that the behaviour of the alarms systems of many plants is moving away from what is recommended in this respect by the different international standards, such that important alarms may go unnoticed without the operator performing any action in response to them.

Alarms management

The objective of alarms management solutions is to ensure that the information displayed on the alarms panel is the only information to be responded to by the operators. There should not be any alarms that do not require corrective action, that do not inform on anomalous situations or that provide information on normal operating events.

What is TecOS ALERT

Tecnatom has developed TecOS ALERT for the smart management of the alarms generated at electric power generation plants. TecOS ALERT is an artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool that automatically performs dynamic alarms rationalisation through the use of data science and automatic learning techniques.

The predictive capacity of TecOS ALERT makes it possible to distinguish which alarms are relevant and which are not during operation, such that only those that provide information of significance are displayed and that those that are not critical for the safety of the plant and do not require any action are omitted. In this way the solution manages the alarms in real time, deciding which are relevant and should be presented to the operator and which are not and are, therefore, to remain hidden. To accomplish this the solution identifies loops, cause-effect relationships and alarm chains that, along with expertise in plant operation, allows for smart alarms management.

Furthermore, TecOS ALERT operates on a level above the DCS, reading the alarms from this system and showing the results via a simple, intuitive and human error reduction-oriented interface designed in accordance with human factors engineering criteria.

Benefits provided by the solution

TecOS ALERT takes advantage of the possibilities offered by data science and expertise in electric power generation plants operation to reduce the cognitive load on the operator and the probability of error. All this is achieved at a lower cost and in a significantly shorter time period than with traditional alarms management approaches.

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