Smart plants

At Ørsted, we keep creating smarter and safer working procedures at our power stations. The aim is to set new standards for work at power stations in future. 

We’re working to digitalise a number of our core processes, and we continually test new digital solutions that can support our daily work. We’re trying to digitalise our entire value chain – from sourcing of biomass, transport and communication with our subcontractors to optimisation of operation and maintenance. In the process, our employees’ needs and wishes play an important role. It’s essential to involve those employees who’ll be implementing the new technologies. 

Here’s a small selection of the technologies we're experimenting with at the power stations in our quest for increased digitalisation of our core processes. 

It’s our colleagues at the power stations who know what will work for them. Digitalisation isn't something that runs in parallel with the business, it’s something we do together
Ole Thomsen, Senior Vice President, Bioenergy

Drones doing the dirty work 

Drones increase employee safety and optimise inspection. 

Today, we use drones to inspect the power stations’ tall smoke stacks and boiler rooms and to perform minor repair jobs. Earlier, an employee had to go up the stack and be lowered down the side of it, or he had to go into the boiler room to closer inspect any issues found. 

We also use drones in the power stations’ cooling water channels. Drones can swim along the channels flushing mussels back into the sea. Using drones for cleaning means that the CHP plants no longer need to be shut down during cleaning operations as was the case back when cleaning was performed manually by sending employees into the cooling water channels. 

The only limit to how our power stations can and will be operated in future is our imagination
Ole Thomsen, Senior Vice President, Bioenergy

Smart glasses show the way 


We’ve also tested the so-called ‘smart glasses’, which are intelligent glasses introducing a layer of computer-generated data on top of the real world. The purpose of the glasses is to reduce the response time at the power stations. If a pump shuts down, the operator can use the glasses to instantly map the heat flow inside the pump and locate the problem. An expert located at another power station can also connect to the glasses, which will significantly reduce the time it takes to resolve the problem. 

The smart glasses technology is still under development, and currently, we’re working on implementing a 3D version of our machines in the glasses. 

With data, we can predict the condition of 
the power station


The power stations have been equipped with temperature sensors, infrared cameras and other sensors to collect data about the condition of the power station. The sensors act as an extra set of eyes and ears for the employees. They make it possible to predict incidents before they happen. As all data is gathered digitally, our employees can detect problems earlier. 
Today, much of our knowledge is stored on computers in our offices, but we need a digital system enabling us to access knowledge where we need it. Because issues arise on site, not in the office
Ole Thomsen, Senior Vice President, Bioenergy