Building smarter heat and power plants


The technological innovations improving our smart plants

We’re constantly striving to make our heat and power plants smarter and safer through digitalisation. Here’s a small selection of the technologies we’re experimenting with.

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

We use drones to inspect the power stations’ tall smokestacks and boiler rooms, as well as to perform minor repair jobs. Prior to drones, these tasks would be performed manually and would involve an employee climbing the stack or entering the boiler room to inspect issues.

We also use drones in the power stations’ cooling water channels to flush mussels back into sea. This ensures that CHP plants no longer need to be shut down during cleaning, as was the case with manual cleaning.

Watch the video to see how we use drones at our power stations

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 lead the way

We’ve tested ‘smart glasses’, which introduce a layer of computer-generated data to what the wearer sees. The purpose of the glasses is to reduce the response time at the power stations. For example, 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 issue.

We’re currently working on implementing a 3D version of our machines in the glasses; however, this technology is still under development.

Predicting the condition of a plant with data

Our CHP plants have been equipped with temperature sensors, infrared cameras, and other sensors to collect data on the condition of the plant. The sensors act as an extra set of eyes and ears for the employees, making it possible to predict incidents before they happen. As all data is gathered digitally, this helps our employees proactively detect and resolve problems efficiently.

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
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. 

Electricity & heat production

Our Bioenergy business is part of our Danish utility business. We supply electricity and heat to our customers.