Power station saving on inspection costs

Jon Lawson

Drax Group is set to make substantial savings of up to £1m per year by significantly reducing the potential overrun of outages during required inspections of Drax Power Station, after a five year deal to implement new digital evidence and workflow technology at the plant.

The power company has commissioned digital evidence and workflow platform eviFile to deliver the efficiency project at the UK’s largest power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire. This system allows for inspections to progress from request through to completion and sign-off.

Drax conducts four yearly inspections of its six units, examining the conditions of specific components and identifying potential defects.

eviFile will enable Drax to record an end-to-end digital audit trail of more than 4,000 individual tests in a 12 week period, increasing efficiency, reducing potential overrun and providing the opportunity to significantly reduce the number of days required for inspections and subsequent corrective actions. Every outage can cost Drax Power Station up to £500,000 per day.

eviFile works via standard tablets and smartphones, enabling operatives to use their device’s camera and GPS capabilities to record works completed. Every use is securely captured with high-quality data on time, date, geographical location, user and device orientation. The flexible system will be used by multiple contractors and is compatible with various sign-off requirements.

Commenting on the procurement of eviFile, Drax Group’s outage co-ordinator and project sponsor, Michelle Desmond, said: “It is vitally important for us to further enhance the efficiency of our inspection processes.

“After an extensive procurement process, eviFile was deemed to be the best-fit solution due to its handling of complex processes and impressive level of configurability. We are confident this technology will make an immediate impact and bring a clear commercial benefit.

“Drax Power Station is the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe. We have already upgraded two thirds of the power station to run on sustainable biomass instead of coal. We’re looking to replace our remaining coal units with gas, which will extend the life of the plant, protect jobs and deliver cleaner, reliable energy for millions of homes and business. The efficiency savings through eviFile will allow us to focus as much attention as possible on our vision for a zero carbon, lower cost energy future.”



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