Input/Loss Method - Fuel Consumption Indices (FCIs)

Input/Loss utilizes a "systems approach" to monitoring a power plant's thermal efficiency. Input/Loss understands the potential power of the fuel entering the system and is able to monitor the use of that power throughout. A system burns fuel not only to produce electricity, but also to overcome system losses. Input/Loss is able to quantify those losses on a per component or process basis. Input/Loss tells the engineer or operator where and why fuel is being consumed. For the first time plant personnel have a complete picture- the first step to increasing efficiency.

Fuel Consumption Indices (FCIs) are a unitless measure of fuel being consumed; either for the direct generation of electricity or to overcome losses throughout the system. There are 18 FCIs regularly produced by Input/Loss. There is 1 FCI for Power and 17 FCIs for system components and processes. The goal of the operator is to maximize the FCI for power while minimizing the FCIs for system losses. The sum of FCIs are always equal to 1000, like a teeter totter, if one is increasing another is decreasing. FCIs are presented to the engineer through the Calculational Engine Panel & Reports and to the operator through their DCS or graphics package. The operator is continuously monitoring their specific fuel usage, through FCIs, to maximize the power available for the creation of electricity. For the first time, plant personnel are able to determine if their actions are helping or hurting their system.

The balance between the FCIs and changes to their values guide staff on which component of process to investigate. Additionally, FCIs are utilized by Input/Loss for multiple reporting applications, many of which can be user generated. One application of FCIs is used to assist personnel during the soot blowing process. Another is the ability for plant management to review plant shifts' performance and whether their actions are increasing or decreasing unit efficiency (FCI for Power). Some packages will also quantify, to some degree, the financial effect of their actions.

Through its systems approach Input/Loss is also able to generate individual heat rates on a component or process basis. The sum of these individual heat rates always sum to the gross total system heat rate.

Exergetic Systems is pleased to report that since the introduction of FCIs that operators utilizing Input/Loss have grown accustomed to viewing FCIs and nothing else. They have, for the most part, discontinued looking at heat rates- a testament to FCIs ease of use and value.

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