Flexibility by modularization in power plants
As energy demand grows, the high modularity of Wärtsilä products makes it easy to expand your power plants according to meet future challenges.
Modularization is the design of a system so that it can be constructed using modules. A Module, again, is a self-contained component of a system, which has a well-defined interface to the other components. Something is modular if it includes or uses modules which can be interchanged as units without disassembly of the module.
Modularity in Wärtsilä Power Plants
Wärtsilä has been delivering modular power plant solutions for more than two decades and the degree of modularity has increased over the years. The current module portfolio consists of about 300 module types, with some 160 being Wärtsilä’s own design.
The essential focus for Wärtsilä Power Plants when producing modular solutions is, as in all its activities, the needs of the customer. After all, it is the customer who will use the modularized solution. The two other important issues when designing modules are the interfaces and change management. Change management is also very much related to the standardization process. This is a process for selecting the correct bits and pieces within the portfolio as modularization becomes a way of thinking during the normal design process. These two issues are often mixed together, or seen as the same thing.
The focus of modularization is around the engine and inside the power house, even though the modules can be found in most locations, starting from the unloading of fuel, lubricating oil and other process-related items.
Modularization is about using common sense and making the right choices and compromises. All the different interfaces have their own specific needs, and the end result is a compromise between these needs. Our primary purpose is to fulfil our obligations to the customer, and our modular designs are integral to this goal.
Benefits of Modularization
Rapid installation time is one of the main benefits of using modules. Prefabrication also ensures consistent high quality. Other benefits are compact and predefined sizes for container transportation, and the use of well-proven components from well-known suppliers. For customers, modularised design means higher total feasibility in their power plant investment.
The main goal of modularized design is to achieve highest possible quality with a reasonable cost, thus ensuring better overall feasibility for the power plant investment. The key elements are standardised process solutions, component selection and interfaces, and effective, as well as flexible, change management.
- Reduction of design time (re-use of drawings, calculations etc.)
- Reduction of assembly time
- Reduction of parts in stock
- Less specification complexity during the procurement phase due to the standardization of parts
- More accurate prices at sales stage
- Compact and predefined sizes for transportation
- Larger share of predefined documentation, enabling a faster documentation process and better documentation quality
- Controlled and environmentally friendly manufacturing, cleaning and painting
- Easier maintenance due to re-use of service procedures
Learn more about modularity in Wärtsilä Technical Journal 02.2008: Modular design. The article is found in Related materials box below.
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