Operation and monitoring of thick-walled components in coal fired power plants demand special requirements: high availability, flexible loads, low maintenance costs and reliability.

In this article it is shown how, based on a strength calculation of thick-walled components potential may be expelled for a flexible, cost effective plant. The aim is to meet the requirements of the volatile energy market successfully.

By different manufacturers developed online monitoring systems are used in the European generation system. The available online monitoring systems differ in terms of the underlying rules and the measuring and evaluation methods.

The common task of all online monitoring systems is the monitoring of the fatigue condition of the power plants. Fatigue calculations represent an essential element of condition monitoring and are necessary to guarantee the plant safety. Furthermore, important business decisions on the availability of facilities are made (periodic inspection and maintenance).

In the article is shown how the existing online monitoring systems can be adapted to the changed requirements.

Potential for smart additional tools based on two planned research projects are demonstrated.

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