Helen relies on ALMA in the Mustikkamaa district heat storage project
The caverns under Helsinki’s Mustikkamaa were originally built in 1982 for storing oil. For years these caverns have been empty, but soon they will be used to hold 260,000 cubic metres of district heat energy. With the heat stored in the caverns Helen will be able to adjust their heat generation, and thus save around one million litres worth of fossil fuels.
"ALMA’s data system links the parties cooperating in this heat storage facility project with each other. The data produced in the project with the use of ALMA is centralised, which means that customers, designers and subcontractors all know in real time how the project is progressing", says the project manager Pekka Salimäki, who for 10 years has been involved in Helen’s design and project ventures in different capacities.
The objective is the digital facility model generated with ALMA
Helen first implemented ALMA’s data system in an extensive modernisation project carried out in Helsinki’s Salmisaari. There ALMA was used in the automation and on-site engineering process involving a number of power and heat generating facilities in the Salmisaari district. Based on this experience, it was easy to opt for ALMA in the Mustikkamaa project as well. The choice was swayed towards ALMA also because of the references connected with implementation of extensive data management and investment projects, inter alia, with Raahen Voima Oy.
"We are now extending the system, which originated from on-site instrumentation of automatic systems, into a management system, which covers all different areas of a facility’s design process. We shall start with the Mustikkamaa project, which is indeed an exotic project with a unique concept, but is relatively simple in terms of the scope of its process technology. Our ultimate objective is to apply ALMA for building a digital facility model and using it to prepare ourselves for the major investments in plants and development projects in 2020s", says Salimäki.
"At present we are gathering experience through a smaller project, in order to be able in future to handle major projects, covering the entire life span of a facility with less efforts", he summarises.
ALMA's involvement covers the project from the design to the maintenance stage
The Mustikkamaa project is still at its initial stage, and currently the shared system has around 30 users. The project originally started years ago with preliminary planning and concept development, while the specific planning at Mustikkamaa commenced only last spring when the actual implementation project was launched. The cavern heat storage facility will be completed for production use in 2021.
"The benefits produced by ALMA's data system are available throughout the entire project. We have just got the system up and running. Thus it is as if we were creating the foundation for a house on which it is easy to build new storeys and extensions in future", Salimäki describes the situation.
After the Mustikkamaa engineering and construction project is completed, it is intended to continue using the ALMA data system for the running of the facility.
Even large data volumes flow effortlessly
Salimäki commends ALMA for its excellent version management features, as well as for the fact that sharing of even extremely large volumes of data – such as 3D data models and 360 videos – within the systematic data structures is effortless. Salimäki also gives praise to ALMA’s mobile features and the possibility of integrating the system into other data systems used.
"It is interesting to gather experience about other properties linked with the on-site stage of the system and the benefits they offer. At ALMA the scheduling of work is based on the equipment data produced by the design process, which means that they will not be kept as separate diagrams and rows without any correlation with the reality. This should make the installation stage and monitoring of the commissioning process effortless. The real time nature of the system, as well as the completion of the project without separate and work-intensive documentation stage are also seen as considerable benefits. Sharing of any information is swift and smooth, and e-mail boxes will not be filled with documents that are difficult to revise", he adds.
"Moreover, ALMA hears the wishes of their clients. Through their support services we have been provided quick advice, and new features of the system have been delivered to us without undue delays."