Beyond Limits Selected by Xcell to Build World’s First Power Plant Guided by Cognitive AI

GLENDALE, Calif.July 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Beyond Limits, an artificial intelligence software engineering company, has been awarded a $25 million contract initial order with follow on orders by Xcell Security House and Finance S.A (Xcell), the Swiss-based global financial and minerals development company, to build the world’s first cognitive power plant. With technology originated for NASA space missions, Beyond Limits is a pioneer in advanced cognitive AI solutions for heavy industry installations. The contract covers development of the Beyond Limits Cognitive Power Generation Advisor. The first cognitive power plant will be installed as part of a large-scale infrastructure program to drive core industrial capacity and power economic development in West Africa.

Beyond Limits CEO, AJ Abdallat states that Beyond Limits is committed to improving efficiencies across the energy value chain. “If we can help a power plant operate more efficiently, a refinery more economically, or an exploration rig more accurately, it helps the environment and the economy. And the resulting revenue from AI quickly adds up to millions per year.”

This will be the first implementation of a cognitive AI power plant built from the ground up that embeds intelligence and awareness into all of its operations. This will provide operators with facility-scale insight, making the plant safer, maximizing its efficiency and productivity, and making it more environmentally friendly.

“One of the keys to power operations is handling variations in supply and demand,” says Lynnwood Farr, CEO of Xcell. “We feel that Beyond Limits artificial intelligence in the Xcell cognitive power plant will give us the upper hand to control costs and maintain efficient, dependable power generation for our customers.”

Improving Efficiency with Explainable AI

The efficiency of power generation from natural gas can be affected by environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Human operators can make adjustments to improve efficiency, but their effectiveness is experienced-based. Expert level human knowledge can be encoded into the Beyond Limits knowledge base to validate recommendations generated by Beyond Limits cognitive reasoners.

With most power plants, power is generated as needed. Since there is currently no viable capacity for large-scale electric storage, excess production results in wasted natural gas. Conversely, under-production represents lost revenue. Changing from low production to higher production takes time due to ramp up time of expensive turbines. Likewise, reducing the power generation adds additional strain. The cognitive AI system is designed to monitor powerful gas turbines and the entire system to help operators manage production for peak efficiency, maintenance planning, and longer-term lifespan.

Beyond Limits has developed advanced AI systems to monitor and help control large-scale industrial plants that produce millions of units of product worth tens of millions of dollars per day. Manufacturing operations, such as a power plant or refinery, encompass hundreds of people and acres of equipment working 24 hours per day 365 days per year. Maintaining coordination across tightly interconnected production units, even under the best conditions, is not trivial. In novel, never-seen-before conditions, it’s an extraordinary challenge. Now, process engineers can solve problems faster with the assistance of cognitive process manufacturing advisors from Beyond Limits. These AI advisors have acute situational awareness to sense, anticipate, and resolve problems even under constantly changing conditions. All Beyond Limits cognitive AI systems explain their reasoning and recommendations to human operators in clear, evidence-rich audit trails (also known as XAI).