The quality and characteristics of fuel for AES’s energy operations are a critical input into AES’s operations. One of the largest costs associated with AES’s O&M activities besides staffing /skills is fuel. Accordingly AES has a laboratory based at its Head Office in Cape Town specifically for the testing, analysis and quality control of the fuel purchased by AES for use in its energy operations around the country.
This laboratory facility is equipped with a bomb calorimeter to enable fuel sample testing in order to determine the calorific value of specific samples; the analysis of which helps keep suppliers accountable as well as assist in ensuring AES delivers on its agreed upon efficiencies. The facility is also able to do proximate analysis, ash content and moisture content determinations.
Deliveries of purchased fuel are sampled at all of AES’s sites on a regular basis according to a particular sampling methodology and then sent for analysis to AES’s laboratory. This analysis is used to monitor the quality and characteristics of the fuel in comparison to the supply specification. The analysis can also be used to identify any problematic operational characteristics for a given fuel. The critical nature of the fuel sourced to the reliability, availability and efficiency of each energy operation is the reason that AES has this analysis capacity in-house.
After all, in purchasing fuel, AES is buying realisable energy content (megajoules) and not tonnes or litres of fuel. The benefits of this AES activity is passed to our client-partners in the form of plant reliability and cost effective energy solutions, at no service cost to them, as this is integral to our partnering arrangement.