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Generating Availability Data System (GADS)
The NERC Board of Trustees approved mandatory GADS reporting for conventional generating units. Renewable generation (i.e., wind and solar) are not part of the mandatory requirements. The MW size of the conventional units will be phased-in with units 50 MW nameplate and larger being reported starting January 1, 2012, and units 20 MW and larger nameplate starting January 1, 2013. GADS data will be collected from all Generator Owners on the NERC Compliance Registry under NERC’s Rules of Procedure Section 1600, Requests for Data or Information. Generating units less than 20 MW nameplate are invited to report to GADS on a voluntary basis. For a copy of the report, please click here.
GADS Services manages the Generating Availability Data System (GADS). This unique series of databases is used to collect, record, and retrieve operating information for improving the performance of electric generating equipment. It also provides assistance to those researching the vast amounts of information on power plant availability stored in its database. The information is used to support equipment reliability and availability analyses and decision-making by GADS data users.
GADS Services supports the World Energy Council (WEC) in its analysis of electric power supplies. GADS staff participates in WEC committees and teaches workshops in developing countries. The WEC Performance of Generating Plant (PGP) Committee is developing a GADS-type program for collecting power plant outage data worldwide. GADS members have worked with PGP members over the past years to provide WEC with GADS-type procedures for the uniform collection and reporting of plant outage data.
Starting in 2004, GADS Services opened the GADS database to generating companies outside North America. There were a number of European, Asian, and South American companies that wanted to report GADS data in GADS format to NERC in exchange for access to manufacturer-specific data, available to GADS members only. For a nominal annual fee, the international affiliate GADS members can be part of GADS and receive large discounts on the purchase of the pc-GAR software.
GADS Publications and Software  
GADS data is compiled annually and reported in the Generating Availability Report (GAR) and its accompanying Generating Unit Statistical Brochure. GAR presents data for five individual years and for a five-year average with generating unit availability statistics provided on both a capacity weighted and non-weighted basis. These reports are available to download at no cost from the links above.
GADS Services produces a Historical Availability Statistics (HAS) report. HAS provides annual performance information from 1982 through the most current year for the same groups of units in the traditional GAR reports. HAS includes annual, five-year, 10-year, and multi-year interval reports for each of 63 generator unit groups. GAR and HAS are combined into one self-expanding program. These Windows-based programs are free to all interested parties and can be downloaded by clicking here.
GADS offers pc-GAR, a premier software product for analyzing power plant performance data. This product provides users access to millions of event records collected by GADS Services since 1982. It is used in 12 countries and is the model used by the WEC PGP Committee. It is an information software package designed for personal computers. It is a user-friendly program that allows access to the thousands of GADS records. The program enables analysts to evaluate generator equipment performance on generating units, equipment groups, and major components. Users can access more than 2,000 cause codes collected from outage records and multi-years of performance and statistical information. Hundreds of utility analysts in more than a dozen countries use pc-GAR.
In 2005, GADS Services introduced a new software product using the GADS data. The purpose of the software was to calculate the time between failure (TBF) and the time to repair (TTR) based on pc-GAR retrieval criteria, event types, and cause codes. The software, pc-GAR MT, is available for your analysis of failure rates and modeling work.
GADS Continues to Help the Industry
GADS Services continues to improve the database by keeping tabs on the industry needs. For example, over the last several years, GADS upgraded the pc-GAR by adding new combined-cycle information for analyzing the individual gas turbines, the steam turbine, or the entire block (the combination of GT and steam turbine). GADS Service is also adding wind turbine, the first renewable generating source, to GADS so that companies can benchmark wind turbine equipment.
GADS Services is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Power Division. Through its work with the ASME Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) Committee, GADS encourages top-quality technical papers and panel discussions at the annual ASME Power Conferences. Each year, papers are presented that demonstrate new ways to use GADS data to improve power plant performance.
GADS Services was an active member of the latest revision of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Standard 762, “Definitions for Reporting Electric Generating Unit Reliability, Availability and Productivity.” As a result of its involvement with IEEE 762, NERC now has the new modified standard for measuring the performance of cycling and peaking generating units (demand-related reliability) as part of its software and data calculations. For more details, see Appendix F of the GADS Data Reporting Instructions.
GADS collects event and performance data for gas turbines and jet engine units. Strategic Power Systems, Inc. (SPS) also collects these data for its Operational Reliability Analysis Program (ORAP) database. Because it was inefficient for power generators to report the same information in different formats to both databases, NERC and SPS created a software program that both companies could use.
The nuclear industry is on the rebound. Thus, GADS Services is developing a working relationship with the Institute of Nuclear Operation (INPO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) members. GADS Services hopes to cut the reporting requirements of US nuclear operators by reporting once to GADS, INPO, and PRIS databases.
As a member of the United States Energy Association (USEA), NERC supports the generating availability improvement discussions within USEA, World Energy Congress, and the WEC Performance of Generating Plant Committee.
For more information about GADS Services, please contact

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