Quick question: What is the “heart” of an electric power generating plant? The turbines that spin and make the electricity, right? Actually, no! The “heart” of a powergen plant is, according to West Virginia University engineering professor Debangsu Bhattacharyya…the boiler. Say what?! That’s right. The boiler produces the steam to turn the turbine and if you can improve the efficiency of the boiler (prevent it from breaking down), you increase the efficiency of the whole plant. Dr. Bhattacharyya has just received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to study the use of AI (artificial intelligence) to monitor and improve the performance of boilers in natgas (and coal) power plants.