Control Engineering Online Update for July 16, 2004



Sponsored by Dice

Constellation Energy employs a two-step approach to its control system migration at three of its plants—replacing operator stations and controllers during planned outages.

For more than 13 years, Dice has the been the #1 technology job board on the web -- that's why many companies and engineer professionals come to us first. As one of the largest vertical engineering job boards, leading companies including Lockheed Martin, IBM and Motorola use Dice. Visit us at

Constellation Energy employs two-step control system migration

In a migration program that began in 2002 and runs through 2005, Constellation Energy Group is migrating legacy process control systems at a total of six units at three of its Maryland plants.

By keeping a constant focus on growth and improvement, Constellation Energy Group has kept its doors open for more than 185 years. These two, long-held business strategies are also the principal drivers of Constellation's ongoing program to migrate its older process control systems at several plants in Maryland.

When the migration program is completed next year, Constellation will have upgraded legacy control systems at a total of six units at three of its Maryland plants with the Ovation Expert Control System from Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions. At each unit, Constellation is migrating Emerson's WDPF control systems to Ovation, a system utilizing commercially available (non-proprietary) off-the-shelf hardware, communications, and software applications. The Ovation system is design to provide a straightforward migration path for users of WDPF systems, allowing them to keep existing I/O cards, field cabling, terminations, and cabinets, as well as their control logic, graphics, and database.

Planning maximizes plant availability

Constellation is maximizing plant availability by installing the new controllers and operator workstations during regularly scheduled outages that occur on an every-other-year basis. Preparation for the onsite installation begins months in advance as WDPF graphics and logic codes are converted to Ovation's advanced open architecture.

In its first WDPF-to-Ovation migration project, Constellation upgraded the process control system at Unit 1 of its coal-fired C.P. Crane power plant in Baltimore County. During a scheduled outage in June 2003, eight controllers, two data link servers, and eight operator workstations were replaced at the 190-megawatt unit. The new Ovation system was up and running in a few days, according to William Collins, Constellation control system analyst. "C.P. Crane Unit 2 is scheduled for a Fall 2004 migration, during which Constellation will replace eight operator stations, 11 controllers, and three data links, and upgrade its six-level DEH turbine control to Ovation," Collins says.

Ovation controller integrates with existing I/O cards, field cabling, terminations and cabinets.

In the C.P. Crane Plant Unit 1 migration, all hardware (controller and operator stations) was replaced during one scheduled outage. At two other plants—H.A. Wagner Units 3 and 4 (with a combined capacity of 740 megawatts) and Brandon Shores Units 1 and 2 (with a combined capacity of 1,300 megawatts)—Constellation is taking a two-step approach to migration, in which operator stations were replaced during outages in 2002 and 2003 (Phase One) and controllers are installed during outages taking place in 2004 (Phase Two).

Two-phased approach details

Constellation is using Emerson's System Life Assessment Program methodology (designed to develop short- and long-term process automation strategies) to direct the two-step migration plan at H.A. Wagner and Brandon Shores.

At H.A. Wagner Units 3 and 4, Emerson replaced 12 operator stations (six per unit) in 2002, while 13 controllers (Unit 3) and 10 controllers (Unit 4) were replaced during overlapping planned outages in March 2004.

At Brandon Shores, 12 operator stations (six per unit) were upgraded in 2002 and 2003. In October 2004, Emerson will replace 18 controllers on Brandon Shores Unit 2; replacement of Unit 1's 16 controllers is scheduled for October 2005.


No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
Engineering Leaders Under 40; System integration improving packaging operation; Process sensing; PID velocity; Cybersecurity and functional safety
Mobile HMI; PID tuning tips; Mechatronics; Intelligent project management; Cybersecurity in Russia; Engineering education; Road to IANA
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
click me