New applications: Digital control grows in power plant construction

12/06/2006


Providers of digital control systems and fieldbus networks like to discuss the savings these systems can offer over older hard-wired analog approaches, but to realize the full impact, effective networks have to be designed into the plant from the outset. The electric utility industry, long a conservative bastion of analog technology, is putting the benefits of digital networking and control to work in its current construction activity. The latest announcement is from Plum Point Power Partners for their new pulverized coal-fired plant in northeastern Arkansas. They have selected Emerson Process Management 's Plant Web architecture with Ovation expert control system as the backbone of the new operation.

The new 665 MW plant will use an IHI subcritical boiler and Toshiba turbine, all controlled by Ovation using 138 FOUNDATION Fieldbus segments and 58 Profibus -DP segments to network all the intelligent field instrumentation. While this technology is not new, its application in power plants has just started in the last year with a rebound in new plant construction. ( Click here to read an earlier article.) Plant designers, including Black & Veatch in this case, now understand the savings available over older technologies and are putting them into practice.

"Emerson's PlantWeb digital plant architecture has been proven across a number of industries to lower installation costs, ensure a fast startup, and improve ongoing plant operations and maintenance," says Bob Yeager, president of the power and water solutions division at Emerson. "There is growing recognition among power producers that these technologies translate into tangible economic and operational advantages."

Emerson's order books bear this out in that Plum Point is only one of seven new power plant projects they report having received during 2006, and the year is still not over. These projects total 5,505 MW of new generating capacity and will all begin commercial operation within the next five years. These add to Emerson's existing installed base controlling more than 35% of all electricity generated in the U.S., according to the company's estimates.

Control Engineering Daily Daily News Desk
Peter Welander
, process industries editor





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
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.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

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

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.