New software: Loop performance technology for power plants
Emerson Process Management has now introduced SmartProcess LoopMetrics technology, an engineered solution that helps utilities improve the performance of power generating facilities. This new model based software package provides continuous analysis of all process loops, reportedly reducing engineering and maintenance costs, while contributing to improved unit efficiency.
The company says its new SmartProcess LoopMetrics system automatically monitors and analyzes unit performance around the clock at the control loop level. It tracks equipment performance against economic factors, quickly identifying and prioritizing process problems and degrading performance, such as sluggish response to process load changes, persistent oscillations or controller output saturation. More than 80 standard process measures continuously analyze each control loop within a unit through real-time moving window analysis and condition-based assessments. The end result is an intelligent assessment of each control loop in the unit.
Plant personnel are notified in real-time of any deviation from pre-defined key performance indicators (KPI) so that they become aware of problems before they impact unit performance. Internal loop tuning functions automatically recommend new PID parameters and enable operators to simulate unit response before downloading these new parameters to the controller.
“This is not a shrink-wrapped, off-the-shelf solution,” emphasized Bob Yeager, president of the power & water solutions division of Emerson. “With decades of power experience, we know that no two units are alike. That’s why we work closely with our customers to engineer a customized, model-based tuning solution based on plant operating conditions, KPIs and other variables unique to their facilities.”
A key benefit of the technology is its ability to identify minor system deviations before they escalate. This translates into higher levels of unit efficiency while simultaneously decreasing operating and maintenance costs, according to Yeager. “Problems that initially appear minor often develop into issues that can negatively impact plant performance,” he explained. “In today’s competitive environment, power generators have little margin for error. Emerson’s SmartProcess LoopMetrics technology offers a cost-effective way to ensure our customers are getting the most out of their valuable power generating assets.”
— Peter Welander, process industries editor
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