Power plant control utility: Model-based control application for Ovation expert system

By Control Engineering Staff January 3, 2007

Emerson Process Management has released a new version of its Unit Response Optimizer, which is now embedded into its Ovation expert control system. This model-based control approach is reportedly aimed at improving profitability of peaking and regulating units by improving their ability to move quickly and accurately in response to changing operating conditions.

The Unit Response Optimizer applies advanced unit analysis and modeling techniques to provide optimal load trajectory and control for improved ramping, startup, unit turndown, and overall performance, as well as reduce equipment wear and tear. Emerson says it models process response and unit characteristics, then calculates a variable derivative ramp rate to optimize plant maneuverability and automated generation control capabilities, while eliminating overfiring and providing a greater degree of unit control precision.

During extensive testing at Constellation Energy’s C.P. Crane Station, Unit 2, in Baltimore, Emerson showed improvements in ramp rates as it changed loading between 100 MW and a full load of 205 MW. This facility operates as a regulating unit to maintain regional grid frequency, so it changes loading frequently at a rate of up to 7 MW per minute.

“We’ve experienced dramatic results with the Unit Response Optimizer,” says William Soltysiak, senior engineer at the C.P. Crane station. “By preventing overfiring, we’ve been able to greatly reduce equipment wear and tear, so we can operate the plant more reliably and maintain our regulation status, which not only has important implications for this plant, but for the region’s electricity needs, as well.”

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