Expert controls replace legacies, 3% boost

Tighter system integration and new controls at the 10th largest U.S. power plant improved load ramp rates by 3% and better regulated temperature. Emerson Process Management said that its Power & Water Solutions group is replacing legacy controls in all four units of Progress Energy Inc.

03/01/2006


Tighter system integration and new controls at the 10thlargest U.S. power plant improved load ramp rates by 3% and better regulated temperature. Emerson Process Management said that its Power & Water Solutions group is replacing legacy controls in all four units of Progress Energy Inc.'s (PE) 2,462 MW steam-plant in Roxboro, NC, with Emerson's Ovation expert-control system. The multi-year project began in early 2005, with installation of Unit 2 controls, continuing as controls are installed in the plant's remaining three units. It's part of PE's move to a centralized, integrated control strategy for Roxboro.

Although in place only a few months, coordinated controls reportedly have helped Unit-2's load ramp-rates improve from 91% in 2004 to 94% through November 2005. Additionally, tighter control strategies have helped to improve Unit 2's superheat temperature regulation byoF during load ramps.

Old unit-control systems were at maximum capacity, precluding addition of new controls for selective-catalytic reduction (SCR) and scrubber systems. Now Unit 2 has started-up a recently added SCR system along with the plant controls. Moreover, a flue-gas desulphurization system, using FOUNDATION fieldbus, will also link to the new controls.

The new, integrated control system replaces distributed control systems (DCS) that were data-linked to numerous PLC-based plant systems. DCSs and PLCs used Genius I/O blocks encompassing over 20,000 remote I/O points. Due to a tight outage schedule and added costs, it was not feasible to replace existing Genius I/O with new modules.

Migrating controls for the four-unit plant posed a number of challenges, including:

  • Supplying reliable and affordable redundant interfaces to the station's 2,700 Genius I/O blocks;

  • Furnishing operators with a centralized coordinated system to enhance plant operation;

  • System installation within a 30-day outage schedule; and

  • Providing flexibility for adding new plant controls.






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