Tuesday, October 7, 2014

APC Opportunities in the Power Industry

APC Opportunities in the Power Industry

Power generating companies are often confronted with the following problems when maintaining process control:
o       The complex control strategies necessary to protect boiler tubes and other high temperature equipment can have deleterious impact on unit ramp rate potential.
o       Soot deposits that accumulate on the furnace walls and tubes can significantly imbalance energy distribution.
o       Off-temperature operation adds operating cost while excessive and frequent temperature excursions can lead to mechanical failures and higher maintenance costs.
o       High temperature peaks caused by load ramping can lead to excessive thermal stress on the boiler & steam turbine, shortened component life, tube leakage, and limits on unit ramp rate.
o       Thermal imbalances and low temperature sags at end of ramp up or during ramp down result in reduced steam turbine cycle efficiency.

In order to increase unit response and efficiency while reducing maintenance costs, the
implementation of advanced process control (APC) software should be considered.  Schneider Electric offers SimSci APC software to improve the power industry with the following applications:

Ramp Rate Optimization
Ramp rate optimization works to improve MW ramping performance with quicker load pick-up, increased importance of low load emissions, heat rate & CO2, and improved ramp rate control design.

Smart Sootblowing (SSB)
Activating appropriate soot blowers can improve thermal performance while avoiding serious adverse effects on thermal performance that can last for several hours.  SSB can significantly reduce tube erosion and prevent large accumulations of slag that could have destructive effects during slag falls.

Steam Temperature Control
Maintaining multiple operating temperatures can be challenging with conventional control tools, especially when the unit is ramping.  Better control of the steam temperature will result in lower NOx emissions, elimination of excessive thermal stress, and reduction of forced outages caused by tube leaks.

Advanced Boiler Control/Performance Plus Coordinated Control
Sophisticated control blocks are utilized to improve unit response for coal roping and other phenomena that adversely influence coal distribution in large furnacesIntegrated, dynamic gain changing effectively minimizes process upsets resulting from loss of major auxiliaries.  The Performance Plus feature results in faster load participation and reduced start up time.

Combustion Optimization
COS is model-predictive technology that improves combustion in the boilers and sustains benefits dynamically during both steady load and dispatching operation.  Benefits beyond heat rate control include reductions in mercury levels and NOx emissions due to lower excess O2 and distribution of secondary air.

About SimSci APC: SimSci APC 2014 has been built from the ground up to emphasize ease-of-use with a modern graphical user interface combined with a rigorous and robust calculation engine. The new SimSci APC is structured around a natural workflow that has been enhanced in almost every way possible, including full support for Model Case file development and a connection wizard for faster integration to any DCS or PLC including Foxboro Evo or I/A Series DCS.

Check out our short promotional video and sign up for your free consultation here.