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Virtual Commissioning and Real-Time Training for Increasing Performance


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This presentation discusses the gas conversion of an existing coal power plant and how using a high-fidelity simulator for virtual commissioning can increase plant performance and profits.

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Virtual Commissioning and Real-Time Training for Increasing Performance

  1. 1. Virtual Commissioning + Real-Time Training = Increased Performance & Profits
  2. 2. 2 Overview • Gas conversion of existing coal power plant • Project execution strategy for existing virtual simulator • Benefits of having a simulator before plant gas startup commissioning
  3. 3. 3 Overview of Gas Conversion • Increasingly stringent and uncertain regulatory environment • Plus, falling natural gas prices • These conditions have made converting existing coal-fired steam- generating boilers to natural gas firing more and more attractive. • Based on recent gas conversion announcements, existing coal units generating a total of approximately 9,000 MW will be converted for natural gas firing. Source : Power Engineering Magazine ( – “Coal to Natural Gas Conversion – Drivers and Lessons”
  4. 4. 4 Overview of Gas Conversion The major drivers of this trend have been: – Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) regulations – New Source Review (NSR) settlements – Natural Gas availability and pricing – The uniqueness of each project to deliver electricity at the required capacity to make it economically feasible to convert existing coal-fired units to natural gas-firing capability. Source : Power Engineering Magazine ( – “Coal to Natural Gas Conversion – Drivers and Lessons”
  5. 5. 5 Simulator Considerations • Using natural gas changes the heat absorption characteristics in the boiler and convection pass. There are modifications that have to be made to meet the designed steam temperatures and full boiler output. • In addition, considerations have to be given to achieve low emission goals. These modifications include: – Gas Supply: Modifications to the gas supply and vent piping, installation of pressure- reducing valve station. – Boiler: Modifications to the radiation and/or convective area to help achieve original steam temperatures, new burners and igniters, windbox modifications – Flue Gas Recirculation (FGR): FGR to control NOX and steam temperatures by recycling a portion of the flue gas from the economizer outlet back into the windbox – Flue Gas System: Modifications to the Air & Gas System. Forced-draft/induced-draft fan modifications and other control functions to maintain furnace pressure.
  6. 6. 6 • From GSE: Two team members including an engineering manager • From DCS: One project engineer • From plant: Energy production supervisor and two shift supervisors Resource Team
  7. 7. 7 Overview of Project Execution Strategy • Schedule • DCS virtual configuration • Project staging • Discrepancy recording system
  8. 8. 8 Schedule Simulator Model Design Process 1. Conference call kickoff meeting 2. Model scope design review meeting 3. Model changes 4. FAT’ed DCS shipped to GSE 5. Integration & testing at GSE
  9. 9. 9 Simulator Air & Gas Drawing
  10. 10. 10 Simulator Fuel Gas Drawing
  11. 11. 11 Simulator Boiler Drawing
  12. 12. 12 DCS Virtual Configuration • DCS was already converted to the DCS vendor’s virtual controllers • FAT’ed DCS shipped to GSE • 3 Dual monitor operator stations
  13. 13. 13 Plant Simulator Layout
  14. 14. 14 Project Staging Staged at GSE facility 1. Access to model engineer(s) 2. Plant operators 3. After initial integration, remote access provided to DCS vendor for support
  15. 15. 15 Discrepancy Recording System GSE Mantis DR System • An online system where users can be easily added • Different sections available for different types of discrepancies • Severity of discrepancy can be assigned • Discrepancy can be assigned to people, commented on, and edited
  16. 16. 16 Overall Benefits Total DCS issues identified: 63 • Potentially costly items • Drum level reference changed • Boiler feed pump controls • Trips were not connected • Control schemes were changed
  17. 17. 17 Overall Benefits Continued • Plant trip conditions can be tested that require either third party controls or DCS control logic modifications. • Startup/shutdown procedures can be adjusted ahead of time based on interaction with the simulator during integration.
  18. 18. 18 • Real-time training during the integration and FAT Phases • Required graphics & logic tuning and modifications can be sent to the plant for more efficient commissioning of the new gas controls. Conclusion
  19. 19. Thank you. For more information, go to: Or call 800-638-7912