Sunday, November 15, 2009

EPRI endorses DCS for control retrofit. (Electric Power Research Institute, distributed control systems for fossil fuel power plants).

Holiday 2008 USA, LLC

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Utilities planning to replace the control systems of their fossil fuel plants could benefit from the use of distributed control systems (DCS), an EPRI report says.

EPRI's report, based on Southern California Edison Co.'s replacement of control and monitoring systems at its El Segundo power plant, is intended to offer preliminary guidelines that identify and explain the advanced controls, monitoring systems and optional features that should be evaluated by any utility beginning a control retrofit project.

The guidelines give a summary of commercially available options for control, diagnostic and monitoring functions and evaluate the options most suited to specific needs. They do not summarize all a controls engineer would have to know to develop a new system, but they do suggest a comprehensive approach to help fully use the power of new systems.

Many utilities, like Southern California Edison, are finding they need to replace the control systems at their plants. The old systems cannot support the load cycling the unit is expected to undergo, and are susceptible to forced outages. In addition, they require more maintenance than newer systems and replacement parts have become unavailable.

Utilities expect new systems to realize sufficient savings from heat rate, availability and operational improvements to offset costs. EPRI's report suggests modern digital DCS could offer this.

EPRI addresses 27 topics in its report, including the advantages of an integrated DCS, DCS control logic enhancements that make advanced control possible and monitoring systems and expert systems that should be considered, with examples of economic justifications.

Other topics include configuring the DCS, integrating products from diverse suppliers, measuring true benefits, training, redundancy, test plants and planning the construction stage.

These guidelines are preliminary in nature. After Southern California Edison installs its equipment at El Segundo -- during an outage beginning in January 1991 -- EPRI and Southern California Edison will prepare final guidelines incorporating the project results as well as utility response.

Source Citation
"EPRI endorses DCS for control retrofit." Coal & Synfuels Technology 10 Sept. 1990: 3+. General OneFile. Web. 15 Nov. 2009. .

Gale Document Number:A8853750

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