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Vol. 155 No.

6 June 2011

A.I. in the Plant

The Urge to Merge Spain: A Renewable Kingdom Validating CT Performance K-Power Upgrades Digital Controls

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June 2011

Illustration by Elizabeth C. Johnston, Lizzardbrand Inc. Copyright POWER.


24 Artificial Intelligence Boosts Plant IQ
Plant owners are facing a looming exodus of seasoned workers, mounting economic pressures, and a proliferation of plant data. Luckily, smarter power plant control technologies promise to help address all of those challenges while delivering operating cost savings. Learn how artificial intelligence neural networks are being used in power plants today and what they may be able to offer in the not-so-distant future.


30 Spain: A Renewable Kingdom

Just over three decades ago, Spain adopted economic policies that committed the nation to renewable power in a big way. Notable research and development was followed by significant new wind and solar power installations. Then the subsidy bubble burst just as the global economic crisis hit. This report examines where the kingdom stands now as it struggles to balance aspirations against available energy and economic resources.


38 K-Power Upgrades Combined-Cycle Automatic Generation Controls

When South Koreas first private merchant power plant needed an updated control strategy to respond more efficiently to dispatch signals, it upgraded with a predictive multivariable controller. After you read how the transformation was accomplished and how it has improved plant operational stability, you may consider making a similar switch at your plant.



44 The Urge to Merge

As this issue was going into production, the news about utility mergers kept rolling in. Why now? Why these companies? Specifics from a couple of the most recent mega-mergers hold some of the clues, and industry analysts share their insights about what seems to be a trend.


48 Fully Automating HRSG Feedwater Pumps

This case study describes a combination of controls automation strategies and human-machine-interface techniques designed to increase the overall level of feedwater pump automation. The result was improved ease of use by operators and maintenance personnel. The approach could be used throughout a plant to help plant owners make the most of limited staff resources.
June 2011 POWER



54 The T-Point Plant: The Ultimate Validation Test

Automakers have long used test facilities and remote test tracks to work the bugs out of new models before they hit showrooms for sale to customers. For turbine makers, real-world testing is rather more complicated thanks to the greater size, cost, and complexity of the product involved. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHIs) solution has been to develop house plants that serve as pre-launch test facilities. MHI shared details of its latest turbine tests with POWER.


56 Selecting Your Next Combustion Turbine


Gas turbines are winning most valuable player awards around the globe. But before you leap into the purchase of a new combustion turbine, take a look at this article to be sure youve considered all your options and have compiled a comprehensive list of questions for potential vendors. The answers should help you choose the best equipment for your needs.


62 A More Accurate Way to Calculate the Cost of Electricity

You might think that economic equations are more or less eternal, but thats not the caseat least, not when it comes to calculating the true cost of generating electricity in this day and age. A new approach will give you a more accurate picture of todays operating environment.


6 Turning Gold into Lead



8 8 9 10 12 14

Seven Charged in Siberian Hydropower Plant Accident Recovery Efforts Continue at Fukushima Daiichi Germany Considers Accelerated Nuclear Exit on Fukushima Worries Countries Abandon Subsidies for Renewables en Masse Battery That Extracts Energy from Water Salinity Difference POWER Digest

16 NERC CIP Update 16 Air Preheater Uses New Adaptive Brush-Sealing Design 20 Twin Pac Controls Upgraded

22 Reliability Challenges Cause Texas-Size Headache

By Angela Neville, JD


72 U.S. Nuclear Operations in a Post-Fukushima World

By Kathryn M. Sutton and Stephen J. Burdick, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

POWER June 2011

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Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Robert Peltier, PE 480-820-7855, Managing Editor: Gail Reitenbach, PhD Senior Editor: Angela Neville, JD Contributing Editors: Mark Axford; David Daniels; Steven F Greenwald; Jeffrey P Gray; . . Jim Hylko; Kennedy Maize; Dick Storm; Dr. Justin Zachary Senior Writer: Sonal Patel Graphic Designer: Joanne Moran Production Manager: Tony Campana, Marketing Director: Jamie Reesby Marketing Manager: Jennifer Brady

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POWER June 2011



Turning Gold into Lead

espite Californias deep economic wounds, Governor Jerry Brown (D) last month signed a bill (SB 2X) that increased the states already ambitious renewables portfolio standard (RPS) goal from 20% to 33% by 2020. Together with the states Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires caps on greenhouse gas emissions starting next year, the new law will push up the price of electricity and further delay the Golden States economic recovery by permanently driving away irreplaceable businesses and manufacturing jobs.

Counselors International (specialists in business relocations) surveyed corporate executives in March 2011 and found that 72% responded that California has the worst business climate in the entire U.S. The Tax Foundation lists California as 49th in its 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index. And, according to Equifax, the four metropolitan areas with the greatest number of small-business bank-

(CARB) scenarios predicts up to 320,000 additional job losses when the bill is fully implemented. A study by Charles River Associates, using CARB data, predicted a drop in household income of $1,175 as the best possible result of AB32. A report by Varshney & Associates concluded that the cost for every household will be 9% of its after tax annual income ($3,857) on AB32 related regulatory costs. The California Small Business Round-

Worst-Run State Last October, 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion electronic newsletter, ranked the best- and worst-managed states in America. The best-run state was Wyoming, which received high marks in just about every evaluation category. Wyoming is also the least-populous state, perhaps hinting at one reason for its success. The worst state on the 24/7 Wall St. list was Kentucky, barely edging out California for last-in-class honors. While it does not quite rank as the worst state on our list, California stands out as being among the most poorly governed, the authors wrote. The most populous state in the union has been mired in debt and political unrest for nearly a decade. It bears the unique honor of being the only state considered economically unstable enough to have its debts, at a record $341 billion, rated at an A- by S&P. This year, without the $3.5 billion in federal stimulus funds to cover their losses, California legislators may finally be forced to pragmatically deal with a $19 billion budget deficit, on top of a 201011 carryover deficit of $6.1 billion. A low opinion of Californias business climate is not limited to 24/7 Wall St. In its 2010 annual survey of the best and worst states for business, Chief Executive magazine gave its booby prize for worst state to California for the second year in a row. The global consulting firm Bain & Co. found that California is far worse [for business] than any other state by a very significant margin. Development

AB32 and the new RPS have trifling environmental value, in my view, but do increase upward pressure on the cost of electricity.
ruptcies (up 10% in 2010 alone) were located in California. The direct result of a decade of antibusiness practices has been permanent loss of good-paying middle-class jobs. For example, California has lost 640,000 factory jobs (34% of its manufacturing base) and 1.5 million residents over the past decade, while Texas gained more than 800,000 residents and added close to 800,000 jobs to its economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Californias unemployment rate today hovers around 12.3% (Texas sits at 8.1%) with a cost of living 33% higher than the national average. Its not difficult to pinpoint why so many businesses have pulled up stakes and relocated: an antibusiness climate, the very high cost of doing business, and very high business and personal income taxes. Another equally important factor that is pushing manufacturing jobs out of California is the rising cost of electricity, caused by the states ill-conceived energy policies. table predicts 1.1 million job losses caused by a fully implemented AB32, about 6% of the states current workforce. Together, AB32 and the new RPS have trifling environmental value, in my view, but do increase upward pressure on the cost of electricity, further eroding the economic competitiveness of the worlds eighth-largest economy. Governor Brown said that he believed the state could get 40% of its electricity from renewables at reasonable cost in the near future. Today, electricity costs are so reasonable that Pacific Gas and Electric Co.s top tier residential rates exceed $0.40/kWh, and additional rate increases are on the horizon.

Policies Push Up Prices The two key energy policies, among many, that are rapidly pushing up the cost of electricity are the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) and the states newly hiked RPS. That AB32 is a jobs killer is not in dispute. Even one of the California Air Resources Board

Prices Push Out Jobs California remains an energetic center of technological innovation, but its energy policies are causing businesses and middle-class manufacturing jobs to be exported at an irreplaceable rate. Also seemingly overlooked by the states political leadership is that once these jobs leave the state, the losses are permanent. In the Middle Ages, alchemists searched for the secret of transmuting lead into gold. Today, Californias economy-killing energy policies have achieved the impossibleconverting gold into lead. Dr. Robert Peltier, PE is POWERs editor-in-chief.
POWER June 2011



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Seven Charged in Siberian Hydropower Plant Accident

The Russian Investigative Committee has completed a probe into the August 2009 accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant in Siberia that killed 75 people. The committee has charged seven peopleincluding the plants former head, Nikolai Nevolko, his deputies, and the plants former chief engineer, Andrei Mitrofanovfor violating safety rules. If found guilty, the officials could face five years in jail. On Aug. 17, 2009, an explosion at the giant 10-turbine hydroelectric station destroyed Units 2, 7, and 9, and seriously damaged Units 1 and 3. (For details of the event, see Investigating the SayanoShushenskaya Hydro Power Plant Disaster in our December 2010 issue or in the archives at The plants other five units were also damaged. In an October 2009 report that investigated what caused the catastrophe at the 6,400-MW hydroelectric plant, Russian industrial safety regulator Rostekhnadzor cited a number of contributing causes, including design, operation, and repair shortcomings. It also pointed a finger at six high-ranking Russian officialsincluding former electricity monopoly chief Anatoly Chubais, Igor Yusufov (Russias energy minister until 2004), and Viyacheslav Sinugin (former deputy energy minister)saying that the accident resulted from their negligence, laxity, and a lack of engineering thinking. The October 2009 report estimated that addressing the wreckage to major power generating assets and environmental damage would cost up to 7.338 billion rubles (US$269 million). State-controlled RusHydro, the Russian Federations biggest hydropower producer, recently announced, however, that it would spend 20.6 billion rubles over the next two years on restoring the plant. RusHydro, which owns power plants from the Finnish border in the northwest to the Chinese frontier in the south, has already restored four 640-MW generating units. Last year, it connected Unit 6 to the grid on Feb. 24, Unit 5 on March 22, Unit 4 on Aug. 2, and Unit 3 on Dec. 22. Restoration efforts have put the plants current capacity at 2,560 MW, and RusHydro reports that total energy output of the

1. A massive overhaul. Following the catastrophic explosion that killed 75 workers at the 6,400-MW Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant in Siberia in August 2009, plant owner RusHydro plans to replace all the stations damaged units with new ones. Power Machines, a contractor that will build and install the 10 new hydraulic turbines, nine hydraulic generators, and six excitation systems, has begun work on the Unit 1 stator. RusHydro has to date restored four less-damaged units and says the plants capacity now exceeds 2,560 MW. Courtesy: Power Machines

2. Pooling resources. This image from a video taken on April 28 shows Daiichi 4s spent fuel pool. The unit, which has experienced fewer problems than Daiichi 1, 2, and 3, has had both a hydrogen explosion and fires since March 11 even though it was shut down and all of its 1,331 spent fuel rods and 204 unused fuel rods were being stored in the spent fuel pool. A water sample from the pool in April showed high levels of radioactive iodine and cesiumindicating that some spent fuel rods have been damaged. Courtesy: TEPCO

restored generating units exceeds the 10 billion kWh level. Work has begun on the second phase of restoration. In 2011, RusHydro is expected to install six totally new units, manufactured by Power Machines, and in the final phase, spanning 2013 to 2014, it will replace the units restored last year with new ones. The service life of new [generating units] will increase to 40 years [and the] new turbines will have the maximum efficiency of 96.6% and improved output and cavitation performance, the company said. The hydraulic units will also reportedly be equipped with advanced diagnostic systems to promptly detect status changes and prevent accidents. Power Machines said in a statement in March that the second phase of restoration was on track. Work to assemble generator components for Unit 1 was being carried out in the crater of Unit 9; the 540metric ton stator will later be moved to the prepared crater at Unit 1 using a custom-made lifting beam (Figure 1). Unit 1 is now scheduled to be put into operation in December 2011.

Recovery Efforts Continue at Fukushima Daiichi

In April, Japans Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency provisionally raised the accident rating for three reactors at the

crippled six-unit Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture to Level 7making it a major accident and putting it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the Ukraine. Recovery efforts continue at the nuclear plant with workers pumping massive amounts of freshwater into Units 1, 2, and 3 and spraying it over the spent fuel pool of Unit 4. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has said that as much as 55% of Unit 1s reactor core is thought to be impairedand the damage may be inhibiting the flow of coolant water, leading to higher temperatures and pressures; Unit 2s core is estimated to be 35% damaged, as is 30% of Unit 3s core. Nitrogen gas continues to be injected into the containment vessel in Unit 1 to reduce chances of hydrogen combustion. Units 5 and 6, which were not in service when the devastating 14-meter tsunami on March 11 took out the power and debilitated cooling systems for the other units, remain in cold shutdown. Concerns continue about the condition of Unit 4, which also wasnt operating at the time of the natural disaster but which, on March 15, saw an explosion in the top part of the building near the spent fuel pond, subsequent fires, and heightened radiation levels. TEPCO continues to top up water levels in the spent fuel pool (Figure 2), which had dropped due to evaporation
POWER June 2011

3. Artificial intelligence.

TEPCO in April began using PackBots to assess damage and monitor temperatures, radiation levels, and oxygen inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi units. The PackBot seen here (in black) working inside the reactor building at Unit 3 on April 17 has , on-board lights and cameras and is able to move through buildings, opening doors with a mechanized arm. Courtesy: TEPCO

caused by the heat load from its 1,331 fuel assemblies. Worries are also mounting about the structural integrity of the building and its ability to support the pond. Radiation at various locations at the nuclear plant continues to surge. The highest doses have been detected from debris left on the ground after explosions at Units 1, 2, 3, and 4. Readings of rubble beside Unit 3 have surged to 300 millisieverts per hour, while others are at around 40 millisieverts per hour. Highly contaminated water continues to be another pressing concern. TEPCO has yet to decide how to process massive amounts of radioactive water being pumped from the basement of Unit 2s turbine building. Meanwhile, TEPCO has begun using a PackBota small robot on tank-like treadsto monitor radiation and oxygen levels at the units. Of four PackBots in use, two are equipped to take temperature readings and two are Warriors, serving to lift and haul heavy loads (Figure 3). The accident continues to cause financial worries for TEPCO, Asias largest utility, whose shares have slumped nearly 80% since the incident began on March 11. As the utility braces for a massive bill to compensate local residents, three banks that last month made a total of 1.4 trillion yen in emergency loans to the beleaguered company booked a combined loss of 160 billion yen at the end of Japans financial year on March 31. A rough draft of TEPCOs compensation plan has shown that the government could cap the utilitys liability at 2 trillion yen to 3.8 trillion yen. Other utilities that operate nuclear plants may be asked to contribute to the fund, which could ultimately add up to 2.7 trillion yen. Among newer developments, Japanese authorities plan to launch an independent panel in mid-May to investigate the causes of the accident at Daiichi. Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a plenary session at the House of Representatives that the lessons would be shared with the international community and that Japan would take the lead in contributing to safety improvements of nuclear plants around the world.

reactors for safety checks and ditching concerted efforts to keep nuclear power plants open in the long term. In mid-April, Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that leaders of Germanys 16 states all want to exit nuclear energy as soon as possible and make the switch to supplying via renewable energy. The policy reversal has incited ardent opposition from the energy sector and industry. Germany generates some 23% of its power from nuclear sources, and if the country decides to shut down power from nuclear reactors no later than 2022, it will suffer a supply squeeze. In April, ministers agreed to set down the main points of the countrys new energy policy by June. Industry analysts say the accelerated exit from nuclear power means that Germany could implement a 5 billion ($7.42 billion) credit program to support renewables and build new gas and coal plants. Germany already has one of the most aggressive clean energy policies in the world and sources 17% of its power from renewables. The nation is looking to raise that share to 40% by 2020. The 2022 deadline for nuclear power had been set in 2000 by the former center-left government led by Chancellor Gerhard Schrder. In September last year, Merkels government struck a deal with energy companies to extend the lives of the countrys 17 nuclear power plants, located in five of Germanys federal states, for another 12 years beyond 2022. Skyrocketing Power Costs. The plan to exit nuclear power so quickly could prove costly, because Germany is Europes biggest economy and largest energy user. According to a study commissioned by the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, a German industry lobby, permanently shutting down eight reactors that


Germany Considers Accelerated Nuclear Exit on Fukushima Worries

In the wake of the devastating nuclear crisis afflicting the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, Germany has embarked on an abrupt shift away from nuclear power, shutting down eight
June 2011 POWER


are now temporarily shut down, as has been called for, and closing remaining plants by 2022 could increase wholesale power prices to 70/MWh within seven years. The study, whose results were released on April 24, also suggests that Germanys about-turn on nuclear power could spawn additional costs of 33 billion by 2020the bulk of which will be paid by industrial and commercial energy usersas utilities turn to more expensive forms of generation (the study assumes that almost half of Germanys nuclear output would be replaced by imports and coal and gas generation) and demand for carbon permits increases. If costs for subsidies and the German grid are included, that figure could skyrocket to 51 billion, the study conducted by r2b, an energy consulting firm, said. The government refuted allegations that costs would rise so steeply. Economy Minister Rainer Brderle admitted to German radio, however, that the new phase-out planwhich includes expanding grids and energy storagecould cost consumers and taxpayers between 1 billion and 2 billion per year. German Energy Firms Strike Back. Protesting the governments U-turn on nuclear policy, plant operators in Germany have halted annual payments of up to 3.3 billion into a fund set up last year as part of a deal to extend reactor lifespans. Among the companies involved are energy giants E.ON, RWE, and Vattenfall. RWE CEO Jrgen Grossmann has lashed out at the government, saying the phase-out could scar the economy. This will not bring about the end of German industry overnight, Grossman told shareholders in mid-April. But it could lead to a long-term depletion process with a considerable negative impact on jobs and prosperity. The company, Germanys largest nuclear power producer, has also begun legal proceedings against the government to fight the temporary shutdown of its Biblis nuclear plant in Hesse on allegations that the closure was illegal. E.ON said in a statement that it would not challenge closures of its reactors Isar 1 (Figure 4) and Unterweser, even though it had doubts about the moves legality. But E.ON CEO Johannes

4. Shutting the door on nuclear power. Utilities producing nuclear power in Germany have said the governments plans to phase out all nuclear power in the country by 2022 and replace that capacity with renewables, coal, and gas could sharply increase power prices and cause a supply squeeze. The government temporarily shut down seven nuclear plants built before 1980 and one newer facility at Krmmel in the wake of the Japanese nuclear crisis. Among those was E.ONs 1977-built Isar Unit 1 near the city of Landshut (shown here). The 1988-built Isar 2 continues to be used for baseload supply. Courtesy: E.ON

Teyssen, too, has expressed concern about the proposed nuclear exit, saying it would affect Germanys climate goals and increase power priceswhich could ultimately force energy-intensive industries out of business. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that as a result of the Daiichi crisis, German engineering firm Siemens may be reconsidering a plan to form a partnership with Russian stateowned nuclear company Rosatom. The plan has been considered a major part of Siemens strategy to expand its presence in the nuclear sector. Italy Pulls Back on Nuclear as Well. While a number of other European countries conducted safety checks on their nuclear facilitiesbut continued to back energy plans that factored in future nuclear powerin April, Italy also indefinitely shelved plans to allow construction of new plants. In 1987, the Italian public had overwhelmingly voted to reject nuclear energy after the Chernobyl disaster, and its government in April scrapped plans for a new referendum to win public support for reactors that were to be built by Italian utility Enel and Frances EDF starting in 2013. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he hoped the country would revive the plans within a year or two after more clarity was gained on the technology. India Defers Approval of Four Reactors. The Fukushima nuclear crisis has also reignited concerns about the safety of Indias nuclear program. Widespreadand violentprotests against government plans to build six AREVA EPRs over 15 to 17 years in the coastal Maharashtra region have made the new builds a bitterly contested political issue. In late April, Indias environment ministry made the unprecedented decision to defer approval for Units 3, 4, 5, and 6, reactors being built in Tamil Nadu state by the central governmentrun Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. (NPCIL) and Russian state-owned company AtomStroyExport. Two VVER-1000 units are already under construction in that state, and Kudankulam Unit 1 is expected to begin operations by June. The ministry cited environmental hazardsincluding problems concerning a proposal to dispose cooling water into the sea and the need for new risk assessments, because no new NPCIL environmental impact reports had been filed since 2004. Sources say that to shore up confidence in the countrys nuclear-heavy future energy plans, the government will continue to tighten safety regulations and go so far as to revamp its nuclear watchdog agency.

Countries Abandon Subsidies for Renewables en Masse

Stricken by the economic crisis and forced to implement austerity measures, several countries around the world have been forced to abandon or slash subsidies for renewable power producers. UK. In March, the United Kingdoms energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, said his country may cut subsidies for large and midsize solar projects by as much as 72%. He had announced a comprehensive review of feed-in tariffs in February. The Department of Energy and Climate Change said the cuts slated to take place in 2012 would ensure that subsidies were available for smaller installationslike rooftop solarwhich feed-in tariffs were originally designed for. In a statement, the UK Renewable Energy Association said the tariff cut would be an absolute disaster, claiming no new projects would start if the proposal became law. This industry has been strangled at birth, it added. Several companies have asked a UK court to review Huhnes decision. The Netherlands. Hollands new right-wing government in February announced plans to drastically reduce solar and wind


POWER June 2011


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subsidies from 4 billion annually to 1.5 billion because they are unaffordable. The country, a major proponent of renewable energy development, has also become Europes first country to ditch the European Union target to procure 20% of its domestic power from renewable sources by 2020. Czech Republic. Cuts to a feed-in tariff program that reportedly spurred the increase of solar energy plants in the Czech Republic from nine in 2005 to 2,230 by 2010 were approved by the government last year. The cuts target solar plants that provide a return on investment in less than 11 years and that will be built after January 2011. The government has said it supports the move because it would increase grid stability and level electricity prices. Slovakia. Slovakia, following the Czech Republics lead, had also considered subsidy cuts, but this January, the Ministry of Economy decided that it would retain price incentives for solar and biomass. The ministry earmarked 18 million until the end of 2013 for subsidies, and it will this May try to get parliaments approval for its decision. Italy. Italys government will cut generous support for renewables to ease the burden on consumers, who pay for renewable incentives in power bills. It will cap subsidies for solar developers at 6 billion to 7 billion per year by the end of 2016. The government plans to slightly cut incentives until the end of a transition period ending in 2012. Current incentives were due to expire in June, but in April, the country approved a three-month extension (until Aug. 31) to allow some investors to complete their projects. France. France in December suspended the registration of solar power projects of more than 3 kW for feed-in tariffs to study how cuts in the program would limit growth in the industry. In February, the countrys Environment Ministry announced that solar capacity in the country would be much higher than the 5,400 MW target for 2020, even though subsidies would be cut. The country has since slashed solar subsidies by 24%, from 0.55 to 0.42/kWh and is instead focusing on increasing wind power capacity. Australia. In March, Australias states called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to roll back generous subsidies for rooftop solar plants after forecasts suggested that costs would add as much as A$90 per year to household power bills. Last October, New South Wales slashed by two-thirds the revenue that homeowners who had installed solar panels would receive. Spain. In Spain, where the government has made the controversial decision to slash subsidies by up to 3 billion over the next three yearsand possibly retroactively, on plants built before 2008regulators are also suspending subsidy payments to power producers who do not meet regulatory requirements. The country recently suspended payments to 304 solar power installations after requesting proof from more than 9,000 rooftop and plant operators that they qualify to receive incentives. Spanish news reports have suggested that hundreds of subsidy recipients were illegally collecting the extra payments. (For more on Spains situation see Spain: A Renewable Kingdom in this issue.) China. As of April, almost all the 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) of Chinas Golden Sun solar subsidy program to support solar photovoltaic businesses has been allocated, but an investigation has shown that a relatively high percentage of recipients may have declared material costs to be higher than they were, fraud that increased the cost of the whole system, reported China Dialogue.

5. Worth ones salt. A rechargeable battery developed by Stanford University researchers employs the difference in salinity between freshwater and saltwater to generate power. In the first step, a small electric current is applied to charge the battery, pulling ions out of the electrodes and into the water. In the second step, the freshwater is purged and replaced with seawater. In the third step, electricity is drawn from the battery for use, draining the battery of its stored energy, and in the final step, seawater is discharged and replaced with river water, for the cycle to begin anew. Courtesy: Yi Cui
Step 1 Charge

River water

Step 2

Step 4

Discharge Sea water Step 3

Battery That Extracts Energy from Water Salinity Difference

A rechargeable battery developed by researchers from Stanford University employs the difference in salinity between freshwater

and saltwater to generate a current. The technology could make it possible to harness power from anywhere freshwater enters the sea, such as river mouths or estuaries, Yi Cui, associate professor of materials science and engineering, who led the research team, said. As the researchers explained in the March issue of the journal Nano Letters, the battery essentially uses two electrodesone positive, one negativeimmersed in a liquid containing electrically charged particles or ions. In water, the ions are sodium and chlorine, the components of ordinary table salt. The positive electrode is made from nanorods of manganese dioxide, which increases the surface area available for interaction with the sodium ions by roughly 100 times compared with other materials, Cui said. The researchers continue to search for a better material for the negative electrode than the silver used for the experiments, which is too expensive to be practical. Initially, the battery is filled with freshwater and a small electric current is applied to charge it up. The freshwater is then drained and replaced with seawater. Because seawater is salty, containing 60 to 100 times more ions than freshwater, it increases the electrical potential, or voltage, between the two electrodes. That makes it possible to reap far more electricity than the amount used to charge the battery. The voltage really depends on the concentration of the sodium and chlorine ions you have, Cui said. If you charge at low voltage in freshwater, then discharge at high voltage in sea water, that means you gain energy. You get more energy than you put in. Once the discharge is complete, the seawater is drained and replaced with freshwater and the cycle can begin again. The key thing here is that you need to exchange the electrolyte, the liquid in the battery, Cui said. In their lab experiments, Cuis team used seawater they collected from the Pacific Ocean off the California coast and freshwater from Donner Lake, high in the Sierra Nevada. They achieved
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74% efficiency in converting the potential energy in the battery to electrical current, but Cui thinks with simple modifications, the battery could be 85% efficient. Other researchers have used the salinity contrast between freshwater and seawater to produce electricity, but those processes typically require ions to move through a membrane to generate current. Cui said those membranes tend to be fragile, which is a drawback. Those methods also typically make use of only one type of ion, while his battery uses both the sodium and chlorine ions to generate power. Cui admitted that one significant theoretical limiting factor is the amount of freshwater available. However, the researchers claim that their batteries could supply 2 TWh of power annually if all the worlds rivers were put to use. According to the teams calculations, a power plant operating with 50 cubic meters of freshwater per second could have a capacity of up to 100 MW. The battery would be best suited for the Amazon River, which drains a large part of South America, but other continents, such as Africa and North America could also benefit. Cui even suggested that treated sewage water might work. If we can use sewage water, this will sell really well, he said.

The project, slated to be completed by September 2014, will be the biggest hydropower plant in Africa and will produce power at a cost of 5 eurocents/kWh, Salini Costruttori said. The project site is located 700 kilometers (km) northwest of Addis Ababa in the Benishangul-Gumaz region. The works will consist of a rollercompacted concrete main dam with two powerhouses located on the right and left bank of the river, which will contain 15 Francis turbine units. The project will include a concrete-lined gated spillway and a 5-km-long, 50-m-high saddle dam on the left bank.

Alstom Begins Construction of Second 400-MW Singapore Gas Unit. Alstom, which in October 2010 signed a contract to
build two 400-MW gas-fired combined-cycle units for KMC, a division of Singapore-based Keppel Corp. Ltd., on April 26 began work on the second 300 million unit. The engineering, procurement, and construction contract includes long-term service agreements, and Alstom will provide the entire plant and all associated equipment, including two GT26 gas turbines, two steam turbines, two heat-recovery steam generators, and the ALSPA Series 6 integrated control system. When completed, the new plant is expected to increase KMCs production capacity to 1,300 MW. The company currently supplies about 10% of Singapores power. ABB, Partners to Build Hydro Plant in Peru. ABB and consortium members Rainpower of Norway and Jeumont of France on April 20 said they had won a power generation order to provide engineering and power equipment to Perus Empresa de Generacion Electrica Cheves S.A., a subsidiary of Norwegian energy firm SN Power, for the 168-MW Cheves greenfield hydropower plant. Located in the provinces of Oyon and Huaura, the Cheves project, when completed in November 2013, is expected to alleviate voltage fluctuations and power cuts that are common to the area. ABB and its partners will provide a water to wire solution, which includes the ABB-supplied complete electrical balanceof-plant systems, including gas-insulated substation, generator breakers, medium-voltage and low-voltage switchgear, step-up transformers, plant controls, protection system, and other electrical auxiliaries. Rainpower will supply the turbine and Juemont, the generator. The consortiums scope includes the installation and commissioning of equipment.

POWER Digest
Italian Firm Wins Contract to Build Massive African Hydropower Plant. Italian construction firm Salini Costruttori said
on March 31 it has signed a 3.35 billion contract with Ethiopia state-owned Ethiopia Electric Power Corp. to build a 5,250-MW hydropower plant on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River.



AREVA Solar to Install Fresnel Reflectors at Australian Coal Plant. AREVA Solar on April 13 announced it had been
awarded an A$104.7 million (US$112.5 million) contract to install a 44-MW solar thermal augmentation project at a 750-MW coal-fired power station in Queensland, Australia. The project, which AREVA Solar is calling the worlds largest solar/coal-fired power augmentation project, will involve installation of compact linear Fresnel reflector technology at CS Energys Kogan Creek Power Station. The company also plans to build and operate a manufacturing facility to support the Australian-pioneered technology and Kogan Creek project. The solar steam generators and accompanying system will occupy about 30 hectares of land within the site. Construction will start this year, and commercial operation is planned for 2013.
Shop-assembled and modular designs to optimize constructability Advanced in-house engineering Heavy-industrial and utility grade Highly developed performance modeling Custom applications



RWE, TURCAS Begin Building 775-MW Gas Plant in Turkey. German firm RWE and Turkeys TURCAS on April 13 broke
ground for a new 775-MW gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Kaklik, a district of the town Denizli in western Turkey. The 500 million project being built by RWE & TURCAS Gney Elektrik retim, a joint venture, is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. The International Energy Agency forecasts that Turkeys energy consumption will double in the next 10 years. RWE officials said at the groundbreaking ceremony that the project served as a strategic step into the growing Turkish market. Sonal Patel is POWERs senior writer.
POWER June 2011


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The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) Reliability Standards are under constant revision even while new requirements are under active development. As noted in the last NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) update (Lessons Learned in Reliability Standards Compliance, October 2010, available in the POWER archives at www, the standards are constantly undergoing revisions, updates, and requests for interpretations. Three important regulatory definitions are currently being contested. BES Definition On November 18, 2010, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 743 directed NERC to revise the definition of the bulk electric system (BES) so that it encompasses all the Elements and Facilities necessary for the reliable operation and planning of the interconnected bulk power system. NERC believes that this additional specificity in the definition will reduce ambiguity and establish consistency across all NERC regions in distinguishing between BES and non-BES elements and facilities. NERC includes electrical generation resources, transmission lines, interconnections, and associated equipment in the BES. An element is any electrical device . . . connected to another electrical device, such as a generator, circuit breaker, bus section, or transmission line. A facility is a set of electrical equipment that operates as a single BES element. Examples include generators, power lines, and transformers. In addition, NERC was directed to develop a process for identifying any elements or facilities that should be excluded from the BES. NERC is working to address these directives in two ways. First, it is modifying the definition of BES through the standard development process. NERCs second approach is to develop a BES Definition Exception Process as a proposed modification to the NERC Rules of Procedure. One particular problem is FERCs preference for including all transmission facilities rated at 100 kV and above in the definition of BES. This approach contradicts certain regional criteria that currently consider facilities on a case-by-case basis for inclusion in BES, regardless of operating voltage.

On the surface, revising the definition of BES to include all systems rated at 100 kV and above appears to be an easy fix. However, the devil is always in the details. In this situation the uncertainty lies with the exception process that identifies facilities operating at or above 100 kV that have minimal or no system reliability impact and therefore are not part of BES. You can follow future developments by watching NERC project 2010-17 on the NERC website ( on the Standards Under Development page. Industry members potentially affected by the new definition should watch these developments closely and submit comments. PRC-005-1 Interpretation In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) released December 16, 2010 (Docket No. RM10-5-000,, FERC accepted an interpretation submitted by NERC to clarify the scope of equipment to be addressed in standard PRC-005-1 (Transmission and Generation Protection System Maintenance and Testing). Although FERC accepted the interpretation that clarified (in part) that equipment such as battery chargers, auxiliary relays and sensing devices, and line reclosing relays are not included in the scope of PRC-005-1, it then expressed disagreement with the exclusion of such devices and proposed to direct NERC to develop modification to the PRC-005-1 Reliability Standard . . . through its Reliability Standards development process to address gaps in the Protection System maintenance and testing standard. NERC responded with a request that it be allowed to address FERCs concerns rather than having FERC issue directives. The NOPR drafting team is currently working on PRC-005 Version 2 to reflect a complete framework for maintenance and testing of equipment. This unanticipated FERC comment will alter PRC-005-2, which was posted for ballot for May 3 through May 12, 2011. Now the drafting team will either have to revise the draft standard for the upcoming balloting or quickly produce a version 3 that will answer FERCs concerns. Registered entities should closely monitor the ongoing PRC-005 proceedings and be prepared to comment on whichever approach is finally selected.

CIP-002-4 Bright Line Criteria and FERC Request for Additional Data Version 4 of the CIP Standards is currently under review by FERC. The key change in Version 4 is CIP-002-4, which seeks to eliminate the current risk-based assessments. Registered entities must apply annually to determine asset criticality and replace risk-based assessements with a set of bright line criteria that will be used to make the determination. The bright line criteria are a series of thresholds and attributes that BES equipment is measured against to determine its criticality. They include, for example, a 1,500-MW threshold for generators, the inclusion of blackstart resources in a restoration plan, and the ability to produce over 1,000 MVARs of reactive power. There are also thresholds for transmission facilities of 300 MW or higher and for control centers. On April 12, FERC issued a data request asking NERC what the consequences would be of applying the Version 4 bright line criteria to the BES. For example, how many generators would be deemed critical, how many transmission facilities, and how many control centers? NERC advised FERC that it is able to respond within the allotted 45 days on roughly half of the questions, while the remainder would require a survey of registered entities to compile the data. An extension was requested and granted on these specific questions. CIP standards and their development and revision will remain very high-profile issues for the power industry for some time. Regulators and registered entities continue to work through the details of protecting our bulk electric system against an ever-changing cybersecurity threat. Contributed by James Stanton (, principal adviser, regulatory services, Quanta Technology.

Air Preheater Uses New Adaptive Brush-Sealing Design

Radial, axial, and circumferential metallic seals installed on rotary, regenerative air preheaters have evolved little from the original metal strip designs that date back to the original Ljungstrm preheaters developed nearly a century ago. Unfortunately, metallic strip seals degrade soon after installation, allowing excessive air-to-gas leakage, which translates into increased fuel consumption and fan power.
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A Brush Alternative Brush products are universally applied in virtually all industries where sealing, shielding, cleaning, and/or gap closing are required. Brush filament materials range from synthetic fibers to high-alloy steels. Alloy brush seals, now regularly installed as an upgrade to conventional labyrinth seals on production steam turbines, reportedly can yield up to a 2% increase in unit efficiency and a 4% improvement in unit output. Some units with these seals have been in operation for eight years between inspections. Brush seals are ideally suited for replacing strip steels on rotary, regenerative air preheaters. As radial, axial, and circumferential seals, the brush products provide a high degree of abrasion resistance, flex life, and bend recovery not possible with rigid strip seals. Rigid strip seals rapidly wear, as they are unable to conform to surface irregularities and varying gap sizes. The seals wear to the smallest gap size, allowing leakage at the wider gaps. The strip seals are also vulnerable to damage at high differential pressures and to expansion due to temperature increases where induced drag can shut down the rotor (Figure 1). A brush seal produces an extremely dense barrier, as thousands of filaments nestle tightly together to create a highintegrity seal. Each bristle is indepen-

dent and flexible, allowing deflection to conform to any irregularities and gap variations and recovery to its original position (Figure 2). Quantifiable Benefits Addressing air preheater leakage has historically been a low-priority maintenance outage issue for many fossil plant engineers. Plants often experience leakage rates in excess of 15% to 20%, and extreme leakage rates up to 40% have been measured. These leakage levels are often tolerated because they are typically underestimated. As a result, plants can experience capacity losses, increased heat rates, higher parasitic losses associated with fan horsepower, and higher pressure losses for downstream air quality control systems. A plant that has experienced running out of fan can often trace the problem to excessive air preheater leakage and its costly side effects. As an example, a 500-MW plant firing coal and operating at an 85% annual capacity factor consumes 6,000 tons of coal per day, assuming an average heat rate of 10,000 Btu/kWh and an average coal heating value of 10,000 Btu/lb. If increases in boiler efficiency due to improved air preheater sealing reduce fuel consumption by 2%, the annual savings in fuel cost is nearly $3 million, assuming a delivered coal cost of $80/ton.

Air preheater leakage can also account for significant increases in parasitic power use by the boiler fans, and these lost power sales opportunities translate into lost revenue. If our example 500-MW plant has 15,000 hp installed fan power and 25% is lost through air preheater leakage, the plant has lost 2.8 MW of capacity that could have been sold. If the plant is operating at an 85% capacity factor running 6 hours/day peak and 18 hours/day off-peak with power sales prices of $30/MWh off-peak and $150/ MWh on-peak, the plant will lose $1.25 million per year. In essence, the plant is not only paying more for the coal it burns but is also experiencing a reduction in plant revenuea double whammy to the plants bottom line. A substantial benefit of reducing air leakage on a sustained basis is lower flue gas velocities and resultant pressure losses in downstream pollution control systems and a corresponding reduction in fan load. For plants with electrostatic precipitators, increased velocities attributable to air preheater leakage may result in higher dust emissions at the stack. For plants with fabric filters, the higher air-to-cloth ratios due to air preheater leakage can affect the frequency of bag cleaning and possibly shorten bag life. Four Years and Running The 119-MW Hardin Generating Station (HGS), owned by Bicent Power, is located in Hardin, Mont. and is operated and maintained by Colorado Energy Management Inc. (Figure 3). In June 2007, the HGS engineering team and Sealeze (a Richmond, Va.based unit of Jason Inc.) collaborated to design, manufacture, and install radial and axial stainless steel brush seals on both the hot and cold ends of the plants Unit A Ljungstrm air preheater (Figure 4). Inspection of the brush seals in 2008 showed them to be in very good condition. Some splaying of the brush was evident on the cold end due to sootblower blasts of 400F steam. To prevent direct sootblower impingement, the brush seals mounted in the path of sootblower blasts have been redesigned to incorporate an angled orientation and an integral protective shield, as shown in Figure 5. Now, with close to four years in service, the brush seals continue to outperform the original strip seals, and expectations are that the brush seals will remain in service through 2011 or 2012. Colorado Energy Management Plant Engineer Kevin Calloway states, The brush seals have rePOWER June 2011

1. Two sealing options. The

degree of wear on a strip seal is evident when comparing a worn strip seal (left) and a new brush seal (right). Flexibility of the brush seal allows it to deflect at the smaller gaps and then rebound to ensure sealing at wider gaps. Courtesy: Sealeze

3. Something old, something new.

Construction of the Hardin Generating Station began in December 2003, and commercial operation was achieved in March 2006. Colorado Energy Managements EPC Division provided construction management for a group of local and national contractors. Hardin Station is unique in that it comprises mostly used equipment, including a 1968-vintage boiler and structural steel from the original boiler building that were relocated from South Africa and completely refurbished. The used steam turbine/ generator was relocated from Korea and refurbished. Operation and maintenance services are provided by Colorado Energy Management. The Hardin Station has the distinction of being the cleanest-burning coal plant in Montana and was the first pulverized coal plant to be built in that state in more than 20 years. Courtesy: Colorado Energy Management

2. Clean sweep. XtraSea HT brush seals,

with a malleable alloy foil membrane nestled within brush filaments, are said to provide an added 70% to 80% reduction in leakage without sacrificing overall seal flexibility. Courtesy: Sealeze


duced air leakage considerably, and as a result, we have reduced operational costs through fuel savings. The brush seals are expected to continue performing through a predicted design life of at least four outage cycles. In 2011, the plant is planning to install axial and radial brush seals on all rotor modules in its Unit B preheater. The




4. Sealing locations. Ljungstrm rotor showing radial brush seals installed. Courtesy: Sealeze

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5. Complementary angles. A new angle-mount design improves bend recovery and seal contact while deflecting the direct impact of sootblower blasts. Additional shielding is provided by elongated holder flanges. Courtesy: Sealeze

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plants target leakage goal is 6% to 8% and, to achieve this, the plant is now also considering a complete set of circumferential brush seals. Contributed by Patrick T. Fitzgerald ( business development manager, Power Generation at Sealeze.

Twin Pac Controls Upgraded

In November 2008, a central Texas utility commissioned HPI, a full-service turbomachinery design and construction firm based in Houston, to perform a major upgrade of its plants power distribution and turbine control systems. The scope of the project included upgrades to four gas-fired Pratt & Whitney FT4 Twin Pac gas turbine generator packages, new programmable logic controller (PLC)based control panels, generator protection panels, new fuel valves, and emergency batteries and chargers. A single Twin Pac package uses two combustion turbines to drive a single double-ended generator (Figure 6). The 926-MW plant, originally constructed in 196768, had original gas turbines that were designed for dual-fuel operation; however, only the natural gas fuel system was in use, and the liquid fuel system had been partially dismantled. The project also upgraded and recommissioned the liquid fuel system. Tough Scope of Work A front-end engineering and design study determined the technical requirements and scope of work for the project. In general, it required a major refurbishment of the entire stations electrical systems. Specifically, all the cross-site cables for the four Twin Pacs were replaced in new overhead cable trays. Much of the original cabling was installed in underground cable runs, which were often flooded by heavy rain. New control subpanels mounted inside existing control cabinets (Figures 7 and 8) were also added, as were new fuel valves. The project required much demolition work, including removing complete panels and junction boxes. The original cabling within the turbine enclosures was installed at the factory as part of the original package. When the demolition began, workers quickly discovered control wiring mixed in with power cabling that terminated at the motor control centerno longer an acceptable wiring practice. Instead, all of the control and power cabling was run in separate trays from

the marshalling cabinets to the field to eliminate the possibility of cross talk between adjacent wires, an HPI best practice. Digital and analog signals were separated into individual cables for the same reason. HPI also aggregated the cabling between cabinets, such that all control or power conductors running between points are most efficiently run in a common, multi-conductor cable, where practical. If this practice is not followed, the number of cables increases dramatically, along with the associated terminal blocks, analog cards in the PLCs, and so on. The cost of the cables

6. Upgrading a Twin Pac.

A central Texas utility recently upgraded its four Pratt & Whitney Twin Pacs with new wiring, controls, safety systems, and an updated dual-fuel system. Courtesy: HPI

7. A typical 1970s-vintage FT4 governor and sequencer panel. Courtesy: HPI

8. A modern replacement control panel. In addition to the modern digital controls,

the Class I, Div II design of the panel enclosures was retained, ensuring that positive air pressure is maintained inside the enclosure at all times. Courtesy: HPI

POWER June 2011


and the labor to install the cables also increasesa situation to be avoided. Package Wiring Upgraded Each of the eight FT4 engines has two thermocouple compensation harnesses. To obtain better engine temperature reading and tighter control of the fuel governor, these harnesses were replaced and new cable runs were installed. The thermocouple wiring harnesses required special cables custom manufactured by a third-party supplier based on HPIs specifications. As a result of this and other improvements, the engine control system can operate closer to its maximum operating parameters, achieving an overall increase in power output and unit efficiency. Previously, the fire and gas alarms were a standalone system producing only an audible alarm. The operator was responsible for recognizing and responding to the alarm and manually tripping the engine(s) if required. New fire and gas monitors were installed and integrated with the turbine control system so that alarms are clearly visible on the main control panel. The new fire and gas alarms now indicate exactly where in the engine and generator compartments an alarm condition has occurred and will automatically trip the engine(s) when needed. The old seismic vibration and speed probes were replaced with a new Bentley Nevada (BN) 3500 series system, along with its associated cabling. This enhancement of the vibration system gives operators greater visibility of the turbine drivelines real-time operating conditions. The entire BN 3500 was integrated with the PLC system, and data is presented graphically on a dedicated vibration page on the main control panel. Finally, the BN keyphasor module was fitted on the shaft of the generator to measure vibration of the gear box shaft. Challenges Faced Due to this particular utilitys security policies, all project documentation was transported manually rather than sent electronically. A dedicated hard drive, in a sealed workspace, was set up at HPI to support the project. Access to project information was limited to those individuals on the project who were approved to view project documentation. The HPI team was also required to have security clearances, an additional logistical constraint on the project team. The evolving design of the cabling system during construction meant that the cable schedules were frequently updated, necessitating additional material purchases. The HPI team was able to mobilize additional cable installers to ensure that the project remained on schedule. Key Results The project was completed in May 2010 after about 10 months total site time. HPI received an Excellent rating on all phases of the project from the customer. There were two important reasons for the projects success. One was effective project management and good communications between the owner and contractor. Another was the fact that an integrated project team composed of controls engineers, installation technicians, and electriciansled by an experienced project managerprovided the right mix for handling a project with a dynamic scope of work. Contributed by Thaddeus Berry (, business development manager, HPI.
June 2011 POWER

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Reliability Challenges Cause Texas-Size Headache

By Angela Neville, JD
ven though Texas is again basking in warm weather, federal regulators are still investigating the rolling blackouts that hit the Lone Star state during a record-breaking cold snap in early February. The bulk power system in Texas experienced a significant number of outages at generating facilities during that period of high demand for electricity. The cold weather knocked offline more than 50 gas-fired and coal-fired generating units, which represented more than 7,000 MW of capacity. To compensate for the loss of generation, the state had to import approximately 250 MW of capacity from Mexico.

industry. Therefore, it does not appear likely that Texas will abandon electric deregulation any time soon.

An Independent Grid for a State with an Independent Attitude To put this reliability fiasco in context, it helps to understand the regulatory framework in Texas. Not surprisingly, for a state that was once a sovereign nation and is still known for its maverick attitude, Texas has its own unique grid system that sets it apart from the rest of the U.S. Under the regulation of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) rides herd over the flow of electricity to 23 million Texas customers, representing 85% of the states electric load and 75% of its land area. ERCOT manages a grid that connects 40,500 miles of transmission lines and more than 550 generation units. When the rolling blackouts happened in February, ERCOT landed in the hot seat. Texas state lawmakers conducted a hearing on February 15 demanding to know what went wrong. Several lawmakers pointed out that northern states routinely deal with worse weather without experiencing rolling blackouts. ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett testified about the actions his organization planned to take to ensure that such outages dont occur again. For example, he explained that ERCOT had launched a new alert system that, in the event of potential outages, would alert state officials and the state operations center, which in turn would notify police, firefighters, and first responders. Due to increased scrutiny of the Texas grid caused by the blackouts, a number of long-time critics of electric deregulation in the state are now trying to reopen the debate on that issue. When full deregulation began in Texas in 2002 after the passage of Texas Senate Bill 7, state officials insisted Texas could implement a more successful system than California, where intermittent blackouts had contributed to the failure of deregulation a year earlier. Basically, deregulation in Texas divided up utility monopolies, fostered competition between companies that sell electricity to consumers, and encouraged power generation facilities to compete against one another. Although the recent blackouts have increased concerns about the deregulated system, no Texas elected officials are actively promoting new legislation to re-regulate the Lone Star power

FERC and NERC Launch Separate Inquiries In an interesting regulatory twist, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) currently is examining the Texas outages even though it does not regulate ERCOT directly. The agency does monitor electricity reliability in Texas, however, through its oversight of the North American Electricity Reliability Corp. (NERC), the nations reliability watchdog. NERCs Texas regional entity, the Texas Reliability Entity Inc. (Texas RE), is the agency that regulates the states electricity reliability performance. FERC already had the Texas RE up on its radar screen before the February outages. In November 2010, FERC issued an audit report in which it identified concerns related to Texas REs close relationship with ERCOT in light of the fact that Texas REs role is to monitor ERCOTs reliability performance. Additionally, the report criticized Texas RE for not effectively overseeing ERCOTs compliance with reliability standards. Texas RE acted promptly to address these areas of concern, according to the report. FERCs current inquiry is intended to identify the causes of the February disruptions and any appropriate actions for preventing their recurrence. In late April, as this column was being written, a FERC spokesperson told POWER that the inquiry was still ongoing. Likewise, in February, NERC President and CEO Gerry Cauley announced that, in response to the February outages, his agency was working to examine the adequacy of preparations and identify potential improvements and lessons learned. He stated that two efforts will be launched to meet these objectives. At press time, NERC was continuing its lessons learned events analysis. A NERC spokesperson told POWER that the agency expects to have its report completed in an August time frame. Neither agency is expected to bring enforcement proceedings in relation to the February outages. Keeping the Lights on Deep in the Heart of Texas Heres hoping that the FERC and NERC inquiries produce useful information that can be passed along to the regulated community. Going forward, utilities operating in Texas need to focus on providing better oversight of their generation facilities in order to enhance reliability and prevent future widespread outages. If you dont like the weather in Texas, just wait five minutes, and it will change goes a popular saying. Given the unpredictability of Lone Star weather, Texas generating facilities would be well advised to focus on the lessons learned from the recent outages so they can be better prepared when the next blue norther on steroids hits the state. Angela Neville, JD, is POWERs senior editor and a fourth-generation Texan.
POWER June 2011




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Artificial Intelligence Boosts Plant IQ

Courtesy: IBM

Neural networks have already found practical application in many plants, and recent advancements in artificial intelligence promise to shape the design of the next generation of power plant supervisory controls. Will future plant operators be fashioned from silicon?
By James H. Brown, PE, PMP, Fluor Corp.

n February, viewers of the quiz show Jeopardy! watched as IBMs supercomputer Watson soundly defeated the alltime game show champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Watsons victory has been viewed by those who work in the field of information technology (IT) as a milestone event. The game show victory marked the first time a machine had sufficient data recollection speed, discernment accuracy, and reliability to compete with humans in a real-time test of judgment and knowledge, and win. Watson not only retrieved data quickly, like many of todays popular Internet search engines, but the supercomputer also assessed the available data and made a judgment as to the most appropriate answer (Figure 1). This success was not based on a single computer program; instead, it required many programs working in parallel to achieve an elementary level of artificial intelligence (AI). Does this singular computational victory of machine over man have implications for

the design of control systems for future power plants? To capitalize on AI technology in the future, we need to look beyond how IT is used in power facilities today and leverage long-established advanced distributed controls platforms to support virtual plant operations. The implications of doing so could be significant and range from minimizing, or even eliminating, human factors engineering issues in plant operations to allowing hyperperformance optimization that promises significant operating cost savings.

1. Watsons avatar. Watson, named after

IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge: build a computing system that rivals a humans ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy, and confidence. The Jeopardy! format provided the ultimate challenge because the games clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other language complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not. Courtesy: IBM

The Future Is Forward

To get a good understanding of where we might leverage Watson-like technology advancements in the future, we need to quickly review the history of power plant control development. Power generation is generally a very conservative industry when it comes to accepting new technology. This stance is justified by the critical nature of the product that must be supplied instantly, continuously, and with

POWER June 2011


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very high reliability. However, simply relying only on fully mature technology, as is our habit, may result in a significant lost opportunity to modernize the power generation infrastructure. Technology advancements are already under way with many smart grid projects that promise to improve the process and cost of delivering electricity. Similarly, new and emerging technologies that leverage IT should be considered when planning for future power plant controls. As a major international engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning firm and technology integrator for gas-fueled, solid-fueled, and nuclear power facilities, Fluor Corp. has had the unique opportunity to work with just about all major suppliers for power plant distributed control systems (DCSs), programmable logic controllers, instrumentation/automation, and network components communicating in various protocols over a range of different control system architectures. Two previous articles (Digital Networks Prove Reliable, Reduce Costs, July 2009 and TS Power Plant, Eureka County, Nevada, October 2008, available in POWERs archives at reviewed what are generally considered to be state-of-the-art digital control power system designs. termined desired state or some external request to achieve another state of operation. Many researchers consider systems that learn from their actions and make good decisions with incomplete information as having a form of artificial intelligence. Neural networks take inputs from the environment and process them to determine patterns and relationships and then point to a directed output (Figure 2). In human intelligence, neurons in our brains learn how to respond to daily stimuli. Neural networks allow computers to artificially mimic this same process recognition and classification of data. The AI neurons are connected by varying strengths (as represented by various line weights in the figure). Although the diagram is simplistically shown in two dimensions, there are actually multiple layersin space and time for the connections. Depending on the complexity of the stimuli, there could be a few connections or an extensive network of connections. Processing numerous connections in parallel and keeping track of the results allows the neural network to learn from experience and store or memorize the end result. The network can subsequently retrieve millions of prior experiences quickly to make value judgments in similar circumstances in the future. Classical control systems have been processing data and determining outputs for quite some time. Conventional control practices work best when the systems are not overly complex. These control systems rely on alarms to ensure operator notification if the process is approaching or achieves an out-of-control or abnormal state. The more complex the application and the more diverse the conditions under which it operates, the more complicated the control system becomes. When the process being controlled is very complex and has to operate under a wide range of conditions and disturbances, AI technology enhances classical control theory techniques. This type of control, based on AI layering, is referred to as intelligent control. Incorporating AI into control systems allows these systems to be more flexible, to adapt to various operating conditions and disturbances, and to incorporate human expertise and thinking into their decision-making process. AI terminology has been somewhat foreign to the power industry. The lines between classical control and AI are sometimes blurred. Familiar fuzzy logic design is an area where classical controls have incorporated elements of AI.

Data Proliferation
At the core of intelligence is raw data. For power generating facilities, we have seen an exponential increase in available plant data stored in plant databases and historians. This growth in data has come from many different sources. The first source is the general growth in plant automation as distributed control systems replaced manual plant controls. Another source of growth in data has been from the advancement of predictive and preventive maintenance in power stations. As digital communications have spread throughout the design architecture of new facilities, more data is more easily accessible, and this has led to significant increases in available data sources or inputs. Finally, in our current state of interactive human/ nonhuman controls, significant data is collected through plant alarm systems designed to assist operations when the plant is outside of the normal bounds of control. Those situations can present significant challenges to operators if the alarms are not properly managed through prioritization and filtering of extraneous or duplicate alarms. In addition to the growth in field data collected, volumes of data from the many components that make up todays modern power plant are available as resource information. This data sometimes includes initial checkout and testing data, preventive maintenance requirements, maintenance records, and equipment operating curves. As an example of how voluminous the data can be in state-of-the-art plant control systems, Fluor recently completed a 2 x 800MW supercritical coal facility that includes more than 15,000 physical instrument tags. This facility incorporates some of the most
POWER June 2011

Artificial Intelligence Primer

In very simplistic terms, AI enables computers to think like humans to solve problems. When applied to power facilities, AI, perhaps more correctly called intelligent control, collects data from the plant and, when combining that data with stored data from library resources, is able to learn the appropriate response based on a prede-

2. Capturing experience. Neural networks artificially mimic the human brain in process recognition and classification of data. The complexity of the stimuli (input) determines the number and strength of the pathways (illustrated by line weight) that determine the result (output). Processing numerous connections in parallel and keeping track of the results allows the neural network to learn from experience. Source: Fluor Corp.
Input Output

Input layer

Hidden layer

Output layer


The factory [power plant] of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.
Warren G. Bennis
advanced control bus technologies. Over 70% of the more than 30,000 total plant inputs and outputs (I/Os) are digital. More than 8,000 alarms are programmed into the DCS controls. in controls technology have added many functional capabilities to new control systems while expanding the complexity of the processes managed and the potential span of control. Although proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control has not significantly changed in 25 years, there has been significant advancement in the hardware and software to support the faster processing speeds and increased reliability necessary for todays plant environments. As the amount of available plant data grows and the pressure to incorporate complex optimization technology increases,

Artificial Neural Networks

As more and more actions in power plants have become automated, control hardware and software have advanced. Todays open structure DCS gives programmers a more user-friendly interface into which they can incorporate control philosophies that are very complex and sophisticated. Advances

classical controls will quickly reach the limit of their capabilities. For the power generation industry, rulebased AI neural networks can be applied in at least three ways: in grassroots neural networks, neural network oversight of conventional or classical controls, and neural network oversight of conventional classical controls in specific application areas of plant control. Grassroots Neural Networks. Compared with other process industries, the power industry typically takes a more conservative approach when it comes to the introduction of new, unproven technologies. For example, digital bus controls have slowly been introduced into the industry over the past decade. Fluor implemented many of this industrys first fieldbus instruments almost two decades ago in a number of combined-cycle power plants. At the time, the fieldbus instruments were limited primarily to monitoring functions, because their use in process controls was considered as having technology risks. Today, Fluor has completed facilities in which greater than 70% of the plant I/Os are transmitted on digital bus networks. The process of gaining widespread acceptance of making a new, grassroots neural



network part of the design of a new power facility may be slow and arduous. Neural Network Watchdog. Perhaps a more likely scenario for widespread implementation of AI in power generation is a neural network that can essentially sit on top of a plants existing DCS. Such an AI system will monitor, learn, and make value judgments about potential changes in state to optimize plant operation in order to improve safety or, perhaps, plant reliability. These artificial neural networks are relatively mature and commercially available today. With the growth in automation in power generation facilities, the incredible complexity of monitoring plant operations, noting anomalies, diagnosing those anomalies, and taking action in a timely manner can quickly become unwieldy and unmanageable using conventional controls technology. On the other hand, artificial neural systems can view numerous process variables almost instantly, recognize trends or deteriorating conditions or opportunities to improve conditions, review a library for potential reactions, and make weighted judgments on the best action. The result can be significant benefits to plant operations. The neural network systems offered by some of the major process technology providers are open systems that work with various suppliers DCS platforms. These commercial systems are available to automatically make decisions to optimize performance of a plant subsystem, such as combustion controls. AI systems can also be configured to act as an operator consultanta decision-support system to make recommendations on operating adjustments.
Targeted Process Neural Network Watchdog. AI systems currently used in

Watson as Your Virtual Plant Operator

Claims of improvements up to 1.5% in plant heat rate, reductions in emissions levels, improvements in equipment availability, improvements in steam turbine ramp rates, and improvements in start-up efficiencies are all claims made by vendors of AI networks. The promised benefits are significant, but there are consequences to moving forward on AIbased plant controls. Critics of AI systems are quick to point out the potential vulnerabilities that are introduced with regard to cybersecurity when so many systems are operating over plant networks (voice over Internet protocol, security, plant network, operations network, and the like). This is a significant issue that warrants study, particularly in light of recent North American Electric Reliability Corp. requirements for Critical Infrastructure Protection. Network defense systems and monitoring are sufficient to protect against unwanted intrusions, but clearly, widespread implementation of AI at power plants may make control networks more vulnerable. Another consideration is that AI-based control systems learn from prior experiences. Any system will require time to think through the innumerable possible combinations of process variables and operating scenarios before it matures and develops a library of operating scenarios and responses. The system will also require clear exit paths and mitigation programs should its complex networks get stumped. Finally, expect some resistance to accepting AI-based controls at a more philosophical level. Some system designers believe that intelligent control systems have the potential to breed a culture of superficial knowledge. Today, many plants can still be operated manually by experienced operators. When, in the future, reliance on AI systems is the norm, what will be the motivation to push for more understanding of the operating nuances and situational responses necessary when operating a plant? Will the hands-on operator become obsolete? On the other hand, the adoption of intelligent systems may be one solution to the expected loss of a vast amount of operating knowledge as the baby boomer generation approaches retirement age. How to capture that knowledge remains problematic and is the subject of current research. What we have learned so far is that Watson has proven to be a great game show player. But we also know that it (he?) is not ready to operate a major power generation facility . . . yet.

power plants are usually targeted to specific application areas of process control such as combustion optimization or plant performance. Much as with the advance of digital controls, this stepwise adoption of the technology provides sufficient testing to make users comfortable with the intelligent algorithms without exposing early AI system adopters to the risk of reduced plant reliability. Already, numerous operating plants incorporate some form of targeted neural networks. Some plants have used some form of AI-based controls to reduce NOx production and to optimize their boiler cleaning or sootblowing systems. Some of the applications have years of operating experience at power generation facilities.

If you need information on the global power generation industry, look to first.


To subscribe, visit or call 847-763-9509.

James H. Brown, PE, PMP (james is senior director of engineering for Fluor Corp.s Power Group.


POWER June 2011

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Spain: A Renewable Kingdom

Spain has served as both exemplar and scapegoat when it comes to renewable energy policy. Though power policy must necessarily accommodate specific national resources and goals, Spains experience as an early and eager adopter of renewable energy technologies and subsidies is a cautionary tale of how the best intentions can have unintended consequences.
By Sonal Patel
pain, the fifth-largest economy in the euro zone, has been slammed by the global economic crisis and faces a critical energy dilemma. Struggling to tamp down power prices, but unable to afford billions of euros in funding, the debt-burdened government has been forced to retroactively slash its subsidies for renewablesa measure that has frozen investment in renewables and battered the nations once-booming solar industry. Meanwhile, policies to phase out coal power have destroyed Spains domestic coal mining industry and prompted debilitating strikes by coal miners. The nations nuclear power sector, too, is under siege: A moratorium on building new reactors has driven the governmentamid opposition that was intense even before the Fukushima Daiichi emergency this Marchto extend the lives of aging reactors. The Kingdom of Spain saw more than two decades of dizzying economic growth before the abrupt contraction in its economy in mid2008. Its gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate reached a historic high of 1.53% in December 1997 and a record low of 1.70% in March 2009. The nation exited the recession last year, but it continues to face soaring unemployment. Nearly 20% of Spains 45.9 million people are joblessthe highest rate in the 27-member European Union (EU). Despite government efforts to boost the economy through stimulus spending and loan guarantees, the government budget deficit increased from 3.8% of GDP in 2008 to about 11% in 2011. To control the deficit (and reduce it to 6% by next year), as well as avoid financial contagion from other highly indebted euro zone members like Ireland and Greece, the government has implemented austerity measures, tried to privatize industries, and attempted to boost competitiveness through labor market reforms. Most economists blame the economic woes on a burst housing bubble and the international credit crunch. Others, like Dr. Gabriel Calzada lvarez, an economics professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, point to the governments substantial subsidies for the countrys inflated renewable energy sector, which lvarez has said created

large debt bubbles and artificially created a new market that would collapse without more public funding. In a much-cited, controversial March 2009 report on the effects that renewable subsidies have on employment, lvarez contends that between 2000 and 2008, Spains government spent more than $36 billion to subsidize renewable projects, while consumers paid almost $10 billion more for renewable power than set market cost. lvarez also suggests that the resulting higher energy costs and green jobs may have more than doubled job losses economy-wide. Critics of the report say his analysis was too simplistic to be applied as a real-world model and that he deviated from peer-reviewed methodologies to estimate job impacts.

1. Spains electricity profile. Installed power capacity in Spains electricity system in 2010 amounted to 103,086 MW. Power actually generated totaled 275,252 GWh, including reductions for self-consumption, pumped storage consumption, and international exchanges. Factoring in the effects of seasonal and working patterns, the annual [demand] growth was 2.9%, compared to a fall of 4.8% registered in 2009, grid operator Red Electrica de Espana (REE) said in its annual report. Source: REE
Solar 2% Gas 3% Coal 9% Hydro 13% Other renewables 14% Wind 15% Nuclear 21%

Creating a Sustained Renewable Policy Framework

In 1980, Spains social-democratic Socialist Workers Party enacted a law after the second international oil crisis to support what they called a sustained framework for the development of renewable energy. In 1997 another law was ratified that deregulated the power market while mandating that 12% of primary energy demand was to be met with renewable sources by 2010. By 2005, when it became apparent that objective would be difficult to achieve, the government approved a new Renewable Energies Plan calling for 29.4% of gross electricity demand to be covered by renewable sources by 2010. To support sales of renewable power, the government put in place a feed-in tariff system, establishing fixed tariffs to be paid on top of market prices for renewable power installations. (See The Feed-in Tariff Factor in our Sept. 2010 issue or in the archives at Later, in June 2009, a directive based on targets set by the EU called for 20% of final gross energy demand to be met with renewables (and for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared with 1990 levels). The mandates have transformed Spains generation mix. Compared with the 1990s, when coal, hydro, oil, and nuclear facilities

Combined cycle 23%

Note: Total does not include 7,555 GWh used for selfconsumption. Gas includes power generated by integrated gasification combined-cycle, conventional gas, combined-cycle gas turbines, and oil/diesel generation. Power generated, 2010

Solar 4% Gas 6% Nuclear 7% Other renewables 10% Coal 12% Hydro 16% Combined cycle 26%

Wind 19%

Installed capacity, 2010

POWER June 2011


generated nearly 99% of the nations electricity, in 2010, those four sources accounted for 69%. Gas-fired generation has grown exponentially in response to increasing amounts of variable wind power that require back-up generation and to meet swelling demand (a report by Spanish law firm Gomez-Acebo & Pombo notes that Spain has one of the highest rates of energy consumption per unit of [gross national product] in the EU). Wind power, meanwhile, surged from 5 TWh in 2000 to 42 TWh in 2010 (Figure 1). Without doubt, the main factor underpinning our success in integrating [renewable] sources into the electricity generation system has been the economic and legal framework comprising a system of regulated premiums and feed-in tariffs, which has been in force for the last 30 years and has been subject to ongoing improvements and modifications, says Miguel Sebastin Gascn, minister for Industry, Tourism and Trade in a government renewables-specific website. The minister also says the countrys solar thermal, wind, and other sectors are among the largest in the world, and that it is on course to exceed the EUs 20% renewable target. He adds: This framework is stable but adaptable to the current status of each technology as it matures.

Industry Structure
Spain today splits its generating units into two groupsordinary and special regimes based on how they interact with the competitive electricity market. Five companies generate the bulk of conventional power, which includes large hydro, nuclear, coal, and gas: Iberdrola, Endesa, Gas Natural Fenosa, E.ON, and HidroCantbrico. All generators under the ordinary regime sell power to suppliers through the wholesale market pool or bilateral contracting and receive remuneration for power sold on the market, plus capacity payments (including 10-year investment payments that vary according to the net power of the plant). Special regime generatorsthose that produce power from renewables with installed capacities of up to 50 MW and cogeneration facilitiesare not required to bid in the power pool and are permitted to sell power at governmentordained tariffs or at the Spanish pool price, plus premiums and incentives. In 2010, according to grid operator Red Elctrica de Espaa (REE), special regime generators produced 33% of the countrys peninsular power.

2. Pumping up wind.

Spanish renewables giant Iberdrolas 1989-built 635-MW La Muela pumped storage facility will be followed by the 852-MW La Muela 2, slated to be operational in 2012. The ability to dispatch pumped storage power helps to mitigate the variability of wind power. Courtesy: Iberdrola

Growing Demand and Capacity

Peninsular Spains electricity demand

(excluding its islands) currently exceeds 259,940 GWh, having risen 30% since 2000. The increase would have been more dramatic were it not for the economic slowdown, when demand plunged 5%, from 265,281 GWh in 2008. In 2007, industry consumed 38% of Spains generated power, followed by the services and agricultural sectors. Households consumed 33% of all power generated.

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June 2011 POWER


National energy plans drawn up before the recession call for substantial increases in total generation (72 TWh between 2008 and 2016) to fuel future growth, including further ramping up of gas power by 42 TWh and wind power by 33 TWh, but cutting coalfired generation by 23 TWh and oil by 10 TWh. An increase of nuclear power is also foreseenbut only through uprates. Spain has already made great strides in adding new capacity. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that from 2001 to 2008, total capacity increased by 87%one of the largest hikes for a member country. As of 2010, about 95% (97,447 MW) of capacity was installed in the peninsular system and the rest, 5,639 MW, was installed in other territories, including the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands. and Acciona Energa have projects all over the world. The component supply chain, too, is thriving: 75 industrial centers related to wind exist in Spain, 18 of which are wind turbine assembly plants. Solar. In contrast, the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector, which over the past five years saw a similarmaybe even more pronouncedboom driven by high subsidies, has been frozen by uncertainty following the governments December 2010 decision to retroactively slash previously agreed-upon subsidies to solar energy producers. Meanwhile, the country maintains its dominance in the solar thermoelectric sector (see the sidebar). More than a third of worldwide solar thermal electric capacity is installed in Spain. The country that commissioned the worlds first commercial central tower plant (the PS10 plant in Seville, Figure 3) in 2006 after establishing a feed-in tariff, is actively developing projects to increase solar thermal capacity to 2,400 MW by 2013and it is building and managing several projects around the world. Of new capacity planned, 93% will likely be parabolic trough receiver technology, central towers will make up 3%, and the remainder will be Stirling dish and Fresnel receivers. Biomass. Feed-in tariffs for biomass were also implemented in 2007, but growth for that sector has been slow because the remunerative framework that could spark significant growth was enacted practically as the recession hit, the Ministry of Industry said. Today, Spain has some 400 MW of installed biomass capacity, fueled by products from the pulp and paper, timber, and olive oil industries. Other Renewables. Spain has yet to fully develop its marine and geothermal power sectors. Valencia-based Iberdrola Renovables is spearheading a project to install 10 Ocean Power Technology buoys for a total rated capacity of 1.35 MW at a pilot marine energy plant in Santoa. Meanwhile, though studies have shown Spain has substantial geothermal resources, no power plants exist. Geothermal energy is being developed for heating, however.

3. A solar beacon. The 35 million ($49

million) 11-MW PS10 concentrating solar power tower, a facility featuring 624 heliostats, went into operation in 2007 In 2009, owner . Abengoa Solar completed PS20, a 20-MW solar tower facility at the same platform in Sanlcar la Mayor. It later began operating Solnova 1, 3, and 4, three of five planned 50MW parabolic trough plants. Along with two other 50-MW projects (Solnova 2 and 5), another 20-MW tower plant (AZ20) and an 80kW concentrating solar plant based on Stirling dish technology are under construction there. Courtesy: Abengoa Solar

The Renewable Future

Because of its size and geography, Spains climate varies substantially by region (see a map of all of Spains power plants at http://bit .ly/hiFN3h). And climate has influenced its choice of renewables. Hydro. About 1,200 hydro plants with a total installed capacity of 18.97 GW have been built in Spain, 20 of which are 200 MW or larger, and at least 2,400 MW of which is pumped storage (Figure 2). Though these represent about 50% of the hydro total, they have been underperforming since 2004, mostly because of increased droughts (blamed by the government on climate change). In 2010, however, the nation saw abundant rainfall that allowed hydroelectric facilities to generate 36.6 GWh30% higher than the historical average and 65% above the 2009 figure. But droughts and fierce opposition by environmental groups arent the only reasons large hydropower plants will not be counted on as significant future energy sources. In addition, there are [no more] available spaces in our rivers for the installation of a big hydro plant, explained David Gomez, the director of energy for Spains Trade Commission, based in Los Angeles. The country intends to exploit all its hydro potential, he told POWER, through so-called mini-hydro plants of less than 10 MW, which are subsidized through feedin tariffs. Wind. Wind is faring better. Spain boasts that wind power produced 42,976 GWh in 201015% of total generation. The sectors rapid growth, reportedly boosted by premiums and feed-in tariffs, has been aided by a burgeoning wind manufacturing industry. Several wind turbine makers have set up shop in Spain, including Gamesa, Elica, Acciona Windpower, and Alstom-Ecotcnia, and Spanish wind farm developers like Iberdrola

Energy Technology Investments

Spurred by policy drafted by the countrys Ministry of Science and Innovation and boosted by public funding that covers basic and applied research to pilot and demonstration projects, Spain has quickly become a well-respected hub for energy technology. Three primary institutions have been pivotal in the rollout of new technologies, from carbon capture to solar thermal: CIEMAT, CENER, and CIUDEN. CIEMET, the center for energy, environment, and technological research, is best known for its 250-acre Plataforma Solar de Almera, a facility that tests and optimizes numerous concentrating solar power concepts. CENER operates a major wind turbine test facility that includes an experimental wind farm. CIUDEN, located in the coal-mining region of El Bierzo, carries out research and development on clean coal technologies. The institute is building a 72 million demonstration plant for carbon capture with oxyfuel combustion. Privately funded research is also making headway. Wind turbine maker Gamesa in February, for example, announced it was developing two families of offshore turbines, the 5-MW G11X (to be tested in late 2012 in collaboration with German power company E.ON) and the G14X, which could have a capacity of up to 7 MW (a pre-series is expected to be ready in 2014). Gamesa and Spanish firms Acciona and Iberdrola, among others, are also spearheading the Azimut initiative, which seeks to develop a 15-MW offshore wind turbine using only Spanish technology.

POWER June 2011


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Subsidies: The Shadow on Solar and Wind
Spain began subsidizing renewable and combined heat and power sources after the adoption of its Electric Power Act in 1997. In 2004, a new law allowed renewable power generators to choose between a regulated tariff or a market price plus premium. And in 2007after the EU established a target for member countries to source 20% of their power from renewables by 2020another law set high and low electricity purchase price levels for some technologies. The level of public financial support and total revenues per kilowatt-hour varied significantly. In 2008, for example, wind generators received 0.069 to 0.086/kWh ($0.10 to $0.12/kWh), while solar PV producers got almost quadruple that: 0.32/kWh. This subsidy mechanism, the so-called feed-in tariff, was guaranteed for 25 years, or for the lifetimes of the systems, to increase investor confidence. And it worked. Generous subsidies rapidly boosted PV development in Spain. By the end of 2008just as the economic crisis hit the countrysolar PV capacity had exceeded the initial capacity target for 2010 more than eightfold. After the onset of the financial crisis, the price of electricity from new PV projects was lowered to 0.259/kWh from 0.440/kWh, reports The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI), an international watchdog that monitors the transfer of public money to private interests. By comparison, the market price for electricity from natural gas, for example, has been under 0.045/kWh. According to the GSI, in 2009, solar PV tariffs alone amounted to 2.7 billion, though the sector supplied only 2% of Spains electricity. GSI points out that wind producers received 600 million for supplying 12% of the countrys power. Another critical problem with Spains feed-in tariff system is that instead of allowing utilities to charge more for renewable power bought at above-market prices (and letting consumers bear the brunt of the hikes), the nation has preferred to keep the price of power artificially low. That means that utilities have shouldered the burden, operating at a loss and trusting in a government guarantee to eventually pay them back. Sources say the sum of this tariff deficit has ballooned to more than 16.5 billion since 2000. Then, last year, faced with an economic crisis and buckling under an overall burden of debt, Madrid drastically cut spending and implemented austerity measures that included slashing renewable subsidies. On Christmas Eve, the Industry Ministry announced it would slash PV solar subsidies between 10% and 30% for existing projects until 2014or 3 billion over the next three years. PV backers, including foreign private equity groups and specialist funds, are outraged by the possibility that cuts will be imposed retroactively (on plants built before 2008). Filing lawsuits, they say governments sudden reversal in policy breaches long-term contracts, and it could drive many of them out of business. Legal challenges have already been filed by the regional authorities of Extremadura, Murcia, Navarra, and Valencia; at least 15 international investors, who have pumped more than 4 billion into Spanish solar PV projects, are also seeking reparations. European Commissioners Guenther Oettinger (for energy) and Connie Hedegaard (for climate) have also chimed in about the cuts ordained by Royal Decree 14/2010 and approved by the lower parliament earlier this year. They warned that forward-looking changes [to tariffs] may be understandable and necessary, but that the European Commission will not accept retroactive amendments. Further, they argue, the nations cap on the number of production hours when solar generators can earn above-market rates adds to a perceived risk of investing in renewables. Without stability and predictability, there will be more risk of delays, the commissioners wrote to Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian on Feb. 22. You must not forget that the negative consequences for investors confidence from retroactive changes in the economic conditions of one type of renewable facility may spread and produce

similar effects for other types of facility in other countries. In March, Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian promised PV investors his department would find solutions to prevent irreparable damages to the sector. Key participants are hopeful: In July last year, the government managed to reach an agreement with the wind power sector under which it would cut top-up rates to wind producers by 35% until 2013a measure that could save it 1.3 billion. In the last week of March, Reuters reported that Spanish energy regulator Comision Nacional de Energia (CNE) had suspended subsidies for 350 PV systems alleged to have been providing fraudulent power production figures. PV Tech quoted the Spanish Renewable Producers Association as saying that owners of as many as 9,000 of Spains 55,000 registered PV systems could be questioned (most, for technical issues dealing with registration, it claimed). CNE had drafted a bill to prevent solar fraud in January 2009 after some plants were exposed for receiving subsidies without actually generating power.

Coal Use Contracts, Natural Gas Use Expands

The rise of renewables in Spain has increased natural gas use and, as expected, constricted coal use. Spaina once-thriving coal exporterin recent decades has turned to importing nearly 73% of its supplies, mostly from South Africa, but also from Indonesia and Russia. About 90% of all coal is used to generate electricity, producing 25,851 GWhor about 9% of total generation. This compares with 74 TWh of coal-fired power produced in 2007, which made up almost 24.8% of total generation. Coal use, as frequently explained by industry analysts, has been affected by pollution requirements and competition with natural gas. Electricity industry association UNESA claims that coal-fired power plants in Spain have an average efficiency of 37% and emit 930 kg of carbon dioxide/MWh, whereas combined-cycle gas turbines are 52% efficient and emit 365 kg of the greenhouse gas per MWh. That makes coal generation expensive to operate under the EUs cap-and-trade program. Other reasons for the drop are that coal plant operators have had to take plants offline to abide by increasingly rigid EU directives, and the operation of coal plants that are used to supplement hydro is dependent on hydrological conditions. This is not to say that the sector will disappear altogether. Spains Prime Minister Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapatero, who comes from the coal heartland of Len, in October 2010 won the European Commissions approval to subsidizebut only until 2015utilities that
POWER June 2011

4. Gas-guzzling. Since 2000, gas-fired generation has grown by 101 TWh, driven by requirements for fast capacity increases, wind power backup, and Europes cap-and-trade program. Today, combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT) have an installed capacity of 26.8 GWmore than any other fuel source in Spain. This image shows HC Energas Castejn CCGT Plant in Navarre. The 2002-built Unit 1 has a capacity of 424.9 MW; the 418.5-MW Unit 3 started commercial activity in January 2008. Should the supply of natural gas be interrupted, Castejn 3 can also use diesel. Courtesy: Iberdrola


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are operating coal-fired power plants in return for their use of Spanish coal rather than imported coal, which is more affordable and of higher quality. Zapatero was looking to cushion conditions for tens of thousands of workers in coal mines, who have been protesting nonpayment, but as he told the commission, coal is also necessary to protect the country from power supply shocks caused by intermittent generation. Spains government is also pouring public funding into several cleaner coal technologies. In October 2010, energy firm ELCOGAS started capturing carbon dioxide from a 14MW pilot plant built at its 335-MW integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) facility at Puertollano. The Puertollano IGCC plant some 200 km south of Madridwhich began commercial operation in 1996 with natural gas and in 1998 with syngas from gasification of an equal mixture of local coal (with an ash content of more than 40%) and high-sulfur petcokeis one of only five utility-scale IGCC facilities in the world. Also under way is the much-watched Integrated Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technology Development Plant under construction at Endesas Compostilla power plant in Ponferrada. The Spanish utility is collaborating with research institution CIUDEN to set up a 30-MWth Foster Wheelerbuilt circulating fluidized bed unit and test Foster Wheelers Flexi-Burn carbon capture technology. The unit, which will test burn a wide range of domestic (mostly anthracite) and imported coalsas well as biomassis expected to start operations by the second half of 2011. Testing programs are expected to follow thereafter. Natural gas, on the other hand, has become the most significant component of Spains power profile. The amount of gas consumed for power generation depends on the availability of wind and hydropower. In 2010, 68,828 GWh were generated by combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT)23% of total generation (Figure 4). CCGT installed capacity surged nearly 10% from 2009 to 2010. However, Spain imports more than 99% of its gas, mostly from Algeria, Nigeria, and Qatar. nor had implemented a 155 million work program to keep the 40-year Santa Maria de Garoa serviceable, the current socialist governmentwhich campaigned on an anti-nuclear platformforced the regulatory body to grant it only a four-year, rather than a 10-year, license, taking it to 2013. Several reactors licenses have been approved since then, including Almaraz 1 and 2, and the 1,045-MW Vandellos 2, the newest and largest plant of Spains fleet (Figure 5). In response to recent pressures to shut down Garoa, CNEs Antonio Cornado told Agence France Presse that the question was not if Fukushima is similar to Garona but whether Japan had the same seismic or tsunami risks as Spain. The answer is no, he said. Spains uranium resources are limited to Salamanca, where the metal was mined from 1974 to 2000, when activities trickled to a close due to low uranium prices. According to the World Nuclear Association, most of the 1,600 metric tons of uranium used in Spain each year are imported from Niger. Currently, the country stores some 6,000 metric tons of spent fuel at reactor sites. Though it has no reprocessing plans, the government has called for construction of temporary dry storage facilities at the Trillo nuclear plant and at the now-closed Jose Cabrera plant, until a longer-term storage facility can be established. Two options are being considered for longer-term storage: the preferred, centralized nuclear spent fuel and high-level waste storage facility (whose site selection began in December 2009) and a deep geological facility. Nuclear waste management strategies, funded by a 1% tax on nuclear power revenues, also include research on extended onsite storage conditions and advanced recycling options.

Phasing Out Nuclear

Spains eight nuclear reactorsaccounting for a total installed capacity of 7.7 GWproduce a fifth of the nations power. The sector got its start in June 1965, when construction began on the countrys first nuclear plant, the Jose Cabrera Zorita, a pressurized water reactor. In 1971, the 460-MW Santa Maria de Garoa, a boiling water reactor (BWR), began commercial operation, followed two years later by the 500-MW Vandellos-1, a gas-cooled reactor. All three plants were turnkey projects. In the 1970s, construction began on seven reactors, but just five were completed. Construction of five other plants began in the 1980s, but only two were completed (Trillo-1 and Vandellos-2) after the socialist government imposed a moratorium on new nuclear in 1983, citing economic reasons. In 1994, after the Minister of Industry and Energy proposed a plan in which alternative energy would phase out nuclearand vowed to shut down older plants when they reached the end of their 40-year lifetimesfive other units under construction were abandoned. Spain is planning to add 810 MW of nuclear capacity through uprates. The Iberdrola-owned Confrenetes BWR that came online in 1985 has been uprated four times, taking it to 1,063 MW or 112% of its original capacity. Plans to be implemented later this decade will increase the plants power to 120% of original capacity. In Marchjust a day before workers began their long struggle to cool the quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japanthe Spanish government recommended a 10-year extension for the operating license of the Confrenetes plant. In February, Spains parliament removed a legal provision limiting nuclear plant lives to 40 years. It remains opposed to new construction, however. Since Fukushima, the government is reviewing key renewal decisions, such as the highly controversial 2009 decision by the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) to renew an operating license for the countrys oldest plant, the Santa Maria de Garoa. The government had already shut down Vandellos-1, the gas-graphite reactor, in the mid-1990s, after a turbine fire made the plant uneconomic to repair, and Jose Cabrera in 2006, after it reached its 40-year limit. Although CSN said plant owner and operator

Balancing Renewables on the Grid

Spains management of its transmission system has blazed a trail for countries looking for examples of how to balance a national grid that is fed by a large amount of renewable generation. The variability of wind generation in particularwhich made up 15% of the nations power profile in 2010keeps grid operator REE precariously balancing load. The challenge has recently become riskier: REE in 2004 warned that trying to integrate more than 14% of wind power could significantly increase the possibilities of a major power cut. One way REE says it manages large amounts of renewable power is through its Renewable Energies Control Centre (CECRE). Opened in 2007, that pioneering operational unit within the REE Power Control Centre is used to supervise and control sources of intermittent generation. Every 12
POWER June 2011

5. No new nuclear. Spain has no plans

to build new nuclear plants. Since the Fukushima Daiichi emergency, license renewals for plants like Santa Maria de Garoa, the oldest in Spains fleet, have been criticized. Spains newest reactor is the 1,045-MW Vandellos 2 (shown here), built in 1988 near Tarragona in northeastern Spain. Courtesy: Foro Nuclear


seconds, CECRE analyzes connectivity and wind speed from all wind farms rated at 10 MW or more and uses that data to calculate wind-powered generation levels. It also assesses the real-time risk of a sudden loss of or surge in wind power. Still, every day brings new challenges. On Nov. 9, 2009, for example, Spains wind farms generated record power315,258 MWhenough to meet 43% of demand (at around 2 a.m.). Earlier, on June 26, at 10:32 a.m., wind farms barely covered 1%. Intense fluctuations are dealt with by using pumped storage plants as much as possible while switching off CCGT plants on a daily basis. Spanish legislation gives priority to renewable energies when it is possible and secure, Mara Pachn, REE spokesperson, told POWER in March. Red Elctricas role consists just of putting into practice [the Industry Ministrys political] decisions under secure conditions. Solutions being considered in the near term include international interconnections, using surplus wind for pumped storage, and, in the long term, charging electric vehicle batteries. Meanwhile, Spain is pressing on with plans to build new transmission links. Currently, the grid is divided into primary (at least 380 kV) and secondary (220 kV to 380 kV) transmission networks composed of over 35,797 kilometers of transmission lines and more than 3,000 substations. It also has, through the 2007-created integrated Iberian electricity market (MIBEL), interconnections with France, Portugal, Morocco, and Andorra, equal to some 5% of generating capacity. The Energy Infrastructure Investment Plan (20082016) calls for projects developing the 220-kV and 400-kV networks, including a high-voltage power link between the mainland and the Balearic Islands and reinforcing international links with France and Portugal (with whom Spain plans to exchange, at minimum, 3,000 MW). critical needed improvement is to increase retail prices and resolve government-incurred tariff deficits of up to 16 billion. The countrys emphasis on the long-term integration of renewable power is commendable, the IEA said, but it is crucial that the nation establish clearer policies regarding other sources, such as nuclear. It also must ensure a streamlined and transparent siting and permitting process that includes interconnection to the grid for renewable developers. Another concern is that the nation has not adequately assessed the need to build and operate backup capacity to compensate for the unavailability of intermittent renewable sources. CCGTs were and will continue to be the best option for peak-load supply and backup capacity, but they increase greenhouse gas emissions and raise security-of-supply issues owing to the volatility of international gas markets. Uncertain policies are bound to affect the investment climate, the IEA concluded.

Sonal Patel is POWERs senior writer.

Key Challenges Remain

Spain must monitor and resolve the key challenges posed by the large, rapid development of renewablesstriving, above all, to balance objectives of environment, competitiveness, security of supply and efficiency in its policy formulation, says the IEA in a 2009 country analysis. It should also end a mechanism that uses capacity payments as a substitute for marketbased incentives to build new generation capacity because it tends to lead to inefficient investment decisions, the agency says. These payments provide participants with the perverse incentive of withholding their plans for new capacity in order to receive the payment, and are complex to administer. Another



K-Power Upgrades CombinedCycle Automatic Generation Controls

Tightly managed grids require combined-cycle plants equipped with power block controls that can quickly respond to automatic generation control signals with minimal error. K-Powers successful controls upgrade demonstrates that that goaland moreis achievable.
By Sang-joon Park, GE Energy and Gaurav Gupta, LeeMary Ma, and Uttam Narasimhan, GE Measurement & Control Solutions

-Power Combined Cycle Plant, located in KwangYang National Industrial Complex, is South Koreas first private merchant power plant (Figure 1). The plant, which entered commercial operation in May 2006, is configured with two power blocks, each one consisting of a 2 x 1 combined-cycle plant. Each 525-MW net power block relies on two General Electric (GE) 7FA combustion turbines (CTs) equipped with dry low-NOx combustion systems, one Nooter three-pressure heat-recovery steam generator per combustion turbine, and a single Hitachi steam turbine. K-Power (also the name of the plant owner) is a 65:35 joint venture between SK Corp. (a leading Korean energy company) and UKbased BP. The plant is fired with liquefied natural gas imported from the Tangguh field in Indonesia. K-Power sells electricity to KEPCO, with the Korea Power Exchange (KPX) handling the transactions. To do so, the plant is configured with automatic generation controls (AGCs) that dispatch the plant by power block. K-Power provides KPX with a 24-hour maximum gross generation capacity one day ahead and, in turn, receives a 24-hour dispatch schedule from KPX. The plant receives two dispatch signals (one for each power block) that are frequently updated. The existing plant controls made dispatching to a continuously changing plan very difficult and inefficient. This less-than-optimal process pressed KPower to consider a controls update. K-Powers primary requirement was for an advanced process control (APC) solution that would improve the efficiency of the AGC by minimizing variation from the KPX-provided setpoints. Another goal was to thermodynamically optimize the operation of each power block, within operational constraints, to provide electricity efficiently. Together, these upgrades would ensure that electricity was produced under the prescribed operating conditions as efficiently as possible. After considering a number of options, K-Power asked GE to supply its MVC so38

1. First independent power producer in South Korea. K-Power, a 1,050-MW

combined-cycle power plant, was the first merchant power generation facility constructed in South Korea. The plant consists of two power blocks, each based on a 2 x 1 configuration. The plant entered commercial service in May 2006. Courtesy: K-Power

lution, a model predictive multivariable controller. MVC uses predictive control models derived from plant dynamics and plant simulation results. Nonlinear mathematical models are used to calculate the optimal controlled variables and issue the corresponding manipulated variable setpoints on each execution cycle. Automatic bias maintains the predictive integrity of control models under varying plant conditions.

How AGC Works

When the plant is operating, the AGC receives two dispatch signals, one per power block, every 10 to 15 minutes. The signals received are the new setpoints for total gross power required per power block. For planning purposes, K-Power sends to KPX a dayahead, 24-hour maximum gross generation

capacity based on current equipment performance and anticipated ambient conditions. The dispatch signals sent from KPX to the plant will be within the maximum gross generation estimated, given the expected operating constraints. The original CT control strategy was quite ordinary. CTs were loaded using the preselect mode once the power block reached an acceptable stable condition after the generators were synchronized with the grid. Once the CTs reach their preselect conditions, the load control setpoint can be raised, lowered, or set to baseload, and the CTs will respond in tandem. If controls are set to baseload, the CTs ramp up to that condition based on the control settings within the Mark VI (GEs CT control package). The design CT ramp rate is 5 MW per minute (manual) and 3 MW per
POWER June 2011

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minute (automatic), according to the Mark VI system specifications. When the load on each CT is increased such that the measured exhaust temperature reaches the prescribed baseload temperature control limit, the CT output is then said to be operating at baseload conditions. Once at baseload, the CTs operate on the baseload inlet guide vane/temperature control curve. Under certain ambient and operating conditions, the CT may be limited by this control curve even though expected baseload output is reacheda notunusual scenario under high ambient temperatures. The power demand signal is directed to the Mark VI CT digital controls from the plant distributed control system (DCS) to produce the required electricity. The updated CT control strategy is a remarkable improvement. The MVC controller sends supervisory megawatt (MW) setpoints to the DCS for the operating CTs. In turn, the DCS sends a setpoint signal directly to the Mark VI CT controller, just as before. Modified control logic in the DCS allows the operator to select computer Mode for the individual CTs, which enables MVC control. computer mode is an added operating mode now programmed in the DCS in addition to the baseload and preselect modes discussed above. MVC takes control of the CT MW setpoint when the operator selects computer mode and the Mark VI remote control is enabled. The MVC is only used when the CTs are operating and is secured before CT shutdown. During start-up, the MVC has high and low MW and maximum MW ramp rate limits defined for individual CTs. A feedback signal from the Mark VI indicates when baseload conditions have been reached. That signal is used in the MVC controller to set the high limit of the controller. The MVC high limit is set as the current output of the CT plus three times the maximum ramp rate (that is, 9 MW) until the feedback signal indicates that baseload (or maximum output based on operating conditions) has been reached. When baseload has been reached, the high limit is set at current output plus 0.5 MW. This 0.5-MW margin allows for the normal oscillation of the CT output and for maintaining the turbine at stable baseload condition. In this way, the MVC optimally controls the online CT MW setpoints to meet the K-Power dispatch commitment. Table 1 summarizes many of the other plant design constraints in the MVC that will limit the power block ramp rates.

MVC System Architecture

Figure 2 depicts the communication interface between the K-Power DCS and the GE Bently Nevada EfficiencyMap/CLOC (closed-loop optimal control) computers. EfficiencyMap is plant optimization and performance monitoring software designed to measure, predict, and track plant performance. CLOC is a supervisory control and optimization system for complex, dynamic processes. The MVC software and plant historian are installed on one computer; EfficiencyMap is installed on a second computer. The plant historian, hosted on the CLOC computer, communicates with the plants Honeywell DCS OPC server via the historian-OPC interface. The CLOC system does not communicate directly with the turbine controllers. All communications pass through the DCS OPC server, and the necessary information (such as operating parameters and setpoints) is communicated to and from the CT controllers to the DCS via OPC protocol. To facilitate receiving incoming data, the Honeywell DCS has additional logic programmed to ensure that the incoming data is permitted and will not adversely affect the control system.

Table 1. Plant ramp rate constraints.

The speed at which a power blocks output can be increased or decreased is limited by equipment design. For example, a minimum value of steam flow to the block 1 steam turbine must be available before the desired combustion turbine MW ramp rate can be achieved. Source: GE Power Operating constraint ST 1 inlet flow ST 2 inlet flow HP steam flow 1 HP steam flow 2 HP steam flow 3 HP steam flow 4 Condenser pressure 1 Condenser pressure 2 ST 1 HP header pressure ST 2 HP header pressure Train 1 NOx Train 2 NOx Train 3 NOx Train 4 NOx Train 1 CO Train 2 CO Train 3 CO Train 4 CO CT1 TREF CT2 TREF CT3 TREF CT4 TREF CT1 exhaust pressure CT2 exhaust pressure CT3 exhaust pressure CT4 exhaust pressure Type Min Min Min Min Min Min Max Max Min/Max Min/Max Max Max Max Max Max Max Max Max Min Min Min Min Max Max Max Max

Scheduling and Planning

The system also includes an off-line GateCycle what-if tool. This tool, in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, is used by plant personnel for what-if parametric studies. It imple-

2. MVC data communications at K-Power. Source: GE Power

Mark VI CT#1 Mark VI CT#2 EGD Mark VI ST#1 Mark VI CT#3 Mark VI CT#4 EfficiencyMap Mark VI ST#2
Calculated data from/to CLOC

i-Historian System 1
OPC data (vibration) to i-Historian using DCOM OPC data (HRSG, BOP) from Honeywell OPC server to i-Historian using DCOM OPC data (HRSG, BOP) from Honeywell OPC server to CLOC Modbus TCP/IP

Honeywell DCS OPC server

Calculated data to Honeywell OPC server. CLOC is client and can write data to OPC server


Notes: ST = steam turbine, CT = combustion turbine, HP = high pressure, TREF = CT reference firing temperature.

Kepware Modbus to OPC server to collect Mark VI data from i-Historian Cimplicity HMI

POWER June 2011


ments full-plant equipment models and can be tuned to the latest plant conditions. The tool allows the user to accurately forecast maximum power that can be generated from the two power blocks under a variety of operating conditions. To forecast the maximum power generation possible, the user must input the following parameters: CT inlet pressure drop CT exhaust pressure drop Ambient temperature Ambient pressure Relative humidity Cooling water inlet temperature Current level of CT degradation

1. Instrument input/output checkout 2. DCS level configuration checkout 3. Plant step testing and APC controller tuning 4. Model building and implementation 5. Site acceptance test The start-up team included GE commissioning engineers working on DCS-level configuration checks to ensure that the plant was well protected during all anticipated operating scenarios and that switching between different control modes (such as APC control, automatic, and manual functions) was bumpless. Additional configuration changes were made to ensure that the regulatory controllers defaulted to safe mode in the event of failure of the supervisory computer. Before plant step tests, all DCS level control loops were checked to make certain all the basic regulatory controllers were properly tuned. These were not just APC-related loops but also other loops that improved unit stability and ensured smooth plant operation. The GE engineer developed the DCS logic changes, and the K-Power DCS engineer approved the logic changes and implemented the logic changes on site during scheduled outages. GE and plant engineers tested the logic changes thoroughly before the power blocks were returned to operation. Full involvement of plant staff, especially the operations staff, is critical for the success of any APC implementation. During the step testing phase of MVC commissioning, for example, plant operators were fully involved. Continuous and frequent interaction between the GE engineering team and operating personnel allowed the GE engineering team to learn about the intricacies of plant operations. In turn, the plant operators learned more about multivariable control.

Operator Training
The plant operators are the primary users of the APC system, and proper operator training is a critical component of a successful APC project. Formal operator training consists of a systematic and comprehensive training program, which is normally held after commissioning and prior to the site acceptance test. At K-Power, operators were trained on APC fundamentals as well as hands-on usage of the APC system during project implementation and post-commissioning. The APC training material covered basic process control concepts, DCS-based advanced control concepts, multivariable control concepts, and the MVC system. Human machine interface and K-Power-specific control strategies and operational procedures were also discussed. During the hands-on APC system training, the GE engineer explained the control strategies specific to this project and how the multivariable controllers move manipulated variables to satisfy setpoint variables and constraint variables under different scenarios. Operators were trained how to activate and deactivate MVC, how to perform minor troubleshooting, and how to handle system start-up and shutdown. An operators manual was provided at the end of the training. An ongoing supporting services agreement ensures that the benefits derived from the MVC, EfficiencyMap, and what-if tools continue into the future.

The CT inlet pressure drop, exhaust pressure drop, and current CT degradation can be obtained from the online EfficiencyMap system. The user can also estimate the maximum power generated by each block under new and clean conditions. K-Power generates the forecast for the next 24 hours using these tools and then sends the forecast to KPX based on the lowest, highest, and average expected ambient temperatures. After receiving the load profile from K-Power, KPX sends the load profile for the next day back to K-Power by 18:00 hours. The load profile is then converted to a continuous AGC signal, which MVC uses to control plant output by manipulating the power setpoint of the individual CTs.

Commissioning New Controls

A long-term commissioning plan was established at the project kickoff. A complete team charter was also developed to define the roles and responsibilities of the GE engineers and K-Power staff. The MVC commissioning plan had five stages:

Post-APC Performance
The MVC was successfully commissioned at K-Power in October 2007. Thanks to a userfriendly operating interface, a single-window philosophy of operation, and proper training, operators have readily accepted the APC system. This system has achieved measure-

Table 2. Power block test results.

An assessment of the MVC performance was conducted about two years after the system was commissioned. The performance improvement of the plant on AGC control was remarkable. Source: GE Power Improvement in standard deviation (%) 35 Difference between AGC demand and AGC average actual (MW) 14.8 10.5 31 7.4 5.4 27

Dispatch ramp (MW) 500525

MVC status Off On

Average AGC demand (MW) 518.4 512.4 530.5 532.8

Average actual production (MW) 533.2 522.9 537.9 527.4

Standard deviation (MW) Power Block 1 7.2 4.7 7.2 5.0 Power Block 2

Improvement in AGC control (%) 29


Off On


Off On

511.5 545.3 520.8 531.8

527.5 523.5 531.8 527.3

7.8 5.0 10.9 5.1


16 8.2



Off On


11 4.5


Note: AGC = automatic generation controls.

June 2011 POWER



3. Power block 1 MVC performance test results. Source: GE Power


delivers headline news for power generators weekly

AGC power setpoint 570 MVC off 550 530

Actual power

Average setpoint

Actual average power MVC on


510 490 470 450 1 5 9 13 17 21 25 29 33 37 41 45 49 53 57 61 Data points 65 69 73 77 81

4. Power block 2 MVC performance test results. Source: GE Power

AGC power setpoint 570 MVC off 550 MVC on Actual power Average setpoint Actual average power

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able benefits for K-Power, such as improved closed-loop AGC control, stable plant operation, and increased operator understanding of process interactions. A study was conducted in February 2010 to assess the long-term benefits of the MVC. In sum, the APC has provided increased stability in plant operations, and the variation of important plant operating variables has been reduced by a minimum of 30%. These results are seen in the test data, showing the standard deviation calculated between the MVC On and Off conditions, for each power block (Table 2). The MVC has also reduced the variations in overall power generation. With MVC control, overall power generation is controlled closer to plant targets than without MVC control. A minimum 27% improvement was observed. Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the improvement in AGC control between MVC Off and On for each power block. The test data clearly shows

that when MVC is On, the average actual MW is closer to the average AGC MW. A less-quantifiable, but nevertheless important, benefit of the APC is improved operator perception of process interactions and understanding of optimum operating conditions. Process interactions are more clearly visible to operators as the controller simultaneously manipulates variables to maintain a controlled variable at its target value. A plant staff that understands how the MVC works is much more valuable than one that knows only which to buttons to push.

Sang-joon Park is the GE Energy O&M operation manager for K-Power. Gaurav Gupta ( is service manager, LeeMary Ma ( is lead technical specialist, and Uttam Narasimhan (uttam.narasimhan@ is lead application engineer for the Performance & Optimization group in GE Measurement & Control Solutions.
POWER June 2011


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The Urge to Merge

Utility mergers and acquisitions are on the upswing again. When faced with flat load growth, pervasive regulatory uncertainty, and the rising cost of doing business, larger companies are better able to afford expensive new plants while maintaining shareholder dividends.
By Kennedy Maize

o one ever accused Jim Rogers of thinking small. Over his years in the energy business, the Duke Energy CEO has frequently looked around his neighborhood and seen places he wanted to go and companies he wanted to acquire. During his 23 years as a CEO in the electricity business, Rogers has used mergers to grow his companies, his clout, and his reputation, both in industry and in the world of public policy and politics. When Rogers became PSI Energy (Public Service of Indiana) CEO in 1988, his gaze soon fixed on Cincinnati Gas and Electric. It was a troubled utility that nearly foundered on an ill-fated venture into nuclear power. The resulting marriage created a company called Cinergy. Rogers led the merged company for 11 years. In 2006 he orchestrated a deal in which powerhouse Duke acquired little Cinergy; after a suitable cooling-off period, Rogers ended up in the catbird seat. Rogers latest move is to use the muscle of his Charlotte, N.C., utility to acquire his Raleigh-based neighbor, Progress Energy, producing what would be the largest investorowned utility (IOU) in the nation. In the deal announced in January, Duke will buy Progress for $13.7 billion in stock (at a modest 7% premium for Progress shareholders) and assume $12.2 billion in Progress debt, creating a behemoth with a market capitalization (the total value of the combined companies outstanding shares) of $37 billion. The new company, to be headquartered in Charlotte, will own assets worth over $90 billion, serve some 7.1 million customers in six states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky), and have 57 GW of generating capacity, including what the companies claim will be the largest regulated fleet of nuclear plants in the U.S. (Figure 1). Duke currently has seven nuclear units at three sites with a total nameplate capacity of 6,816 MW. Progress has five nuclear units at four sites, totaling 4,345 MW.

An Unlikely Marriage
The Duke-Progress merger caught many by surprise, in part because of the personalities involved. Often, mergers result when a young,

aggressive executive takes over from an older, less-assertive leader looking for an easy path to the first tee. In the case of Duke and Progress, two very strong personalitiesRogers and Progress Chairman, President, and CEO Bill Johnsonare involved. Both can suck the oxygen out of a room just by entering. Johnson is well over six feet tall and fit. He is a former big-time college football player (he matriculated at Penn State under legendary football coach Joe Paterno but transferred to Duke University). Both he and Rogers are lawyers. Unlike the peripatetic and flashy Rogers, Johnson has spent his entire career as an electric utility executive at Progress. According to the merger announcement, Rogers will become a company minence grise, thinking big thoughts and working on the national and international stage. Thats a role that fits his personality. Rogers led the electricity industrys failed endeavor to get Congress to enact a cap-and-trade program to control carbon dioxide emissions. He also has been a leading advocate of utility energy efficiency programs and renewable generation. A rare Democrat swimming in the sea of Republicans inhabiting industry executive suites, Rogers was successful in persuading his party to schedule its 2012 national convention, where President Obama will be renominated, in Charlotte. Johnson will become the day-to-day chess master, moving the pieces around the utilitys broad territory. He has a reputation as a conventional but very effective manager. But the Zen master vs. chess master distinction may not hold, according to one veteran industry observer, who told POWER, The border is pretty blurry. Its hard to tell where public policy and company direction begin and end. A utility lobbyist told the environmental news service Greenwire, Bill Johnson is a deep strategic thinker who is much less likely than Rogers to throw around flavor-ofthe-month ideas in an effort to appease some regulators and legislators. What drives the Duke-Progress merger? Nuclear power plays an important role,

1. Mega-merger pending. Approval of the Duke EnergyProgress Energy merger will form a utility with over $90 billion in assets and annual revenues exceeding $22 billion. The generating capacity of the new Duke Energy Corp. will exceed 57 ,200 MW, and its service territory will cover more than 100,000 square miles. Source: Duke Energy, Progress Energy

Duke Energy Progress Energy

cording to several analysts. Barclays Capital investment banker James K. Asselstine, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), made that point recently at a Platts nuclear conference in Maryland. He noted that at $10 billion a pop, new nuclear plants can sink a company. NRG Energy, for example, was, until recently, heavily involved in the South Texas Project (STP) nuclear expansion, to the tune of more than $5 billion for its share. The company has a market capitalization of $5 billion, so failure in Texas could mean goodnight for NRG. On April 19, NRG announced it was writing down its investment in the development of STP Units 3 and 4, at least partially in response to the nuclear disaster in Japan. A combined market cap of $37 billion for the new Duke-Progress utility would make investments in new nuclear more palatable, Asselstine concluded. Barclays Capital is advising Progress in the merger.
POWER June 2011



In an interview, Peter Fox-Penner of The Brattle Group agreed there was a nuclear aspect to the deal. There is no question, a bigger balance sheet is better for companies that see a future in new nukes, he said. Thats clearly a major part of it. A well-run utility in two states with conventional cost-of-service state regulation, Progress was clearly an attractive target for a takeover. John Rowe, the aggressive CEO of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., acknowledged after the Duke announcement that he had considered a play for Progress. But Rowe said his number crunchers couldnt make the deal work out. Rowes Exelon lost a major merger move five years ago when its plan to take over New Jerseys PSEG Corp. faltered because the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities nixed the deal. That merger would have created the largest U.S. IOU. Rowe made it clear he was still looking to grow through acquisitions, and on Apr. 28, Exelon announed a $7.9 billion deal to acquire Constellation Energy. If the deal is approved by regulators, it will make Exelon the countrys largest operator of nuclear plants. Allegheny Energy, headquartered outside Pittsburgh, were wrapping up their $8.5 billion combo. Announced in February 2010, the FirstEnergy-Allegheny deal got the final seal of approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission almost exactly a year later, on Feb. 25, 2011. The new, beefier FirstEnergy will have some $16 billion in annual revenues and six million customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. FirstEnergy was the result of merger mania that escalated in the 1980s and peaked in the 1990s. That episode was largely driven by structural changes in the electricity business that resulted in the creation of competitive wholesale and retail markets serving about half of the states, plus the unique need to deal with troubled, high-cost nuclear plants. Akron, Ohiobased FirstEnergy was born of the 1986 merger of Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison, two troubled neighbors who joined to create Centerior Energy Corp. Toledo owned the Davis-Besse nuclear plant, which has had a checkered history (Figure 2). Centerior became FirstEnergy in 1997 by merging with Ohio Edison. FirstEnergy acquired GPU Corp. in 2001, which owned Three Mile Island (TMI) Unit 2, which was shut down in 1979 and never reopened. Exelon Nuclear owns and operates TMI Unit 1.

Merchant Mergers
Mergers on the merchant side of the business are also picking up speed. The most recent example is the newly minted GenOn Energy Inc., a mixture of Mirant Corp. and RRI Energy Inc. When that deal closed in early December 2010, the combined 23,600-MW merchant operator instantly became one of the largest independent power producers in the U.S. Edward R. Muller, chairman and CEO of GenOn, said the merger will create significant near-term stockholder value driven by $150 million of annual cost savings.

Is This a Trend?
Are the Duke-Progress, FirstEnergy-Allegheny, and ExelonConstellation Energy deals evidence of a revitalized trend of electric company mergers? Opinions are mixed. According to Thomson Reuters Deals Intelligence, Merger activity in the energy and power sector is off to its fastest ever start in a year, with nearly $94 billion in deals so far in 2011, up 40% over last year. That assessment came in February, after the Duke announcement and just as the FirstEnergy deal was closing. The figures include foreign merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, such as BPs $7 billion hookup with Indias Reliance Industries. According to Thomson Reuters, Cross-border energy & power deals have accounted for $58.1 billion of the activity this year, or 63 percent of worldwide mergers in the sector. U.S. targeted deals have accounted for roughly half of the volume. Berenson & Co. electric analyst Ed Tirello is bullish about electric company mergers. But then, he would be. Tirello is famous for his 1987 50 in five prediction: He predicted that only 50 investor-owned electric utilities would be around in 1992. He missed. According to the Energy Information Administration, in 2000 there were 240 IOUs in the U.S. Tirello chuckles at his missed prognostication. Its taken a bit longer, he says with good humor, but the premise doesnt go away. Look at the industry as a whole. It doesnt matter what the generating fleet looks like today, it is all going to have to be turned over in this country in the next 20 years. Years ago, we did five, 10, 20-year advanced plans. Deregulation messed that up and we stopped doing it. And we are back to doing that planning again. [The Environmental Protection Agency] is putting pressure on generation. Plants are getting old. Rules change and fuels change, and you must get the money somewhere to keep the lights on. So, in Tirellos mind, the way to find the resources is to bulk up. When you look at mergers so far, says Tirello, each one had a particular reason. But the overall theme is still there: fewer and larger.
POWER June 2011

FirstEnergy Deal Closes

As Duke and Progress were unveiling their mergerthe start of at least a year-long journeyCleveland-based FirstEnergy and

2. Buy rather than build. FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., a subsidiary of FirstEnergy
Corp., owns the single-unit 879-MW Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. The plant was originally owned by Centerior Energy Corp.created by the merger of Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edisonand was acquired by FirstEnergy in 1997 In August 2010, FirstEnergy . submitted a license renewal application for Davis-Besse (which is licensed to operate through 2017) to the NRC, a process that is sure to be extremely contentious given the plants uneven operating history. Source: NRC



You need stronger balance sheets to change the fleet over. The Brattle Groups Fox-Penner isnt buying all of Tirellos analysis. The industry is always considering mergers and acquisitions, he said. Nothing jumps out at me as a major driving force today. There are always a lot of factors hitting the industry at any one time, things such as the cost of debt and equity, strategic factors, regulation. Maybe there are times when they all align, as Ed Tirello thought they did in the 1980s, but I dont see any kind of alignment of factors at this time. Fox-Penner points to the deal last year when PPL Corp. agreed to buy E.ON.US for $7.6 billion (cash and debt) as an example of how particulars drive business marriages. In that case, PPL, based in Allentown, Pa., had become essentially an unregulated merchant generator. The U.S. arm of the German multinational E.ON was the owner of conventional, state-regulated, cost-of-service utilities: Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities. The particular structural elements led to that particular deal and not some larger force at work in the industry. Following the same playbook as Tirello, Todd Shipman of Standard & Poors said the rating agency expects to see 25 in 5 or 25 utility mergers in the next five years. Given the Duke-Progress, Northeast UtilitiesNStar, and FirstEnergy-Allegheny hookups over the past year, that prediction seems a safe bet. Shipman pointed to several factors that are likely to bring utilities together over the next few years: Low electricity sales growth putting pressure on dividend growth. Rising costs of environmental retrofits in response to regulatory and legislative requirements. The perpetual regulatory uncertainty that hangs over the industry. Direct investment by deep-pocketed foreign countries or companies (often there is little difference between the two) in either equities or as a market for technology sales.

ing, so it makes sense to spread out over a larger customer base for some companies. On the other hand, Vince said, Its hard to know if we are actually seeing a trend. It will take some more time to reach any conclusion on that question. Add the market research firm of Wood Mackenzie to those who see a merger trend in progress. In a recent report, Wood Mackenzie says it expects M&A activity in the power business to intensify in 2011 as North American power markets remain

Though its difficult to find a clear-cut merger trend, one new element feeds the urge to merge. Since 2005 it has become easier although still time-consuming and costlyto pull off a major merger. For 70 years, starting with the 1935 Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), federal policy looked askance at electric utility mergers, although the vigilance waned considerably in the final two decades of that period. The 1935 law was the result of the collapse of Samuel Insulls pyramid of utility holding companies in the

During the past two years, some 13% of installed North American power plant capacity has been involved in M&A deals.

A carefully designed complementary merger can reduce corporate risks and, therefore, costs, providing desirable upward pressure on company earnings over the long term. Veteran Washington energy lawyer Clint Vince is agnostic when it comes to merger trends. There is a certain logic to electric generating company mergers, he said in an interview. The businesses have spread out beyond state borders, its an increasingly competitive business, and major capital costs, particularly for nuclear, are increasJune 2011 POWER

oversupplied with power generating capacity and face sluggish demand growth prospects and environmental policy pressures. Hind Farag, North American research manager for the firm, notes that during the past two years, some 13% of installed North American power plant capacity has been involved in M&A deals. Since January 2009, she said, completed and announced M&A activity has involved at least 148 gigawatts of existing generators in North America while only about 70 GW of new resources achieved commercial operation during the same time period. Generalizations are dangerous when discussing energy mergers, because that rubric encompasses so much: Integrated oil companies, wildcatters, new shale gas developers, merchant electric generators, regulated electric companies, and local gas distribution companies all fall under the heading. Tracking trends across such a diverse landscape becomes daunting. One indicator, and it is far from conclusive, is the pace of mergers coming before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC must review all mergers that involve electric utility assets used in interstate commerce. According to FERC data, the late 1990s represented the peak of the agencys merger activity. FERC dealt with 17 merger applications in 1997, 15 in 1999, and 16 in 2000. In contrast, it saw four merger applications in 2005, 10 in 2006, five in 2007, three in 2008 and 2009, and two last year.

Great Depression, a disaster that dwarfed this centurys Fall of the House of Enron. Congress in the 2005 Energy Policy Act essentially repealed PUHCA requirements for vigorous FERC merger oversight. Since then, the states have largely supervised mergers of firms under their jurisdiction. New Jersey, not FERC, killed the Exelon-PSEG affair. Only a few states have taken their merger authority to heart. Scott Hempling, head of the National Regulatory Research Institute, the policy think tank for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, said he has been trying to encourage states to develop a merger policy but has had limited success. Hempling argues that states should look hard at mergers based on whether they further the broad interests of consumers in the state, not simply based on whether they are benign or on what state regulators can extort from the parties in merger conditions. There has not really been an understanding of the key effects a merger can have on a state, Hempling says, citing potential issues such as the impact on ancillary services, renewable generation, and transmission needs. Are we producing corporate structures so diverse and complex and financing too difficult for normally staffed regulators to keep track of, he asks? His implication is that the answer is yes.

Kennedy Maize is a POWER contributing editor and executive editor of MANAGING POWER.


Fully Automating HRSG Feedwater Pumps

Modern distributed control system platforms can provide many tools to capture best operating practices and automate them. This case study shows the steps taken to automate a hypothetical simplified feedwater pump system for a combined-cycle power plant. It describes a combination of controls automation strategies and human-machine interface techniques designed to increase the overall level of automation while improving ease of use.
By Steven Leibbrandt and Bill Thackston, Siemens Energy Inc.

odern distributed control system (DCS) platforms offer capabilities that were unavailable just a few years ago. Features such as integrated graphical engineering environments, simplified sequencing controls, and improved human-machine interfaces (HMI) make higher levels of automation more practical from the standpoints of implementation, maintenance, and ease of use. The timing of these advances couldnt be bettercritical operating personnel throughout the power industry are approaching retirement age, and there are insufficient numbers of skilled younger personnel to replace them. Leveraging the existing plant knowledge base to design automation that reduces the burden on plant operators will be essential to meeting tomorrows plant demands. As an example, the following case study describes automating a simplified feedwater system for a combined-cycle power plant. The existing legacy DCS controls are proven and reliable; however, the sequence of operations and coordination of regulatory controls is not automated, therefore, it requires a high degree of knowledge and attention on the part of the operator. This case study describes a combination of controls automation strategies and HMI techniques designed to increase the overall level of automation while improving ease of use by operators and maintenance personnel. (Note: DCS examples were developed using the Siemens SPPA-T3000 DCS platform. A detailed description of this control system was included in Upgraded Control System Adds to Merchant Plants Bottom Line, January 2009, available at The as-found DCS graphics and controls strategy for this case study form the basis for comparison with newer strategies, so a brief discussion of the existing automation base48

line is in order. The reference information used in this case study was provided by the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) but also incorporates information taken from one or more operating plants.

The Hypothetical Plants Layout

The hypothetical plant consists of two combined-cycle combustion turbines, each with a heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG). Both HRSG units are coupled to a single steam turbine with feedwater supplied from a common condenser and the hotwell, the receptacle for the hot water drawn from the condenser by the air pump. Looking at a single HRSG, the feedwater train consists of a pair of 100% capacity feedwater pumps and a set of three drums for low-pressure (LP), intermediate-pressure (IP), and high-pressure (HP) steam headers. The feedwater pumps transfer feedwater from the LP drum to the IP and HP drums. Minimum flow through the pump is maintained by a recirculation line back to the LP drum with a modulating valve and a variable-flow setpoint calculated from the pump manufacturers operating curves. Both pumps share supply lines and valves to the IP and HP drums. Each pump is equipped with a variable frequency drive (VFD) for speed control and has a dedicated lube oil pump.

Control of VFD and feedwater valves applies regardless of single- or three-element level control. The VFD runs at minimum speed, modulating the IP valve to maintain IP drum level and the HP start-up valve to maintain HP drum level until the HP start-up valve is fully open. Once the HP start-up valve is fully open, the VFD will modulate to keep the IP valve within its control range (<85%). If the IP valve is <85% open, modulate the IP valve to maintain IP drum level and modulate the VFD to maintain HP drum level. If the IP valve is >85% open and the HP start-up valve is fully open, increase the VFD speed until the IP valve output is <85%. Modulate the HP main feedwater valve to maintain the HP drum level.

Existing Baseline HMI

The existing operator interface for each feedwater train consists of three full-screen graphics. The first is a partial schematic of the feedwater system, showing pumps and discharge lines, but not the drums. The second graphic is a collection of control faceplates for use in setting up discrete devices and regulatory controls. The last display is a tabular collection of relevant plant operating data, including feedwater pumps and drum conditions. Each feedwater pump has numerous process interlocks that are not immediately accessible from the HMI.

Existing Drum Level Control

Feedwater control to IP and HP drums consists of both single- and three-element drum level control. Single-element controls modulate the supply valve to each drum based on the level. Three-element control uses steam flow from the drum as a feedforward signal to a feedwater flow controller whose setpoint is modulated to maintain desired drum level. Pump speed is modulated to adjust IP and HP flows in coordination with the feedwater valves as follows:

Case Study Assumptions

The assumptions for this case study are as follows:

Only normal operation is considered (no power augmentation). Pump failure will start the standby device without cycling common discharge valves.
POWER June 2011

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1. Automation hierarchy.
This schematic shows the main automation structure for the feedwater pumps. The sequence for a feedwater system is controlled by a single subgroup control block. The two feedwater pumps are in turn managed by a single device configuration overlay block. Courtesy: Siemens Energy Inc. SGC

2. Friendly reminders. This figure shows typical messages and operator prompts. Courtesy: Siemens Energy Inc.

Pump1 Motor

Step 1


Pump2 Motor

Notes: DCO = device configuration overlay, SGC = subgroup control. Step 2

3. One-click convenience. A single consolidated process graphic encompasses the major components of the feedwater system, including the LP IP and HP drums. Courtesy: Siemens , , Energy Inc.

Shutdown will stop all pumps and close all valves in the feedwater system. VFD and feedwater valve coordination as supplied on the piping and instrumentation diagram appears incorrect. The original operation as stated above is an interpretation.

Proposed Control Strategies

Operators and maintenance personnel can use a number of control strategies to improve the operation of their facilities feedwater pump systems. Open-Loop Control. There are many possible methods of automating boiler feed pump systems. The method chosen minimizes the number of sequences so the operator can easily follow the actions of the automation system. This becomes more important as the whole power plant is automated. The sequence is used to place equipment in service and place closed-loop controls in the relevant modes, such as filling, start-up drum level, and normal drum level control. The protection logic is carried out directly at the device drive level. A basic principle is that the operator has the option to control at all times. Any field equipment loss of status during start-up after being placed in service (such as the isolating valve open status being lost) should be handled as a status discrepancy on the device. The affected closed-loop controls utilize the process values (feedwater flow and isolating valve not closed) to maintain their operation. The plant protects itself through the process values (drum level trip). On this basis, reversing sequences are not recommended as a best practice. Instead, the sequence design utilizes check-backs from the process (such as pressures and flows) and device check-backs as the sequence feedback

for overrides and step criteria. If a sequence is restarted, fulfilled criteria or override check-backs bring the sequence back to point of action required immediately. As a result, status discrepancies can be used to stop the sequence and allow the operator to investigate the fault and restart the sequence without unnecessary actions on the sequence or process. The main automation structure for the feedwater pumps is given in Figure 1.The sequence for a feedwater system is controlled by a single subgroup control (SGC) block. The two feedwater pumps are, in turn, managed by a single device configuration overlay (DCO) block. Each motor has a separate motor block, with appropriate logic for permissives, interlocks, and automatic operation. Sequential Logic. The sequence logic mirrors the steps and actions of the manual start-up sequence taken from a plant operating procedure. The complete sequence begins with no pumps running, first having the operator go through the required manual checks. Once the system is ready, the IP and HP drums are isolated, the recirculation path is opened,

the lube oil pumps are started, and the selected pump is started. From this point forward, a pump failure will cause the DCO block to start the standby pump. In fact, the switchover logic will remain in effect even after the main sequence is complete. Steps match the written sequence for this example but could easily be consolidated for simplicity. Shutdown. The shutdown sequence initiates the closure of the IP and HP feedwater and isolation valves as well as the feedwater and lube oil pumps. Operator Prompts. As the sequence progresses, three single-line messages appear on the screen. The first line displays an operator prompt and acknowledgement button, if required. The second line is a description of the current step actions and conditions. The final line lists information related to the next step in the sequence. Figure 2 shows typical messages and an operator prompt.

HMI Concepts for Robustness

Several concepts built into the HMI have the goal of improving the operator interface: A single process graphic simplifies navigaPOWER June 2011

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tion as well as monitoring of the feedwater system; linked pop-up displays provide easy access to more detailed information; and a dedicated alarm summary displays a prefiltered set of alarms related to the feedwater system for faster reference. Single Process Graphic. A single consolidated process graphic encompasses the major components of the feedwater system, including the LP, IP, and HP drums. Figure 3 shows typical messages and an operator prompt. Control is accessed by faceplates linked to each dynamic symbol. The sequence (SGC) and group (DCO) controls are linked here as well. A space on the page is reserved for operator messages and prompts during the sequence. Access to control settings, alarms, and the linked control diagram is given by the icons below the title bar. Linking to the online control diagram permits one-click checking of logic or permissive/interlock conditions. Pop-up Displays. For major equipment such as a feedwater pump, it is sometimes useful to have a dedicated set of small popup displays, each linked to a button on the process display. Figure 4 shows several examples. The permissives listed in the EPRI case study have been assembled into a small pop-up overlay, along with a similar list of interlocks for each pump. Bearing temperatures and other pump/motor data are available from the data button.

4. Pop-ups in a flash. For major equipment such as a feedwater pump, it is sometimes useful to have a dedicated set of small pop-up displays, each linked to a button on the process display. Courtesy: Siemens Energy Inc.

5. Easy overrider.

Once the IP valve throttles below 85%, the variable-frequency drive (VFD) could remain above minimum speed indefinitely. An alternative approach is to change the VFD strategy by introducing an override controller. Courtesy: Siemens Energy Inc. HP drum level LI PI HP steam flow FI + + PI HP feedwater flow FI PI 3-element No T Yes

A IP valve output + PI 85% A

Regulatory (Closed-Loop) Control

Single push-button start-up is not possible without stable regulatory controls. This stability is required not only during normal operation but also during start-up and throughout the full operating range of the unit. With this in mind, the coordination of the VFD and feedwater valves is revisited.

VFD Control Strategies

Provided stable operation is maintained, reducing pump load can result in significant energy savings. Assuming a plant electrical load of approximately 1.5 MW for the feed pump, a 10% reduction in pump load would save over 1,300 MWh annually. The strategy as described for the case study uses the VFD in combination with the feedwater valves in an overlapping split range. The VFD starts at minimum speed (a 35% turndown from maximum). It increases as needed once the valves are at the upper end of their control range and only modulates while the IP valve is less than 85% open. One consequence of this strategy is a somewhat disjointed control response and an undesirable coupling of the IP and HP drum levels. For example, as the VFD speed increases, both the IP and HP valves throttle back in re52




f(X) HP valve output

f(X) Pump master speed control

sponse to increased flow. Once the IP valve throttles below 85%, the VFD could remain above minimum speed indefinitely. An alternative approach is to change the VFD strategy by introducing an override

troller, as illustrated in Figure 5. For simplicity, a single output is used for the HP drum. This output could in turn be sent to each valve via a balancing control or simple split range. The IP drum level controls also are not
POWER June 2011


6. Curbing disturbances. Changing the override to a bias function and adding a decoupling function to this control strategy minimizes disturbances to HP drum levels during override conditions. Courtesy: Siemens Energy Inc. HP drum level A LI PI HP steam flow FI + + + PI 3-element No T Yes + + PI HP feedwater flow FI IP valve output + PI 85% A

f(X) f(X) + +


HP valve output f(X) f(X) Pump master speed control

drum levels. Providing stable drum levels is a key part of any full start-up automation. Operators use different strategies to deal with the so-called drum-level rodeo. This sometimes entails continuous blowdown of the drums to ensure that the feedwater is continuously flowing, mitigating the effect of feedwater cycling and temperature differential between the water entering the drum and drum water/steam temperatures. However, this requires continuous attention by the operators. Pressure variations also affect the drum level through the compressibility of the water-steam mix, and cause steam flow variation leaving the drum. This means any instabilities or cycling of the bypass systems are also reflected in the drum level. In addition, variations in the rate of pressure change affect the drum level. This effect is also utilized by operators when manually influencing the drum level. Bypass strategies have been implemented that stabilize drum level controls, and pressure-raising strategies have been used to stabilize drum level for cold through hot starts. In addition, including the pressure dynamics in the drum level controls has proven to be a factor in stabilizing drum level controls during start-up. Proper tuning of the controls is also a must. Because the boiler feed pumps usually supply water for attemperation of steam supply and bypass lines, changing the supply pressure may affect these temperature controls, requiring further coordination. One example might be a pressure control feedforward to the temperature controls; decreasing boiler feed pump discharge pressure increases spray water demand.

shown in this scheme for simplicity but could also be added as an additional override. The level control demand output for the HP drum, whether single- or three-element, is passed to both the HP valve and the pump VFD. As long as the IP valve stays below 85% open, this output is a simple split range, with the valve opening from 0% to 100%, then increasing the pump from minimum to maximum from 100% to 200%. A hidden direct-acting controller (error = process variable setpoint) monitors the IP valve demand with a fixed setpoint. The output of this controller passes through the high select function to the VFD. As the valves respond to the increased flow by throttling, the override controller output returns to zero, which allows the HP valve to open completely and the VFD to modulate to maintain level. The master speed control drives the speed controls for both pumps. This control scheme has the advantage of being simple yet efficient; however, it does
June 2011 POWER

retain some coupling between IP and HP drums. As a further modification, changing the override to a bias function and adding a decoupling function to this control strategy would minimize disturbances to HP drum level during override conditions. This modified strategy is illustrated in Figure 6. As in the previous diagram, the IP drum level is omitted for simplicity. To account for this, a second proportional integral controller would be added to the scheme with IP feedwater valve position as its controlled variable. The two positioning controllers would pass to the VFD via a high select, with decoupling biases to each valve.

Simple, Yet Complex

Even a relatively simple start-up process can have many steps and delays for operator cross-checks. Automation can simplify the procedure for the operator while reducing start-up time. In addition, more sophisticated controls techniques may be applied to improve process stability, reduce energy usage, and increase operating flexibility. This article was written based on case study guidelines provided by the Electric Power Research Institute. The control diagrams created for this case study are available in PDF format from the authors, via email request (george.thackston@siemens .com). Portions of this article were presented at the 2010 ISA POWID Symposium.

Process Aspects: Pressure Variations, Drum Swell, and Stability

During start-up, the drum level controls can be a challenge for any operator. The operator and controls have to contend with drum level shrink/swell; the drum level swings due to the interaction of the steam pressures and the

Steven Leibbrandt (steven.leibbrandt@, chief technology officer, and Bill Thackston (george.thackston@, principal engineer, work for Siemens Energy Inc.


The T-Point Plant: The Ultimate Validation Test

Fourteen years ago, the MHI T-Point demonstration combined-cycle plant in Takasago, Japan, changed the way modern gas turbines are validated under real operating conditions. In February, T-Point marked yet another milestone by starting to validate the worlds largest and highest efficiency gas turbine, which operates at the unprecedented turbine inlet temperature of 1,600C.
By Angela Neville, JD

ntil the 1990s, gas turbine prototypes were shop-tested and validated at beta sites where commercial power production was typically hampered by issues associated with the introduction of new technologies. In order to optimize the process of detecting and correcting defects during the validation phase, and to prevent exposing clients to the debugging process, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) introduced the concept of in-house validation under real operating conditions. The plants providing this service are operated and maintained by MHI staff and sell their electrical output to local utility companies. Carlos Koeneke, vice president, project engineering at Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Inc., told POWER in April that MHI built the first 50-Hz validation plant, KPoint, in Kanazawa in 1992. It was followed in 1997 by a 60-Hz counterpart in Takasago, called T-Point (Figure 1). These demonstration plants were the first of their kind and revolutionized the way validation of advanced gas turbines is performed, Koeneke said. K-Point plant was decommissioned several years ago, but T-Point plant continues selling the generated power and even today, 14 years after T-Point went commercial, there is no other company that performs the comprehensive validation that the T-Point plant provides. The highest cost of sustained long-term validation under real operating conditions is not the equipment but the fuel consumed. The T-Point plant is maintained and operated by MHI under dispatch instructions from the local utility (Kansai Electric). The plant is frequently started and stopped, and every single MW is sold under a contract, as with any other independent power producer. Koeneke explained that this arrangement makes it possible, from the economic point of view, to sustain long-term validation operation.

1. Carrying its own financial weight. The T-Point combined-cycle plant is maintained
and operated by MHI under dispatch instructions from the local utility, Kansai Electric. The plant is frequently started and stopped, and every single MW of generated electricity is sold under a contract. This makes it economically possible to sustain long-term validation operation. Courtesy: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI)

A Strong Track Record

In addition to revolutionizing the way modern industrial gas turbines are validated, in 1997 the T-Point plant pioneered the introduction of steam cooling to gas turbines. Through extensive validation of the steamcooled M501G gas turbine, as well as the upgraded M501G1 gas turbine in 2003, the T-Point plant delivered excellent results that facilitated deployment of the largest and most successful steam-cooled fleet of gas turbines in the market. To date, 47 units in operation have logged in excess of one million actual hours and 11,600 starts. This impressive GSeries record culminated with the introduction of the air-cooled version, which also was validated since 2009. Operating and maintaining the demonstration plants in the same facility where design and manufacturing occurs (the MHI Takasago Machinery Works, which also includes a rheostat shop test facility that can

be used to test off-frequency conditions) results in a smooth debugging process with a lower risk of failures and quick recovery after unforeseen issues, Koeneke explained. The validation process would not be representative of real operating conditions if the running modes were not determined by a real demand condition or if the duration of the validation run were restricted to only a few hundred hours due to the high cost of fuel. The T-Point plant has logged more than 2,300 start-stop cycles, 1,300 of those correspond to daily operating cycles. It has also operated more than 420 days, either continuously or under weekly start/stop cycles. Because of the lower failure and interruption risks, this demonstration concept is widely praised by the insurance community, Koeneke said. The testing scope goes beyond the gas turbine. T-Point also has allowed testing of a number of innovations, including steam turbine upgrades, air-cooled
POWER June 2011


condenser technology, generators, and static frequency converters. Donald S. Schubert is the senior vice president of the Power Practice Division of Marsh Inc., an insurance company in the energy sector that provides coverage in the areas of project risk management, claims services, and errors and omissions protection for engineering services. He told POWER that he agrees with Koenekes assessment of the value of the demonstration concept pioneered by MHI. Looking back at the history of all the [original equipment manufacturers] efforts to test and validate their new engines, T-Point certainly leads historically for the application of load dynamic testing, Schubert said. MHIs early industrial approach was testing in a power plant environment where dispatch and loading of units are not under their control. The insurance communitys point of view shows that MHIs approach promotes advanced product validation in a non-owner operator environment, according to Schubert. The new engine validation supports technology acceptance by the insurance markets by clarifying risks associated with new and upgraded designs.

Validating Upgraded Components During Periods of Low Demand

MHI uses periods of low demand to inspect the plants equipment and to introduce upgraded components intended to promote enhanced reliability and performance, Koeneke said. Designers and research and development staff based in nearby buildings have the ability to request the installation of temporary sensors that allow them to gather valuable insights pertaining to the modified parts. They have the invaluable opportunity to see immediate, first-hand results of their modifications and review their ideas to develop even better designs. Numerous improvements to the GSeries fleet of gas turbines were validated at the T-Point plant and consequently resulted in the high reliability this class enjoys.

2. Traveling turbine. The M501J gas turbine is prepared for transportation to the T-Point
plant for validation testing. Courtesy: MHI

Another Milestone: Demonstration of the M501J Gas Turbine

In November 2010, after T-Point staff completed validation of the air-cooled M501GAC gas turbine, they replaced this frame with the first M501J gas turbine (Figures 2 and 3). T-Point has achieved another unprecedented milestone with the ongoing demonstration operation of this turbine, which has a inlet temperature of 1,600C (2,912F). Thats 100C higher than the current highest-temperature engine. The 60-Hz J-Series turbine achieves a rated power output of about 320 MW (ISO basis) and 460 MW combined-cycle power generation. According to MHI, this new gas turbine is able to withstand temperatures 100 degrees higher than the companys existing 1,500 Cclass G-Series gas turbine because of a lowthermal-conductivity thermal barrier coating technology and improvements in cooling efficiency. The adoption of an enhanced threedimensional design contributes to improved aerodynamics. In the J-Series gas turbine, the compressor is designed to provide a higher compression ratio, while the combustor carries on the steam-cooled technology originally developed for the G-Series turbine. We have rheostat capabilities at Takasago Machinery Works, but it is naive . . . to assume that the short-term shop test operations with or without off-frequency operations can replace true validation under demand conditions, Koeneke said. However, Validation should replicate as much as possible the operating conditions the equipment will be exposed for years to come, and no demonstration plant in the world has achieved this task better than the T-Point Plant.

3. Making the mark. The T-Point achieved another unprecedented milestone with the ongoing demonstration operation of the M501J gas turbine, which has a turbine inlet temperature of 1,600C (2,912F). Courtesy: MHI

Angela Neville, JD is POWERs senior editor.

June 2011 POWER



Selecting Your Next Combustion Turbine

With natural gas serving as the fuel de jour, many utilities and merchant generators will be considering the purchase of new combustion turbines in the near future. If you are in the market for a gas turbine, here are some key design features you should discuss with turbine vendors prior to your next purchase.
By Amin Almasi, WorleyParsons Services Pty Ltd.

he growth of the combustion turbine (CT) market over the past two decades has been facilitated by progress in three technologies:

Metallurgical advances that have made possible high temperatures in turbine components (especially turbine blades) and combustors. The advancement of aerodynamic and thermodynamic knowledge (especially from aircraft and spacecraft industries). Advanced computer technology used in the design and simulation of turbine airfoils, combustors, and turbine blade cooling configurations.

Combined, these advances have made possible CT designs with state-of-the-art 1,600C (2,912F) turbine inlet temperatures and combined-cycle efficiency pushing the 60% thermal efficiency barrier. The challenge for a purchaser of a new CT is what questions to ask, given that these design advances are not readily apparent. The discussion that follows is not meant to tell a manufacturer how to design a CT, nor is it comprehensive. Rather, it is intended to prompt some useful planning before a potential buyer has the first technical discussion with a potential supplier.

for aero-derivative turbines and hydrodynamic ones for industrial turbines), and the lube oil system. Industrial turbines are also field erected and maintained in place, whereas aero-derivative turbine plants are designed for a quick replacement of the entire engine when maintenance is required. Manufacturers of aero-derivative CTs include General Electric, Rolls Royce (Figure 1), and Pratt & Whitney. Manufacturers of industrial CTs include Siemens (Figure 2), Mitsubishi (see page 54), Alstom (Figure 3), General Electric, and Solar Turbines Inc. Each manufacturers CT is available in 50-Hz and 60-Hz models. Selection of CT type is usually made based on the nature and location of service and a long list of site-specific design

1. Rolls Royce RB211. The

44-MW engine upgrade released by Rolls Royce in mid2010 boasts a 41.5% thermal efficiency. The high-pressure turbine and much of the triplespool compressor is based on aero engine technology. Courtesy: Rolls Royce

2. Siemens SGT6-8000H. Siemens Energy introduced the 60-Hz version of its combustion turbine in June 2010. The 274-MW turbine features a turbine inlet temperature of 1,500C. This turbine can go from standby to start in 5 minutes and can reach full power in 15 minutes. Courtesy: Siemens Energy

Turbine Configurations
CTs are usually categorized as either heavy frame industrial or aero-derivative gas turbines, although a few turbines have recently adopted features of both design types. One good example of a hybrid is General Electrics LMS100; it has a Frame 6FA low-pressure compressor and a CF6-80C2 high-pressure compressor. In general, the differences between the aero-derivative and industrial turbines are weight, size, combustor and turbine design, bearing design (antifriction bearings

POWER June 2011


3. Alstom GT24/26.
The sequential combustion system is a unique feature of the GT24/26. Compressed air is heated in the first combustion chamber (EnVironmental or EV combustor) by adding about 50% of the total fuel (at baseload). The pressure is halved after the combustion gases expand through the single-stage high-pressure turbine. The remaining fuel is added into the second combustion chamber (Sequential EnVironmental or SEV combustor), where the combustion gas is heated a second time to the maximum turbine inlet temperature. The gas then expands through a four-stage low-pressure turbine. Courtesy: Alstom

4. Cold-end-drive option. The typical single-shaft combustion turbine has the compressor
and turbine sections on opposite ends of the shaft. The driveshaft in this figures extends from the compressor section, hence it is a cold-end-drive engine. If the driveshaft extended from the turbine end, it would be a hot-end-drive engine. Source: WorleyParsons Services Pty Ltd.

Combustion chamber




Generator Atmosphere air intake Exhaust to atmospheric

5.Two-shaft option. The typical two-shaft or split-shaft combustion turbine configuration places
the compressor and gas generator turbine on a common shaft. The hot exhaust gases aerodynamically connect the power or free turbine to produce shaft power for the generator or other driven load. The advantage of this configuration is that the output shaft speed can be controlled to that required by the generator to eliminate a gearbox. Aero-derivative configurations use multiple gas generator sections on concentric shafts to improve efficiency. Source: WorleyParsons Services Pty Ltd. Gas generator section Combustion chamber Fuel in Starter Compressor Shaft Power turbine section

and economic factors that are usually led by the projected price of natural gas. The conventional wisdom was once to place aero-derivative units in remotely located applications (including offshore) and to place heavy frame industrial units in easily accessible baseload applications. However, about 10 years ago in the U.S., the combined cycle, based on the aero-derivative turbine, became very popular given both the speed at which a plant could be constructed and its superior efficiency. Both CT types are available in different configurations. In the hot-end-drive configuration the output shaft is at the turbine or exhaust end, where the higher temperatures can affect bearing life and make servicing of those bearings more difficult. In the cold-end-drive configuration, the output shaft extends out the front of the compressor, allowing the exhaust gas flow to be axial in some models (Figure 4). With a cold-end-drive turbine, the driven equipment is also relatively cooler and easier to service. However, the compressor inlet and ducting must be configured to accommodate the output shaft and the driven equipment. In sum, the CT configuration is usually selected, when possible, by application and site configuration. Single-spool, integral output shaft CTs (in both hot-end and cold-end-drive configurations) are used primarily to drive electric generators. However, the high torque required to start pumps and compressors under full pressure results in high turbine temperature during the start-up cycle when internal cooling airflow is low or nonexistent. The solution has been to connect a single (or two or three) spool compressor/ turbine section (also called a gas generator) that produces hot gases to a separate power or free turbine. The gas generator is not physically connected to the power turbine shaft but is coupled aerodynamically (Figure 5). Also, the power turbine can be designed to operate at the same speed as the generator, not the gas generator, and often eliminates the need for a gearbox to match speeds. (Typical gearbox losses are 2% to 4% of power.)

Keep It Clean
Its often said that the key to achieving maximum CT life is keeping the combustion air, fuel, and lubricating oil clean. There are few areas in the plant where an owner can more easily improve long-term performance, and therefore profitability, of the plant than in these three systems. Clean Air. The inlet and exhaust systems should be selected for the minimum practical pressure drop because those losses are
POWER June 2011

Gas generator turbine

Power Shaft turbine


Hot gas flow Air intake Exhaust


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paid for every hour that the plant operates. The filter should remove 100% of particles in the inlet air that are 3 microns and larger and, at minimum, 99% of particles 0.5 to 3 microns. Be sure to include an entry screen to prevent debris from entering the filter house; orient the air inlet, louver, or cowling to minimize entry of driving rain, snow, or sand; also ensure that there is good access to all parts of the air filter module for maintenance and filter element replacement. The optimum duct design will:

7.5 m. The air inlet (elevated a minimum of 5 m) and CT exhaust should also be located outside a three-dimensional fire hazardous zone and outside any classified electrical area. Clean Oil. A good gauge of the oil cooling system design quality is to confirm that the inlet oil temperature and oil temperature rise through the bearing are less than 50C and 33C, respectively. Another good

strainer with stainless steel internals) and a blowdown system (manual valve) for purging and warming up the fuel system for approximately 20 minutes prior to starting. A manual valve closed about 2 minutes after starting should be included as well as a safety shutdown valve. The plot limit valve (fail safe) for trip on gas knockout drum high liquid level (manual and automatic) preceded by a high level

Minimize the number of direction changes required before the air enters the compressor, including required turning vanes (to ensure uniform flow distribution and avoid resonance). Limit the inlet air velocity to between 20 meters (m)/s and 30 m/s. Design ducts to be sufficiently rigid to avoid vibration (plate 5 to 10 millimeters thick is generally used). Include plenty of man-ways for cleaning and inspection. Include a differential-pressure alarm for each stage of filtration.

Its often said that the key to achieving maximum CT life is keeping the combustion air, fuel, and lubricating oil clean.

At the end of construction, thoroughly clean the air side of the inlet filter and ductwork to eliminate any objects, no matter how small, that could come loose during operation and cause catastrophic damage to the CT. If the CT is located close to the seacoast, sea salt ingestion will rapidly cause sulfidation or hot section corrosion, so make sure the filter system materials and level of filtration are proper for the location. Here are a few other tips for selecting equipment:

Dont skimp on the materials inside the filter house and ductwork. The filter house, inlet silencer, and perforated plate elements should be fabricated from suitable grades of stainless steel. Make sure the silencers have a rigid structure to prevent damage due to acoustical or mechanical resonances or differential thermal expansion. The ducting and casing design should permit field balancing in the end planes of the rotors without requiring the removal of major casing components.

When determining the arrangement of the plant, make sure the air inlet is upstream of the exhaust stack during prevailing wind conditions to avoid recirculation of exhaust gases under any projected wind conditions. A good recommendation is to keep a minimum horizontal separation of

idea is to include a full-size, redundant shell and tube lube oil cooler configured with a removable tube bundle and redundant oil filters with removable elements. Also be sure to use stainless steel for all lube oil piping and valvesaccept nothing less. Each oil supply line to critical components should be individually monitored, mainly for oil pressure. We recommend that the oil reservoir retention time should be at least 8 minutes. For aero-derivative CTs (that have antifriction bearings and use synthetic lubrication oil), the turbine lubricating oil system usually should be separate from the driven equipment (such as the generator) lubricating oil system. We also strongly recommend that CTs equipped with antifriction bearings should be instrumented with metal chip detection, an online metallic debris monitoring system. Industrial CTs, which normally use hydrodynamic bearings and mineral oilbased lubricating oil, typically have a single integrated oil system for the entire driveline. Clean Fuel. Designing a combustor is a complex task, often likened to lighting a match in a hurricane. For most CTs, there are two distinct configurations: the can-annular (a number of combustor cans arranged around the circumference of the CT) and the annular design, which includes the single-can option. The design of the fuel supply system is critical and requires special attention. Always include a fuel strainer (a Y-type

alarm is required in any robust fuel system design. Also consider including a fuel gas superheater designed to deliver 40C fuel gas to prevent condensate mist carryover or hydrate formation. If fuel gas compression is required, screw compressors always seem to be the optimal selection. The fuel control system should also include a shutoff valve (separate from the fuel control valve) that stops all fuel flow to the turbine on any shutdown condition (local and remote tripping) and that cannot open until all permissive firing conditions are satisfied. Fuel shutoff valves should have a remote shutdown actuator and a partial stroke feature to permit field checking of the operability of the shutoff valve during normal operation of the CT.

Driveline Design
The rule of thumb for power generation packages is that the generator shaft diameter should be equal to or greater than the CT shaft diameter. For mechanical drive, shafts should have approximately the same diameter. When torsional vibration problems appear, the primary cause is the lack of a comprehensive torsional analysis, improper coupling selection (mainly flexible couplings), and lack of proper operation and maintenance. Most original equipment manufacturer (OEM) designs make certain that the blade natural frequencies do not coincide with any source of excitation from 10% below minimum governed speed to 10% above maximum continuous speed. For the enPOWER June 2011

tire driveline, there is the potential for torsional, lateral, or blade resonance to cause fatigue failure. The coupling between the turbine and gearbox or gearbox to generator, for example, is the best option for tuning the torsional character of the driveline. There are a couple of coupling options: high torsional stiffness (preferably dry flexible diaphragm type)or direct forged flanged rigid connection (which is optimum, if allowed by torsional analysis), and a flexible coupling with more elasticity, damping, and more maintenance. The coupling torque is usually chosen on the basis of average requirements for full load, but it also must have a sufficient service factor to handle likely overload (such as electrical faults). A pulsation of generator load caused by current pulsation is an important concern, especially for a CT or a plant electrical network that is connected to a relatively weak electric system. Our comparative analysis showed a >25% error in shaft stiffness and inertia between detailed finite element analysis and simplified calculation methods. Rotor torsional data coming from simplified methods may lead to missing (or shift of) torsional critical speed(s) and torsional problems. Make sure the OEM supplies a stress and vibration analysis of your turbine configuration rather than just a typical report. Take special care with the starting device selection and rating. The preferred starting device is electro-hydraulic (an electric motor drives a hydraulic pump, which in turn transmits hydraulic power to start the gas turbine) and rated to supply, at a minimum, 110% of the starting and acceleration torque in worst-case conditions. The typical criterion for selection is that the starting system should be capable of an immediate hot start anytime after a unit trips for three consecutive start attempts. Cold-start and hot-start restrictions are also very important and greatly affect the starting reliability and, perhaps, the forced outage rate of the plant. loss or deterioration of material by chemical reactions from components exposed to hot gas. The corrosion is caused by both the hot gas and contaminants. Erosion also occurs in the same regions as hot corrosion. Erosion is the abrasive removal of material from the flow path by hard or incompressible particles impinging on flow surfaces. Abrasion is caused by foreign objects in the gas that strike the flow path components and when a rotating surface, such as the tip of a blade, rubs on a stationary surface. Good inlet air and fuel filtration will help defeat foreign objectcaused damage, although sodium in the inlet air and sulfur in the fuel will always cause some fouling and corrosion in the hot gas path. multiple-shaft CTs, each shaft should have its own overspeed protection system with online testing capability; the overspeed trip system is independent of the governor system. Our standard design monitors overspeed, low fuel supply, combustor flame out, low lube oil pressure, and radial and axial shaft vibration, in addition to the measured parameters of the driven equipment as the source of shutdown signals.

Always Operate Safely

Our design approach for a system gas purge is to replace a minimum of six times the exhaust system volume (including turbine, exhaust duct, waste recovery device, exhaust stack, and so on) before firing the unit. The ignition temperature of the gas must always be higher than the surface temperature of the gas turbine. A HAZOP (hazardous operations) review (action and response) should be conducted with consideration of all possible malfunction scenarios, including failure of individual instruments and components. As part of this review, consider cases of possible reverse flow, higher flow, all scenarios of tube rupture or component damage, and all potential cases of gas to atmosphere that may form flammable gas clouds. The design of the enclosure ventilation system must produce a negative pressure within the enclosure (when located within a safe area) or a positive pressure (when located within a hazardous area). We recommended at least two 100%-sized ventilation fans with automatic start controls.

Include Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring is particularly costeffective when malfunctions are identified before a severe failure occurs. The best tool available is vibration monitoring. We recommend casing vibration monitoring (a minimum of two sets for compressor and turbine casings) with both velocity measurements for low-speed vibrations up to 2 kHz and accelerometers for high-speed vibrations and for hot sections. Noncontacting probes should be used for axial and radial vibration monitoring. These measurements include journal bearings, noncontacting X-Y probes mounted at a 45-degree angle from the vertical centerline, and a velocity seismic transducer for bearing housings and dual probes axial position for thrust bearings. Temperature monitoring is also an important element of a robust condition-monitoring system. We recommend temperature monitoring of oil, including the lubricating oil drain thermocouples for alarm and emergency shutdown and hydrodynamic thrust and radial bearings with replaceable resistance temperature detectors (RTDs). We also recommend temperature monitoring of the hot air path flow. Over-temperature protection should be independent of the CT combustion control system to add another level of operating redundancy. Six thermocouples placed around the turbine exhaust gas frame to measure exhaust gas temperatures for alarm and trip are usually sufficient. Our normal design approach is to include triple-redundancy instruments to the electronic governor. That means that there are three input sensors, with two out of three voting logic. This approach will prevent, for example, CT speed increases beyond the overspeed limit in the case of a loss of rated load or a coupling failure. For

O&M Intervals
A well-built CT should have the design life of its principal componentsincluding rotors, casings, bearing housings, supports, and base-frame. At a minimum of 160,000 operating hours, that would be about 20 years, when the time between starts is about 80 to 100 hours. With many combined-cycle plants now cycling daily, that design life will be reduced. How much the design life will be shortened is projectspecific and requires much analysis by the OEM. However, under normal operation, expect the planned time between major overhauls to be 40,000 fired-hours (five years), 16,000 fired-hours (two years) for hot gas path inspection, and 8,000 firedhours (one year) for borescope inspection. These intervals will need to be shortened, sometimes significantly, when turbines are cycled daily or weekly.

Manage Performance Degradation

Turbine stage degradation cannot be avoided but can be slowed. It also has a cumulative effect. A degraded stage (a single wheel with blades along the periphery) will create different exit conditions, causing each subsequent stage to operate further away from its design point. The main causes of blade degradation are increased tip clearances, changes in airfoil geometry, and changes in surface quality. The cause of degradation is blade fouling, caused by particles that stick to blade airfoils and annulus surfaces, or hot corrosion, the
June 2011 POWER

Amin Almasi (amin.almasi@ is a lead rotating equipment engineer for WorleyParsons Services Pty Ltd., Brisbane, Australia.


A More Accurate Way to Calculate the Cost of Electricity

Life-cycle cost of ownership is a common metric used to compare power plant system alternatives. However, the familiar formula for calculating the cost of generating electricity omits factors that are becoming increasingly important to business decisions. A new formula addresses those blind spots by estimating the value of the part-load performance of cycling combined-cycle plants.
By S. Can Glen, PhD, PE, GE Energy

revious articles proposed more accurate and consistent definitions of combined heat and power (CHP) efficiency (A Proposed Definition of CHP Efficiency, June 2010) and steam plant efficiency (Plant Efficiency: Begin with the Right Definitions, February 2010). This article proposes a revision of another common definition: the unit cost of generating electricity (COE). COE is a widely used metric for comparing power plant system alternatives. Traditionally, it combines a power generation systems ownership costs (capital and operating) and thermal performance (output and efficiency). This metric is useful when comparing power generation alternatives that use similar technologies. The standard formulation of COE is the sum of capital, fuel, and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs of plant ownership, as shown in Equation 1 (see sidebar). The cost of generation as provided by this COE formula can be interpreted as the price at which electricity must be sold in order to cover all fixed and variable generating expenses and to match the return on companys equity implicit in the assumed cost of money (). The COE is limited to a single operating condition, typically new and clean rated performance, and is usually calculated at International Organization for Standardization (ISO) baseload. This definition of COE is useful for initial screening studies and comparison of baseload combined-cycle (CC) power plants. At this time, however, many CC units are relegated to daily cycling operation that entails frequent starts and stops as well as large load swings, often to provide spinning reserve and backup power for renewable energy generation that is not dispatchable. Even assuming that natural gas prices hold steady at their current low level, gas-fired CC plants are expected to continue in intermediate and cyclic duty for many

Equation 1

where = Levelized carrying charge factor or cost of money C = Total plant cost ($) H = Annual operating hours P = Net rated output (kW) f = Levelized fuel cost ($/kWh [LHV]) = Net rated efficiency of the combined-cycle plant (LHV) OMf = Fixed O&M costs ($ or $/kW-yr) OMv,b = Variable O&M costs for baseload operation ($/kWh) = Maintenance cost escalation factor (1.0 for baseload operation)

Equation 2

1. Typical cyclical duty profile for a combined-cycle plant. This

plants operation is sometimes described as two-cycled. Source: GE Energy 120 Day of week 1 100 80 Average (effective) LF = 76.2% Midday part load


Day of week 2 Daily (hot) start 1 hour

Load (%)

60 40 20 Weekly (warm) start - 2 hours 0 0 5 10 15 Hour 20

Evening part load Nightly shutdown



POWER June 2011

years to come. Consequently, an overhaul of the standard COE formula is needed to determine the value added by improved operational flexibility, such as better part-load efficiency and faster starts. hints at a key advantage of fast-start plants that spend less time at low loads: the LFeff and heff are higher, resulting in a favorable (lower) COE. Average cycling plant load factors of 75% to 80% and the adverse impact of the time spent during plant starts (200 or even more per year for such units) suggest that an improvement could be made to the basic COE equation to account for plant cycling effects. In addition to accounting for the The reliability of these turbines can be taken into account by multiplying the total energy generation with an assumed reliability factor (R) of 99% (the complement of the forced outage rate). Continuing with the example above, R x Eeff = 99% x 1,734,600 MWh = 1,717,250 MWh. The expected reduction in the unit service hours due to a less-than-perfect reliability is thus reflected in a reduction of the units total energy generation and,

Cyclical Operation
Typical daily operation of a two-cycled CC plant is shown in Figure 1. The plant is operated five days a week year-round or perhaps only during the summer months. In this example, every Friday, the plant is shut down at 10 p.m. for the weekend and is restarted the following Monday at 5 a.m. Twice a year, the plant is shut down for one week to carry out scheduled maintenance tasks. Thus, the annual plant start schedule comprises 250 starts (two cold, 48 warm, and 200 hot starts). Ignoring the time spent during start-up (the added generation is estimated later) and the seasonal ambient variation, the plant is expected or planned to operate (H) 4,250 hours per year with a service factor (SF) of 4,250 / 8,760 = 48.5%. At a nominal 500 MW baseload power, the total annual energy production (E) can be calculated as 1,700,000 MWh for a capacity factor (CF) found as 1,700,000 / (500 x 8,760) = 38.8%. Similarly, the load factor (LF) is calculated as 1,700,000 / (500 x 4,250) = 80%, or nearly twice the CF. Power generation during start-ups can be estimated via simple integration (see the shaded area in Figure 1 for a hot start) based on applicable start-up curves provided by the manufacturer. Using the load profile in Figure 1 and typical start-up curves, an additional 29,400 MWh per year of start-up electric generation is estimated. Load ramps can be found in a similar fashion to contribute another 5,200 MWh, assuming a rate of 10% per minute. Adding these two unsteady-state generation quantities to the nominal generation of 1,700,000 MWh calculated above, you find the effective total generation (Eeff) is 1,734,600 MWh. Total or effective operating hours (Heff) are higher than the nominal operating hours, H, by the total time spent during plant starts (shutdowns are ignored), or Heff = 4,250 + 200 x 1 + 48 x 2 + 2 x 3 = 4,552 hours. This corresponds to an effective plant output (Peff) of 1,734,600 / 4,552 = 381 MW. Thus, the correction due to the dynamic effects of start-up results in an effective load factor (LFeff) of 381 / 500 = 76.2%. Note how accounting for the energy generated during start-ups reduced the load factor by about four percentage points when the additional operating hours at low loads are included. This fact
June 2011 POWER

An overhaul of the standard COE formula is needed to determine the value added by improved operational flexibility.
load factor variation just discussed, many other key plant operability considerations could be included in the COE formula. The following four key factors, when added to the basic COE equation, will produce a more accurate evaluation of real CC plant operation:

Seasonal temperature variation Nonrecoverable performance degradation Reliability (forced outage rate) System (dispatch) considerations

consequently, the load factor. The reduction in the latter will manifest itself in lower effective plant efficiency and, as will be shown below, in higher costs associated with capacity and energy replacement. Even a small reduction in reliability (worth ~17,350 MWh for 1 percentage point in this example) can easily negate a perceived advantage in rated performance or operational flexibility.

A New Formula
These system interactions suggest a modified and expanded COE formula that tailors the original formula, adds emission costs, and adds system impact costs such as capacity and energy replacement during outages. At this time, there is no industry-wide accepted method to convert specific plant emissions (that is, pounds of pollutants such as NOx, SOx, CO2, unburned hydrocarbon, particulate matter, and so on per generated MWh) into cost. Nevertheless, emission costs (or penalties) can be added to the COE via a term comprising two new parameters: ci (price/cost of pollutant i in terms of $/ton) and mp,i (plant generation of pollutant i in tons/kWh). These terms can also be used to represent a cost of emissions during start-up. Although they are not a concern at baseload, CO emissions can be a problem when the unit is turned down, especially during plant starts when the unit spends a considerable amount of time at low loads. The last new term added, system impact, accounts for the variation in effective

The first two factors can be readily accounted for by calculating a corrected base performance. Ambient correction factors can be found from OEM-supplied curves using an appropriate annual load-weighted average temperature, which can be directly calculated using a seasonal temperature variation chart. (For most moderate climates, the deviation from the ISO value is less than ~5F.) Average or mean-effective values of output and efficiency degradation factors can also be easily found from supplier-provided curves. Both corrections are multiplicative and less than unity in magnitude (unless the plant is located in an extremely cold site), so the net overall impact is higher COE via lower effective values of power output, energy production, and load factor. The availability of CC power plants based on advanced combustion turbines is normally quite high: usually above 90% and often above 95%, especially for F-Class units operated in large fleets, even in cycling service.

total MWh generation and output (ignored by the standard formula) that must be provided when a deficiency in energy (kWh or MWh) must be made up by bringing another unit in the system online and/ or when a deficiency in capacity (kW or MW) must be made up by purchasing firm capacity from neighboring systems. The COE analysis is adjusted to a common annual total energy generation basis using the following terms: Sc = System replacement capacity cost ($/ kW-yr) Se = System replacement energy cost ($/ kWh) P = Capacity to be replaced (kW) E = Energy to be replaced (kWh) For multiple unit comparisons, the alternative with highest total energy production can be selected as the basis to determine P and E. Energy replacement cost (Se) is dependent on the makeup of the particular generating system, for which the alternatives are evaluated using COE. Note, however, that the economic dispatch principle requires using a variable generation cost at least equal to or higher than that of the units under consideration. Otherwise, the replacing unit would already be online and generating electricity. standard 500-MW CC plant (57.5% rated efficiency) described as Plant A. Two enhancements are planned for Plant A: improved part-load heat rate and a faster start-up and load ramp capability (assumed 50% shorter time). The new product that incorporates these improvements will be called Plant B. The remainder of the key plant parameters and assumptions used in this case study are summarized in Table 1. The beneficial impact of the planned improvements on the COE is conceptually explained in Figure 2. Two operating scenarios for Plant B could be analyzed:

Case Study
The new COE formulations contribution to the life-cycle cost analysis is best illustrated using an example. Consider a

Table 1. Key data and parameters used for calculating COE. The data shown here are for illustration purposes and do not reflect any existing product and/or guarantee. Sources: Electric Power Research Institute, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and PJM
Parameter Annual load-weighted average ambient temperature Rated power at ISO base (P) Rated efficiency Specific price of plant First-year fuel cost options Fixed O&M Energy replacement cost options (Se) Capacity replacement cost (Sc) Variable O&M Capital charge factor ( ) Levelization factor (L) Reliability (R) Maintenance factor () Value 64F 500 MW 57.50% $1,000/kW $5 and $10/mmBtu (HHV) $15/kW 6 and 11/kWh $50/kW-yr 1.5 mils/kWh 15% 1.25 99% 2.5

Scenario B1. Plant B reaches baseload quicker than Plant A, allowing the plant to be dispatched for a longer period. Therefore, it generates more revenue but at the expense of higher total fuel consumption and emissions. Heff is the same as for Plant A, or 4,552 hours (calculated previously). Scenario B2. Plant B starts later than Plant A and reaches baseload at the same time as Plant A normally would. The benefit to operating in this manner is lower fuel consumption and emissionsbut at the expense of less generation (less revenue). Heff is reduced by 150 hours to 4,402 hours.

2. Combined-cycle part-load efficiency.

Plant B has better part-load efficiency lapse than Plant A in this hypothetical comparison. Thus, at the same average load, B has better efficiency (less fuel consumption) than A. The benefit of the faster start-up capability is a higher effective load factor (less time spent at lower loads) and, consequently, higher efficiency. Note that the generic curves shown here are for illustration purposes and do not reflect any existing product and/or guarantee. Source: GE Energy 1.0

Part load efficiency lapse benefit B A Load factor benefit of fast start

CC load or load factor



It would seem that starting a fast power plant as early as possible so that it contributes baseload power to the grid quicker (scenario B1) is a better strategy than starting it as late as possible to be online at the last minute (scenario B2). However, this may not be the case when electricity sale prices are taken into account. If the price before the prescribed time when the market price becomes effective is significantly lower (or even below the variable cost of generation), the apparent advantage of B1 may be much more modest or even nonexistent. In fact, B1 is most likely to occur in an emergency situation, when immediate dispatch is required to exploit an opportunity or to make up for a sudden or imminent loss in generation. However, B2 is probably the norm for regular plant starts. Furthermore, a plant may have fast-start capability, but the plant owner may choose to use it sparingly or not at all unless paid a premium by a system operator to dispatch on short notice at a significant premium. Thus, the actual value of the fast-start capability is more likely to fall somewhere between the two scenarios. For this example, a weighted average of the performance of the two scenarios is used.
POWER June 2011

CC efficiency

3. Calculating the COE.
Applying the assumptions listed in Table 1 to the original and modified COE formulas to Plant A illustrates the usefulness of this new way of calculating COE. The assumed price of natural gas used to calculate the COE was $5/mmBtu. An energy replacement cost of $60/MWh was assumed. Values shown in the table are in millions of dollars. Source: GE Energy Fixed O&M 5.2% Variable O&M 5.5%

Table 2. Evaluating the COE of two plant design options. Note the dramatic negative economic impact of a small decrease in Plant Bs reliability. The detrimental impact on plant economics would be even more pronounced should a maintenance factor and/or nonrecoverable performance degradation be considered as well. Dollar values reflect the difference from the Plant A baseline. Be aware that electricity sale price or ancillary market opportunities and payments are not included in this analysis. Source: GE Power
$5/mmBtu fuel price COE Plant design option Plant A Plant B (improved part-load heat rate only) LF 79.30% 79.30% 78.50% Plant B (improved part-load heat rate plus 10% Scenario B1, 90% Scenario B2 82.40% 81.50% R 99% 99% 98% 99% 98% $ Base $7,000,000 ($8,000,000) $17,000,000 $2,000,000 $/MWh $108.90 $108.30 $109.60 $107.40 $108.80 $ Base $13,000,000 ($9,000,000) $26,000,000 $4,000,000 $10/mmBtu fuel price COE $/MWh $155.20 $154.00 $155.90 $152.90 $154.80

Fuel 48.1% Capital 41.3%

Notes: COE = cost of generating electricity, LF = load factor, R = reliability.

Equation term Capital Fixed O&M Fuel Variable O&M Emissions Replacement power Total

Original COE equation $35.30 $4.40 $41.10 $4.70 $0.00 $0.00 $85.50

Modified COE equation $43.70 $5.50 $43.80 $4.70 $7.50 $3.80 $108.90

Replacement Variable O&M 3.5% 4.3% Fixed O&M 5.0% Emissions 6.9% Fuel 40.2% Capital 40.1%

(lower than their nominal baseload counterparts) and additional cost components. (Note the significant contribution of emissions even when only CO2 is considered. When NOx, CO, and other emissions are also thrown into the mix with systemspecific known costs, the impact will be more pronounced.) The real benefit of the proposed formulation, however, is its ability to account for plant metrics other than rated performance, thereby providing an improved plant life-cycle cost evaluation. From the equipment suppliers point of view, an interesting question is now raised: What is the market value of the Plant B upgrades, assuming Plant B COE remains the same as Plant As? If the Plant B upgrades are evaluated by assuming 10% unplanned starts (a reasonable assumption given the earlier discussion), then the results, summarized in Table 2, are quite interesting:

A comparison of the COE calculated using the standard (original) and modified (proposed) formulations is shown in Figure 3. The new formulation returns a 25% higher value, driven by the use of real effective kWh and efficiency values
June 2011 POWER

A CC design with a better part-load heat rate has a value of $7 million to $13 million for $5 and $10 fuel, respectively. This is quite significant when you consider that each 0.1 percentage point in rated efficiency is worth ~$1 million to ~$2 million (with the assumptions of this example) for the same fuel price range. The implication is that there is room for about 0.7 net CC efficiency points for a trade-off between ultimate rated performance and sustained performance across a wider load range. A nimbler CC design, which slashes the start time and load ramp rate by 50%, has an additional value of $10 million to $13 million for $5 and $10 fuel for a total value of $17 million to $26 million compared with Plant A, assuming no difference in plant reliability,

ability, or component degradation. A reduction of 1% in reliability (R = 98% instead of 99%) is more than enough to wipe out all the value compared with Plant A, or even more (a reduction in value by $15 million to $22 million). The economics worsen if any potentially adverse impact on maintenance factor and/ or nonrecoverable degradation is thrown into the mix. In order to simplify the treatment herein, NOx and CO emissions (typically reduced during faster starts) are ignored. Inclusion of either will increase the value of Plant B with the fast-start feature. Similarly, in extremely hot climates and/or applications with duct firing, hot day part-load performance characteristics of the plant become important. This refinement can be easily incorporated into the proposed COE formula using applicable correction curves or a load profile table. The expected increased use of CC plants in the future will place a premium on units that can be heavily cycled and quickly started. By adding these effects to the familiar COE equation, we get a new formulation that can be easily used to perform screening studies to determine the value of a plant more comprehensively. In most applications, significant life-cycle cost savings are possible for plants that can operate at part load with improved efficiency or that can start and reach baseload faster than conventional plants. Now you have a screening tool to estimate the value of those operational improvements.

S. Can Glen, PhD, PE (can.gulen @ is a principal engineer with GE Energy.


Portable Emission Analyzer


Testos 350 portable emission analyzer is a complete redesign of the companys existing emission analyzer for measuring nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and oxygen. Improvements include a highdefinition color graphic display, new exclusive sensor design, and a new housing, bump protection, and industrial connectors, so it can stand up to any field condition. Additional features include electrochemical and infrared sensing technologies for long-term measurement stability, quick-change sensor filters that increase sensor life for better accuracy, and easy-access panels for quick servicing in the field. The software allows for data import and export in a variety of formats, including PDF and Microsoft Excel. Options include Bluetooth remote operation of the control unit, a fresh air valve for long-term measurement, and automatic zeroing of the pressure sensor for continuous flow velocity/differential pressure measurement. (

Security-Enhancing Distributed Control System

ABB has launched its Symphony Plus distributed control system (DCS), a product the Zurich-based company says will improve power plant productivity and energy efficiency as well as enhance operational security and plant safety. Symphony Plus meets a broad spectrum of plant configurations and applications, and it is flexible and scalable, designed to serve the needs of small and server-less applications as well as large multi-system, multiserver architectures. ABB says it supports the seamless integration of field devices, process and turbine automation systems, electrical and SCADA solutions, as well as business and maintenance systems. Symphony Plus provides users with a secure, reliable control environment and built-in security features that prevent unauthorized system access. (

Close-Coupled Pumps
The new Moyno 2000 Model WA and WB pumps provide unmatched performance in a compact, close-coupled conguration. The close-coupled pumps are specically designed for lower-pressure, lower-ow applications that do not require the full features and benets of the Moyno 2000 G1 pump. They are ideal for municipal and industrial applications that require the transfer of highly viscous uids and solids where a close-coupled conguration is preferred but the robustness of a gear joint is desired. The Moyno 2000 WA pump features bearings integral to the adapter housing that support the radial thrust loads at the rotor/stator and a sealed, gear-type universal joint drive train. The Moyno 2000 WB pump offers a traditional close-coupled design with thrust and radial loads supported by the bearings in the gear reducer. (


POWER June 2011


Digital Pressure Transducer

The new Heise DXD digital pressure transducer delivers the unique benefits of digital communication at what the manufacturer says is a bargain price. This instrument is now available with a LabVIEW driver and new LabVIEW-based utility software that allows the user to address, configure, and monitor one or more DXDs. The DXD is offered in ranges from vacuum through 7,500 psi and features an accuracy of 0.02% of full span, which includes the effects of temperature. A 10,000 psi range is also offered at an accuracy of 0.1% FS. With update rates of up to 15 mS, dozens of DXDs can communicate with a single PC serial port at speeds up to 115K bps via full-duplex RS232 or RS485 communication protocol. The Heise DXD features wetted materials and a rugged enclosure made of 300-series stainless steel. (

Hermetically Sealed Piezoelectric Accelerometers

Meggitt Sensing Systems introduced the Endevco model 7251A series, a family of small, lightweight, hermetically sealed piezoelectric accelerometers with integral electronics. The centrally located thru-bolt mounting hole of this series provides both 360-degree cable and connector orientation, allowing the sensor to offer a flat mounting surface, even when not fully perpendicular, for ease of use in a variety of applications. Available in standard model sensitivity ranges from 500 mV/g to 10 mV/g with optional high-temperature and TEDS versions, the 7251A series incorporates an annular shear piezoelectric sensing element, along with an internal hybrid signal conditioner, within a two-wire system. The system transmits its low-impedance voltage output through the same cable that supplies constant current power, with high-output sensitivity and wide bandwidth, while exhibiting low base strain sensitivity and excellent output stability over time. Weighing just 10.5 grams, it effectively minimizes mass loading effects. (

Filters for Lower-Pressure Liquid and Gas Applications

Mott says its new 7710 Series filters are designed to accommodate lower-pressure liquid and gas filtration applications at a value price point. Porous metal elements for this model are 10-inch long, 316L stainless steel cartridges in either a double open ended or 1-inch NPT connection configuration. The 316 stainless steel housing comes standard with a Buna N housing seal to provide strength and dependability. Other seals and O-rings are available to support applications requiring higher temperature or corrosion resistance. The 7710 Series filters are designed for maximum operating pressures of 300 psi (housing) and include a -inch NPT housing drain, -inch NPT gauge ports, and 1-inch FNPT line connections. Outside-in filter area is 0.54 square feet. (

Inclusion in New Products does not imply endorsement by POWER magazine.

June 2011 POWER


Plant Manager Lima, Peru

AEI owns and operates interests in multiple power generation assets as well as natural gas transportation and distribution businesses in 11 emerging markets in Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America. This includes electric power generation capacity of 2,186 MW, with an additional 886 MW under development/construction.

Opportunities in Operations and Maintenance, Project Engineering and Project Management, Business and Project Development, First-line Supervision to Executive Level Positions. Employer pays fee. Send resumes to:
P.O. Box 87875 Vancouver, WA 98687-7875 email: (360) 260-0979 l (360) 253-5292

AEI provides the energy for development through:

Exclusive focus on emerging markets Unwavering commitment to world-class standards of operational, environmental, health and safety, and inancial performance Extensive local operating expertise to foster partnerships and develop opportunities Financial discipline to weather risk and support growth

Need help? Need a job?

Contact Lisa Lineal in condence

AEI is seeking a candidate for the position of Plant Manager who will have responsibility for managing total plant operation, maintenance, and administration activities of a 520 MW gas-ired combined cycle power generation project (expected construction time of 32 months) located in Peru. The Plant Manager will lead the recruitment and training of the O&M team required for plant operations and will provide day-to-day management of the O&M team during commissioning, start-up and handover of the power plant from the EPC Contractor, working to ensure completion of outstanding warranty items after commercial operation date. The Plant Manager will be responsible for setting all power plant operations and maintenance objectives and for monitoring and optimizing overall plant performance. Essential Job Requirements Bachelors degree in Engineering, speciically Mechanical or Electrical Engineering Fluent in English and Spanish. Peruvian citizenship preferred. Leadership experience with operation of a similarly sized CCGT power plant from start-up through commencement of commercial operations and at least 3 years experience post commencement of commercial operation. Substantial experience (15 years+) experience in CCGT power plants, preferably within the Peruvian energy sector. GE 7FA experience required. Successful track-record of managing power plants with a demonstrated credibility and reputation for delivering value.

Toll free 877-386-1091

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POWER June 2011


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U.S. Nuclear Operations in a Post-Fukushima World

By Kathryn M. Sutton and Stephen J. Burdick
n March 11, 2011, the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake struck northeast Japan and was followed by a large tsunami. Both events damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. These natural forces appear to have eliminated first the offsite power and then onsite emergency diesel generators. Explosions at the site followed. As a consequence of these and other events, the Fukushima plant experienced significant damage to plant systems, structures, and equipment. Perhaps more than for any other industry, a nuclear accident in any part of the world affects nuclear operations elsewhere. Such an incident necessarily and inevitably results in industry self-examination, heightened regulatory oversight, and third-party scrutiny. The full extent of any resulting regulatory changes will not be clear until more is known about the earthquake, the tsunami, and the resulting performance of the Fukushima plant. A few important conclusions, however, already have become clear. First, the existing U.S. nuclear regulatory regime is robust and already addresses the contributors to the Fukushima event. Second, the U.S. nuclear industry will learn from the event. Finally, U.S. nuclear licensing activities should continue unabated, as the underlying regulatory regime fully accommodates the lessons learned from Fukushima and other events.

accidents and is happening now. In this regard, the response by the nuclear industry and its safety regulator, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), to the Fukushima event has been swift, systematic, and thorough. The NRC almost immediately issued a Temporary Instruction to its staff and industry to assess the adequacy of actions that will be taken in response to events similar to those experienced at Fukushima. This NRC action parallels the nuclear industrys independent efforts to assess plant capabilities to manage natural events and total loss of off-site power, mitigate flooding, and inspect important equipment needed to respond successfully to extreme events such as fires and floods. In addition, the NRC is independently evaluating the Fukushima event to determine whether any changes need to be made to its regulations to provide further protection of public health and safety. Specifically, the NRC established a senior level agency task force to review the existing regulatory regime to determine whether the NRC should make additional improvements. This task force will brief the NRC at 30, 60, and 90 days on near-term efforts and will continue its long-term review.

Current U.S. Nuclear Regulations The U.S. nuclear regulatory regime is robust and dynamic. Though specific regulatory requirements will be evaluated and reexamined in great detail in the coming months and years in response to the Fukushima event, they already address key issues raised by that event, including:
Reactor siting criteria, such as seismology and hydrology. Designs that protect against natural phenomena and accident scenarios. Ability to withstand a Station Blackout event (loss of all AC power). Multiple redundant heat removal means during an accident. Separate mitigative strategies intended to maintain or restore core cooling, containment, and spent fuel pool cooling capabilities in the event of loss of normal cooling systems. Emergency planning.

Lessons Will Be Learned and Applied A key strength of the U.S. nuclear industry is its commitment to learning from operating experience and applying those lessons in a methodical and analytical fashion. This happened following the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear

Nuclear Licensing Activities Should Continue Nuclear reactors in the U.S. are safe to operate now and in the future. This is due to strict regulation; oversight by an expert regulatory agency; a transparent, public licensing process; and a commitment to learning from events around the world and adapting accordingly. For this reason, nuclear licensing activities in the U.S. should continue, including the renewal of existing operating licenses and issuance of new reactor licenses. The lessons of the Fukushima event will apply to nuclear plants in the U.S. whether they hold original, renewed, or new operating licenses. This was true of the NRCs response to past significant events, such as the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and the September 11 attacks. Those precedents provide an effective model to be followed in the coming months and years. Ongoing licensing processes should not be suspended or delayed, as the underlying regulatory paradigm fully accommodates the incorporation and verification of new lessons learned. The U.S. nuclear regulatory regime will undergo intense scrutiny in response to the Fukushima event. Although the exact nature of any regulatory changes is unknown, it is certain that any such changes will further improve an already robust and safe U.S. nuclear industry. Kathryn M. Sutton ( is the head of the Energy Practice Group and Stephen J. Burdick (sburdick@ is an attorney in the Energy Practice Group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (
POWER June 2011

When it comes to controlling extreme temperatures the new TemplowHT puts everything else in the shade

With a Stellite seat and hardened stainless steel nozzle, the new TemplowHT attemporator is the answer to controlling temperatures in the high pressure steam lines of modern combined cycle power plants. Capable of handling steam ows up to 1150F, it provides precise temperature control, especially when ow rate uctuates. TemplowHTs key components are outside of the steam ow, ensuring no galling and thermal cracking of nozzles and moving parts. This ultimate attemporator is easy to install and low maintenance too. Talk to Tyco about staying in control.

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Copyright 2011 Tyco Flow Control. All rights reserved.


After Market





... vertically integrated to meet your total power generation and environmental needs.


Hitachi Power Systems America, Ltd. 645 Martinsville Road Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Tel: 908-605-2800