Power Plant Monitoring

Douglas Morris Director of Marketing, Mining & Power Industries Author: Douglas Morris Wireless measurement devices are nothing new and installations are in just about every industry, including power. From my experience, power plants don’t choose to use wireless technologies to replace wired devices, rather they are used to solve some of those monitoring applications where the cost of laying copper is simply too expensive. Those utilities that have deployed the technology in monitoring applications have found the additional data helpful to operations. One customer had a problem with strainers clogging on raw water intake piping and used wireless pressure transmitters to detect plugging. This simple measurement prevented a constant maintenance problem. Another plant uses wireless devices as a means to better manage ash ponds and gain early insight into any changes at these ponds. Still others are using acoustic devices to track leakage from steam traps and relief valves. What... Read the full text.
  • I personally agree that wireless is not so much as to take the place of wires as it is to measure all the stuff that was not measure before: missing measurements that were not included when the plant was orignally built. I see wires (hardwired or digital bus networking) used for the stuff "on the P&ID" complemented by wireless sensor networking for everything "beyond the P&ID". That is, the primary layer of automation is the wired ICSS (DCS+SIS) while wireless for pervasive sensing is a second layer of automation. See further explanation in these articles:

    NEW: Beyond the Control Room

    www.ceasiamag.com/.../10658

    Second Layer of Automation

    www.ceasiamag.com/.../10354

    Maintenance with a Hart

    www.ceasiamag.com/.../9894

    Smart Sensing: Situational Awareness

    www.iaasiaonline.com/more.php;cat=im

    Are you sending people in harm's way?

    www.iaasiaonline.com/more.php;cat=ii

    Wireless for Asset Uptime

    www.ceasiamag.com/.../8689

    For a new plant, this has to be planned from the very beginning of a project