Activity
    • 29 Oct 2018

    Enabling Seamless and Scalable Distributed Control and SCADA Solutions at Photovoltaic Power Stations

    Authors: Tom Snowden , Greg Schirm Photovoltaic power stations (or solar parks) have traditionally used PLCs as their preferred control devices. Size, ruggedness, and cost are often cited as reasons for using PLCs. With the release of the Ovation Compact Controller , Emerson is merging the scalability of PLCs with the power of the Ovation distributed control system on photovoltaic (PV) solar projects. The compact...
    • 20 Aug 2018

    Avoiding Forced Outages from Rotating Equipment Issues

    The reality for manufacturers and producers is that their plant assets continually degrade over time. Valves wear over time, electrical assets may experience intermittent faults, and rotating equipment imbalances may lead quickly to forced outages. In this 3-minute YouTube video, Alert Plant Operations When Rotating Equipment Problems Pose a Threat , Emerson’s Kevin Rossi shares ways to equip plant operators with...
    • 2 Aug 2018

    Handling Processes with Long Lag Times

    Emerson’s Mircea Lupu shared his thoughts on Ovation system algorithms for handling processes with long lag times—a control challenge that vexes many. Mircea opened noting that control algorithms are at the heart of any control system to provide stable and accurate response and robustness against disturbances and process changes. Tuning these algorithms to achieve the desired performance can be laborious. Proportional...
    • 2 Aug 2018

    Trends toward Remote Turbine Operations

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’ Brett Benson discussed the challenge of operating multiple plants with reduced staff levels and how centralized control for single or multiple plant sites is a viable solution. The latest developments in communication technology coupled with modern control hardware provides utilities the ability to monitor, analyze alarms and control their plants, remotely, from...
    • 1 Aug 2018

    Practical Tips for System Security

    Emerson’s Nick Janouskovec shared his practical tips for attaining and managing Ovation system security at the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference. With so many different standards, regulations, technologies and approaches to cybersecurity, it can be challenging to figure out what you really need. Developing a security program that truly secures your control system, meets your compliance obligations and doesn’t add...
    • 1 Aug 2018

    Electronic Turbine Overspeed Protection

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s Sam Onuska and Greg Lieb presented improvements in advanced overspeed protection and online, real time testing of overspeed systems. Greg opened describing where overspeed protection systems can be applied including steam turbines, gas turbines, boiler feed pump turbines (BFPTs) and hydro turbines. These systems measure the shaft rotational speed and decide &...
    • 1 Aug 2018

    Ovation Compact Controller

    Emerson’s Tom Snowdon provided a closer look at the Ovation Compact Controller (OCC100) with third party I/O at the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference. The OCC100 extends the Ovation platform to small-scale and highly-distributed applications that need secure, reliable and direct control close the field devices or plant equipment. Typical applications may include small hydro, PLC replacements, wind, solar, microgrids...
    • 1 Aug 2018

    Integrated Machinery Health Monitoring

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s Jason King and John Reidelbach provided an update on Ovation Machinery Health Monitor and a case study of its application. Jason opened describing some of the challenges of traditional machinery protection systems. Plants today have more operational issues due to cycling stresses, loss of expertise, and maintenance issues from growing reactive work practices....
    • 31 Jul 2018

    Power and Water Cybersecurity Suite Modules

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s Jose Pablo Bonilla and Levi Crosier described the different components of the Power and Water Cybersecurity Suite (PWCS) . This presentation included providing users with guidance for configuring their systems, identifying custom reports & dashboards along with establishing a cadence for performing routine security tasks effectively & efficiently. Their focus included...
    • 31 Jul 2018

    Ovation Control System Lifecycle Planning

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’ Nick Koonce and Mike Ames presented on some of the tools and data that Ovation control system users can use for lifecycle planning . It included a step-by-step demonstration along with an explanation of the data (format and content) focused on: Lifecycle planning tools & data such as System Gather & Registration Utility Considerations/limitations/things to...
    • 31 Jul 2018

    Power Generation Improved Steam Temperature Control

    Emerson’s Jeff Williams presented, Holistic Approach to Steam Temperature Control, at the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference. Jeff opened describing the trend of plants being started and operated more frequently than in the past due to intermittent sources of renewable energy sources on the grid. A key challenge to this mode of operation is to maintain consistent superheat temperature in this transient environment...
    • 31 Jul 2018

    Embedded Simulation for Training and Engineering

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s James Thompson and Sheldon Willis provided an update on embedded simulation in the Ovation distributed control system . Ovation-based high-fidelity simulator models are embedded directly into virtual Ovation controllers as compared with the more traditional approach with third-party models that run in separate hardware. This single platform for simulation and control...
    • 31 Jul 2018

    Design and Secure Network Communications

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s Craig McDaniel highlighted practices for effectively designing and securing communications between the Ovation distributed control system and field networks. Craig opened describing the function of a router and net masks as part of the Internet Protocol. The mask identifies what is local to the network and what most go through the router to other connected networks...
    • 31 Jul 2018

    Cybersecurity Worst Practices: The Good-the Bad-the Ugly

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s David Foose shared examples of bad practices in securing control systems. Dave opened describing how the focus on control system security over the past decade has changed from bothersome to imperative. The five stages of cyber grief include denial, frustration, bargaining, burn out and finally acceptance. Burn out is the phase where a person or small team is...
    • 30 Jul 2018

    Advanced Startup Automation in the Power Industry

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, a power producer shared their story of how they improved their unit startups through the application of advanced technology. The US electrical power grid is evolving rapidly as it adds more renewable generation from solar and wind energy sources. This trend is driving the need for large generating fleets to make their current assets flexible and cost competitive. Important...
    • 20 Jul 2018

    Improving Control System Alarm Effectiveness for Operators

    During the week of July 29 through August 3, I’ll be attending the Ovation Users’ Group Conference in Pittsburgh. This users’ group is composed of people working in the power, water and wastewater industries. If you’re in one of these industries and an Ovation distributed control system user, I look forward to seeing you there. One of the critical parts of an effective control strategy is to get the alarm design right...
    • 12 Jul 2018

    Integrated Control and Machinery Health Monitoring for Power Producers

    The power industry is facing many challenges today with cycling demands from a growing renewable energy mix on the grid, employee retirements, and cost cutting. Despite these challenges, consumers expect a reliable supply of electricity. At the July 29 – August 2, 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference in Pittsburgh, Emerson’s Jason King and an Ovation customer will present, Ovation Machinery Health Monitor Update &...
    • 28 Jun 2018

    Applying Center for Internet Security ICS Cybersecurity Controls

    Power, water and wastewater utilities are critical infrastructure, and require ongoing industrial control system (ICS) cybersecurity risk reduction efforts. Taking a systematic and integrated approach to ICS cybersecurity can help with safe, reliable and efficient operations. Many experts from these industries will gather at the July 29-August 2, 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference in Pittsburgh . There they will...
    • 6 Apr 2018

    Real-Time Microgrid Control and Optimization at The University of Texas

    At my alma mater, The University of Texas , here in Austin, Texas, is the Carl J. Eckhardt Combined Heating and Power (CHP) Complex . It is often described : …as the largest and most integrated microgrid in the U.S…. [It] is capable of generating 135 MW (megawatt) power (63 MW peak) and 1.2 million lb/hr (pounds per hour) of steam (300,000 peak). I mention all this because the microgrid controller is powered...
    • 21 Mar 2018

    Lessons from Fast Track Gas Turbine Generators Control System Retrofit Project

    Earlier this week, we shared how integrated control systems connected with turbine generators and other associated process areas, can improve overall efficiency and reliability for electrical power producers. Continuing on this theme, a Combined Cycle Journal article, Checklist for success: NV Energy commissions seven turbine DCSs in seven weeks , highlighted a fast track gas turbine retrofit project covering two...
    • 19 Mar 2018

    Driving Turbine Generator Efficiency Improvements

    A combination of more plentiful natural gas from shale formations, more global liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to transport it globally, and global political pressure to reduce carbon emissions has been shifting the mix of fuel sources for electrical power generation. Here in the U.S., natural gas has surpassed coal as the leading source of fuel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration . Natural...
    • 26 Feb 2018

    Cybersecurity Guidance at ConnectedPlant Conference

    This week, the ConnectedPlant conference is being held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference is focused for professionals in the chemicals and power industries who are leading digital transformations in their organizations. The focus includes: …actionable information and strategies to maximize the use of data, analytics, and related technology to drive efficiency improvements, preventative and predictive...
    • 21 Nov 2017

    #POWERGEN 2017 Preview: Helping Power Generators Address the Skills Gap

    Author: Douglas Morris A January 2017 report from the U.S. Energy Department states: Workforce retirements are a pressing challenge. Industry hiring managers often report that lack of candidate training, experience, or technical skills are major reasons why replacement personnel can be challenging to find—especially in electric power generation. The wave of retirements has been talked about for years and...
    • 16 Nov 2017

    #POWERGEN 2017 Preview: Flexible Operations

    Author: Douglas Morris The new plants that are coming online today are already designed for fast start and flexible operations. With the changing generation mix, being able to move a unit is essential as fleets dispatch more renewables. But what about older plants that were designed to operate as baseload generation? Sometimes units must be mechanically retrofitted to be able to better participate in the market...
    • 13 Nov 2017

    Cybersecurity Planning and Preparation

    A digital transformation is well underway with many manufacturers striving to improve safety, reliability, efficiency, emissions and/or throughput. The Industrial Internet of Things is making it possible to monitor more areas of the production operations than was possible in a fully-wired technology era. A strong cybersecurity program must go hand in hand with this digital transformation. In an Automation World article...