• 8 Nov 2017

    Automating Combined-Cycle Power Generation Startups

    In combined cycle power plants : …the heat of the gas turbine’s exhaust is used to generate steam by passing it through a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) with a live steam temperature between 420 and 580 °C. The condenser of the Rankine cycle is usually cooled by water from a lake, river, sea or cooling towers . Over the past decades, combined cycle power plants were built to handle base electrical loads...
    • 13 Oct 2017

    Successfully Addressing NERC CIP Cybersecurity Standards

    The power industry is perhaps the furthest along in hardening their cybersecurity defenses due to the work of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) on the critical infrastructure protection (CIP) cybersecurity standards—now at version 6 . In a Power magazine article, Tackling NERC CIP and Cybersecurity at America’s Largest Gas-fired Cogeneration Plant , this electrical energy and steam energy...
    • 27 Jul 2017

    Network Architecture Considerations in Ovation Control Systems

    Emerson’s Craig McDaniel provided an overview on the Ovation control system network architecture at the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference. He provided a basic overview of Ovation’s network architecture showing standard configurations, connectivity, redundancy, IP addressing schemes, port assignments, network hardware, and connections to third party equipment will be provided in this session. He also discussed the traffic...
    • 27 Jul 2017

    Reducing Control System Hardware Footprint

    Emerson’s Ben Skal presented on reducing the Ovation distributed control system hardware footprint at the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference. Virtualization technology is at the heart of this hardware footprint reduction and having less workstation and server hardware to maintain. Ben’s presentation focused on: What is virtualization & how it works Appropriate uses of virtual machines (VMs) Benefits of VM...
    • 26 Jul 2017

    Take Charge of Partial Discharge to Protect Plant Assets

    Emerson’s Jonathan Murray discussed partial discharge solutions at the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference. Unplanned electrical asset failures can halt production and amount to millions of dollars of associated costs. The IEEE and NFPA organizations identify Partial Discharge (PD) , a breakdown of the assets insulation, as a leading cause of failure. Manufacturers are looking for ways of transitioning away from traditional...
    • 26 Jul 2017

    Model Predictive Control in Power Generation

    Model predictive control in power generation was the subject of a 2017 Ovation Users Group presentation by Emerson’s Ranjit Rao . Rajit opened comparing classical control with model-based control. In classical control, a proportional-derivative-integral loop is used with feedback. There is a setpoint, the actual process variable and the error or difference between the process variable and setpoint. Based on the dynamics...
    • 26 Jul 2017

    Simulation for Training and Engineering Applications

    At the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference, Emerson’s Bob Kerestes and Sheldon Willis gave an update embedded simulation in the Ovation system. Sheldon opened the presentation describing types of uses for simulators for training and engineering. For training simulators, simulations can range from simple tie-back models to high-fidelity models which simulate the dynamics of the running process. For high-fidelity simulation...
    • 25 Jul 2017

    Generator Excitation 101

    Generators turn mechanical energy into electrical energy by moving electrical conductors in a magnetic field. Excitation creates the electromagnetic field to make this mechanical to electrical conversion occur. Emerson’s Rich Dennis provided a basics presentation on excitation control at the 2017 Ovation User Group meeting. Excitation control includes synchronous machine regulation, exciter, synchronous machine for...
    • 25 Jul 2017

    Suite of Cybersecurity Technologies and Practices

    Emerson’s Adam Boeckmann presented the Power and Water Cybersecurity Suite at the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference. He opened describing the team that formed over the last several years that now supports more than 200 sites in the U.S. alone. He shared the story of the recent Wannacry/WannaCrypt ransomware cyber-attack. In March of 2017, Microsoft released a patch. A month later, the National Security Agency (NSA...
    • 25 Jul 2017

    Applying Threat Intelligence for Industrial Control System Defense

    There are many paths to pursue in improving cyber defenses for industrial control systems (ICS). At the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference, Emerson’s Tom Kizer presented on applying threat intelligence for system defense. Tom opened by acknowledging that identifying effective threat intelligence is difficult. Threat intelligence is data collected, organized, analyzed and refined about potential or current attacks...
    • 25 Jul 2017

    Microgrid Monitoring and Control

    At the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference , Emerson’s Fred Huff presented on microgrid controls. Fred opened describing a microgrid as one that could stand alone or connect to the larger electrical grid. Components include distributed generation (DG), loads—critical and non-critical, energy storage systems (ESS), points of common coupling (PCC) and a microgrid controller. Fred focused on the control components of...
    • 25 Jul 2017

    Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Trends and Compliance

    As critical infrastructure, cybersecurity remains a top concern for electrical power, water and wastewater industry companies. At the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference , Emerson’s Jaime Foose led a panel of trends in cybersecurity threats and compliance. The panel included experts from National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)/ Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team ...
    • 24 Jul 2017

    Reliable Electrical Power and Utilities at the University of Texas

    As a University of Texas electrical engineering graduate, it is great to hear a success story on the successful electrical load control using Emerson technology on the main campus in Austin, Texas. The campus operates an independent electrical grid but connects back to the Texas electrical grid. The utilities department has a $2.8 million operating budget. The utilities group produces 140MW of electrical power and provides...
    • 24 Jul 2017

    Simulator Helps Drive Cultural Change Toward Operational Excellence

    At the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference, there was a presentation by an electrical power producer on driving cultural change and operational excellence through the use of simulation in the Ovation distributed control system . The facility had a 92% capacity factor so it was basically running all the time. The facility was challenged with aging workers and losing valuable experience. They decided to commit to a...
    • 24 Jul 2017

    Technology Advancements for Power, Water & Wastewater Industries

    At the 2017 Ovation Users Group conference, Emerson’s Steve Schilling discussed the rapid changes going on in the power, water and wastewater industries and the changes in technology required to keep up with these changes. Steve opened highlighting some of the key issues worrying people in these industries—reliability, reliable integration of renewables and distributed energy resources (DER), security, aging infrastructure...
    • 18 Jul 2017

    Comprehensive Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure

    The electrical power generation and distribution industries, especially here in the U.S., have a long history in working to improve reliability and security. This history goes back to the establishment of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) in the late 1960s as a response to a widespread blackout in the Northeastern U.S. NERC became the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (also NERC...
    • 10 Jul 2017

    Upcoming Ovation Users’ Group Conference

    Two weeks from now, July 23-27 2017, will be Emerson’s Power & Water Solutions business unit’s Ovation Users’ Group conference . This year will mark its 30 th year. The Ovation Users’ Group is managed, guided, and run exclusively by its members, with Emerson’s Power & Water Solutions business unit providing financial, personnel, and product support as necessary. This conference is put together by Ovation and WDPF...
    • 22 May 2017

    Avoiding Dangerous Malware Infections

    The malware WannaCry/WannaCrypt has been all over the news recently. Since most of the operator and engineering workstations used in distributed control systems (DCSs) and supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) are PC-based, the question was naturally could these have been/or be impacted by this dangerous malware. I caught up with Emerson’s Jaime Foose . She noted that it is important to point out...
    • 10 Apr 2015

    Different Approaches for Managing DCSs and Enterprise Systems

    Author: Dennis Tkacs Why do computer driven systems fail? It’s a subject I want to develop over the next few blog posts. And by fail I don’t mean technically, but rather why do they fail to meet the business cases under which their procurement was initially justified? There are multiple reasons and none have to do with technology. Rather, it has to do with governance and to fully understand the implications we have...
    • 3 Dec 2014

    Power-Gen International—Heightening Plant and Fleet Readiness

    If you’re in the power generation industry and attending (or considering attending) next week’s Power-Gen International conference in Orlando, Florida USA, make sure to connect with the Emerson team in Booth 1849 . They are ready to listen to the challenges you face and offer ways to heighten your plant and fleet readiness to help improve availability and gain more efficiency from your operations and workforce. Register...
    • 8 Aug 2014

    Technology Enhancements Simplify Foundation Fieldbus

    I want to once again elevate the comments of Emerson’s Jonas Berge around the topic of educational materials for the Foundation fieldbus digital communications technology. In a post, For Foundation Fieldbus Segment Design-Use Typicals Approach , a commenter asked: Fieldbus technologies have always presented an element of fear amongst the “uninitiated” user. Is there a Fieldbus Installation Tips 101 anywhere that...
    • 7 Jul 2014

    Cybersecurity for Water Utilities

    One only has to do a Google News search on cybersecurity to know it is a key concern for businesses across the globe. In a Water Online article, SCADA Cybersecurity: What Every Water Utility Should Do Now To Prevent An Attack, Emerson’s Doug Johnson shares areas of concern and a path for water utilities to […] Read the full text.
    • 3 Feb 2014

    Knowledge Sharing at Ovation User Group

    User group conferences are a tremendous source of peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. What’s learned at these conferences can be invaluable as a shortcut to learning what works well, what to avoid, and who has similar interests with whom you can connect. Combined Cycle Journal editor, Bob Schwieger, shared his experiences in an article, Users push tomorrow’s […] Read the full text.
    • 18 Apr 2013

    Applying Wireless Vibration Monitoring in Electrical Power Stations

    In a recent ME Plant & Maintenance article, Wireless Vibration Monitoring –improves reliability and enhances safety (pdf), a rotating machinery engineer describes how his power station used a wireless vibration transmitter to avoid shutting down a turbine producing 200MW of electricity. Online vibration monitoring, running continuously, coupled with analysis tools helps power station personnel to [...] Read the full text...
    • 13 Mar 2013

    Updated Foundation Fieldbus Segment Design Tool

    The diagnostics available in smart instrumentation can help to improve process efficiency, reduce unplanned downtime, reduce maintenance costs, and more. I received word that a valuable tool, the Foundation Fieldbus Segment Design Tool, has been updated to help in the upfront engineering process. The tool is specifically designed to provide a general guide for reducing [...] Read the full text.