Golden Nuggets from the Power Plant Controls Users Group: Part 1 – Combined Cycle Journal

Golden Nuggets from the Power Plant Controls Users Group: Part 1

With the 2023 Power Plant Controls Users Group (PPCUG) approaching August 28-31 in Atlanta, part of the greater Power Users Combined Conference, reviewing some of the content from last year’s meeting should encourage you to attend or send someone from your organization to experience this valuable content in person. Presentation abstracts below are based on information available only to end users in the slide decks posted at Those seeking deeper dives into specific topics should note the presentation titles in italics at the end of each summary and access the source material on the website.

Build a Mark VIe controller

If you’d like to learn how to build a controller for the Mark VIe control system, select variables and constants, add logic, change setpoints, and use the configuration, then these two sets of slides with get you familiar with the screens involved. The second training “lab” focuses on trip logs, historical data collection, and the PI historian.

“Mark VIe Controls Familiarization Lab 1: Variables, Logic Types, Cimplicity” and “Lab II: Watch Window, Trender, DDRs”

No historian? No problem

These user-provided slides show you how to “look at high-speed historical data from your GE Mark VI or VIe even if you don’t have a GE historian.” GE ControlST software, in an area called WorkstationST, has a feature called “Recorder” which has many of the same functions as a historian. In particular, the presenter drills down to explain how to set up the “continuous collection” feature of “Live Data Collection,” and offers two methods for viewing the data.

“GE Controls ST Data Collection Tools”

Extract more value from PI

The seasoned PI administrator for a large fleet gives tips for extracting more value from your data historian, particularly in the areas of getting better data (compression and exception functions), improving analytics, and facilitating reporting. A real-world example of almost draining a chemical tank and suffering equipment damage illustrates some of the points.

“Making the Most of your PI Historian”

How to be an effective owner’s engineer

Abel Rochwarger, GTC Control Solutions, a division of AP4 Group, offers lessons learned from controls upgrades of two gas turbines. Findings include mislocation of power supplies, errors in drawings, and missing SCR fault-detection coils. The mission, he says, of an owner’s engineer is to avoid conflict and deliver good service.

“Controls Upgrade? Lessons Learned” 

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