What’s happening at the Power Plant Controls meeting, August 28 -31 – Combined Cycle Journal

What’s happening at the Power Plant Controls meeting, August 28 -31

The Power Plant Control Users Group conducts is sixth annual symposium at the Power Users Combined Conference, August 28 – 31, in the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. The group, organized in 2018 to provide an open forum through in-person meetings and online seminars, disseminates information of value to owner/operators regarding the operation, maintenance, inspection, troubleshooting, and repair of control systems tasked with maximizing equipment performance and reliability.

While controls user groups serving the electric power industry typically focus on a given product—the Siemens T3000, for example—PPCUG presentations and discussions cover systems and equipment made by all OEMs and suppliers.

Technical program for the upcoming meeting was developed by an all-volunteer steering committee of industry engineers with deep controls experience identified in the sidebar and accompanying photo. An overview of the presentations scheduled for the week beginning August 28 follows.

PPCUG steering committee, 2023

Chair: David Martorana, operations program director, Tenaska
Vice Chair: Richard Chiafolo, consulting engineer, Dominion

Brian Hall, maintenance specialist, TECO Energy
Jason Justice, principal engineer, Southern Company
Eric Mui, controls engineer, Talen Energy
Peter So, director of project management and development, Calpine

Expectation is that most of the presentations will be made available to owner/operators through the Power Users website a few months from now—except for those by GE and Siemens-Energy. Access the GE PowerPoints at https://mydashboard.gepower.com; the Siemens-Energy presentations on the company’s Customer Extranet Portal, https://siemens.force.com/cep.

Slide decks from 2022 and earlier meetings already are accessible to registered users. If you are not registered, sign up now at www.powerusers.org: It’s easy and there’s no charge.

You can get a good idea of the fine work this organization performs by perusing the summaries of presentations made by both users and vendors last year. They follow the 2023 overview immediately below. You’re likely to find some best practices and lessons learned ripe for implementation at your plant.

Monday, August 28. The morning program begins with two presentations by Beamex: “Using Metrology Fundamentals in Calibration to Drive Long-Term Value” and “Optimal Testing Parameters for Process Instrument Calibration.”

GE takes the podium after the break, speaking to the following topics:

  • Asset performance management.
  • Dispatch optimizer.
  • PII—getting the most out of your PI system.

The afternoon is dedicated to training, with ABB, GE, and Process Innovations leading the “beginner” program before the afternoon recess. For maximum benefit, participants are urged to bring their own devices and to connect to their systems.

The program for experienced attendees following the break focuses on GE’s Mark VIe turbine and plant control systems, including fundamentals of maintenance and troubleshooting, as well as on system architecture by ABB and Process Innovations.

Tuesday, August 29. ABB starts the day with “A Practical Approach to Alarm Management and Rationalization” and “Innovative Combined-Cycle Control Philosophy.” Following the morning break, PSM speaks to “Operational Intelligence—Augmenting Your Plant with Self-Learning Algorithms and AI-driven Analytic Capabilities,” and Black & Veatch to “Using Real-Time Data Analytics to Improve Asset Reliability and Performance Across a Combined-Cycle Fleet.”

GE has the afternoon program. Here are its talking points:

  • GE and Nexus together: Moving forward (cyber, HMI, platform, lifecycle).
  • Pre-start checks.
  • Sliding-pressure control and auto governor testing.
  • Technology refresher.
  • Alarm rationalization.
  • Advanced attemperator controls.
  • Lessons learned from the field.

Tuesday’s technical program ends at 5 when the three-hour Vendor Fair begins.

Wednesday, August 30. Emerson presents first, on advanced system logic. HRST follows on duct-burner flame-detector controls. After the morning break, Siemens-Energy takes command of the podium until the afternoon recess. Lunch interrupts from noon to 1 p.m.

Here’s the Siemens-Energy lineup:

  • Steam-turbine modernization options for combined-cycle plants.
  • Live visualization of plant and equipment engineering.
    The challenges of effective OT cyber monitoring.
  • Plant flexibility and integration with intermittent generating assets.
  • Low-load operations.
  • Operator training through web-based virtual plant simulators.

These presentations close out Day Three:

  • I&C training and outage support, Endress+Hauser.
  • Lessons learned of controls replacement with obsolete equipment, MD&A.
  • Battery Energy Storage System black start.

Thursday, August 31, the final day of the conference, morning only, is planned for a series of user and vendor presentations—possibly as many as eight. But details were not available at press time. Follow program developments on the PPCUG pages of the Power Users website at www.powerusers.org. Alternatively, you can come up to date when you register for the conference.

PPCUG steering committee (l to r): Peter So, Brian Hall, Clift Pompee (has since transferred to the LCPG), Jason Justice, David Martorana, Richard Chiafolo
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