High-Fidelity Operator Training Simulator for CCGT Implemented Before Plant Commissioning

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Information about High-Fidelity Operator Training Simulator for CCGT Implemented Before...

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: GSE_systems



This presentation highlights a project in which a high-fidelity operator training simulator was implemented in a North American combined cycle power plant prior to commissioning.

For more information, go to, email info@gses, and follow us on Twitter @GSESystems and at Thanks for viewing!

High-Fidelity Operator Training Simulator for a Combined Cycle Plant Implemented Before Plant Commissioning

Overview •  Simulator project goals & objectives •  North American project schedule •  Unique challenges •  Execution strategy •  Virtual Ovation™ system •  Third-party virtual turbine controls •  High-fidelity modeling approach with JADE™ •  Summary

Simulator Project Objective •  GSE and Emerson provided a high-fidelity simulator with models and controls indistinguishable from a real-time running plant. •  Simulator allows for extensive DCS testing/tuning and operator training prior to plant commissioning •  Simulator allows for testing with third-party turbine controls and Emerson implemented BOP systems

Simulator Project Example •  North American combined cycle plant

Project Goals •  Test the distributed control system (DCS) logic thoroughly ahead of plant commissioning •  Begin training operators ahead plant commissioning •  Configure simulator interface with Emerson Ovation™ Virtual Controllers

Key Project Stake Holders •  Coordinated effort between: –  Simulation vendor (GSE) –  DCS vendor (Emerson) –  Burns & McDonnell – Turn key solution provider –  Utility company

Project Implementation Challenges •  Establishing communication with the simulator software –  Third-party turbine control software in a VMware environment –  Ovation DCS system with the balance of plant –  GSE model software

Project Implementation Challenges – A&E solution from third-party OPC alarm & event server to Ovation – Resetting the A&E interface on IC reset – Turbine control mapper program was designed for real-time environment, not simulation

Project Execution Strategy •  High-resource staffing levels due to compressed schedule •  Simulator logistics focused on maximizing productivity and customer interaction •  Operator training available ahead of plant startup •  Simulator retune at site –  Update the DCS & models with running plant controls after commissioning is complete

Resource Staffing Levels •  GSE provides 3 to 4 simulator team engineers. •  Emerson provides lead project simulation engineer and one project management lead engineer. •  Burns & McDonnell and utility company provide operators for testing and I&C technicians for the first initial startup. •  Third-party turbine control vendor provided remote and contract support.

Project Schedule •  Simulator schedule (12 to 14 months) •  Review external logic outside of the Ovation DCS, some typical examples include: –  Smart breakers –  PLC logic –  Relay logic •  Review third-party plant controls (turbines in VMware environment)

Project Schedule •  Model acceptance testing (MAT) at GSE proves the accuracy of models prior to DCS integration. –  Complete startup with functional controls –  Reduces schedule risk since models will be fully tested before linking them to new controls •  Simulator models interface directly with DCS controls to verify DCS performance prior to plant commissioning.

Field Tuning •  Emerson field service was able to tune the Ovation BOP logic on the simulator. •  Drum level controls, steam bypass control loops and dynamic tuning was completed on the simulator. •  Tuning with the real equipment will still be required, however, the default values have all been modified and scaling and advanced tuning has been completed.

Customer Acceptance •  Factory acceptance testing (FAT) at Emerson involves Burns & McDonnell and utility plant operators working directly with the simulation team to perform startup and shutdown testing. •  Variances are documented and corrected. •  Site acceptance testing (SAT) is done at customer site. This ensures the system performs the same as it does on the factory floor.

Operator Training and Retune •  Operator training will begin 4-5 months ahead of plant startup. •  Simulator retune will be performed at the plant site by Emerson and GSE to update the simulator to the commissioned DCS controls once the plant has been fully commissioned.

Simulator System Architecture •  DCS converted to Ovation virtual controller drops on a virtual controller host (VCH) •  DCS application software (control logic, database, and graphics) is installed on the simulator

Typical Virtual Ovation Layout 2 Model Server Workstation Domain Controller / Database Server Workstation2 Operator Workstation Third Party Turbine Controls Ovation Switch Emulated Hard Panel Workstation Instructor Workstation Virtual Controller Host / Operator Workstation Turbine Network Switch

High-Fidelity Modeling Approach GSE JADETM software: High-fidelity models of plant systems using a two- phase dynamic solution based on conservation of mass, momentum, and energy GSE SimExec software: Controls and monitors the execution of solutions in Real-time, interactively via freeze, run, snap, and reset

Variance Recording System •  GSE, Emerson, and utility company communicate using a discrepancy reporting database accessible via the web, called Mantis. •  Allows quick and efficient documentation and resolution of data requests, model discrepancies, and DCS discrepancies

GSE Testing Checkpoints for Model Readiness Verification •  Simulator schedule incorporates testing checkpoints throughout project to ensure model readiness: –  System unit test (SUT): •  Models tested stand-alone –  Model acceptance test (MAT): •  Models tested integrated together –  Factory acceptance test (FAT): •  Models tested integrated with the DCS

The Advantage of Testing a DCS on a Simulator Prior to Plant Installation •  Allows correction of errors in DCS and ensures the DCS works properly •  Prevents complications during operation of the real plant •  Saves time and money spent on attempting to debug the DCS while controlling real equipment •  Avoids multiple startups/shutdowns needed to make DCS changes

Other Major Benefits of Simulator •  Mimics the real plant for life-long testing and training •  Allows for first pass at field tuning to be performed prior to DCS delivery •  Capable of updating and retuning simultaneously to real plant •  Extensive training for emergency scenarios •  Future DCS logic updates can be tested on the simulator before the real plant

•  Chiller feedback went to all three chillers and logic prevented the start of B and C chillers since indications were fed into the DCS that they were already running once A was started. •  TCA cooler – low flow trip. Third-party turbine controls had trip set points that were too close to control set points after gain blocks were factored in. The initial design didn’t work in actual testing and was subsequently modified. •  Vacuum trip – initial logic only accounted for vacuum pumps in operation and did not account for the hogger holding vacuum when the pumps shut off. This would have caused the vacuum breakers to open as soon as all the vacuum pumps turned off. Real-Life Examples of Integration Benefits

Real-Life Examples of Integration Benefits •  Motor macro was modified so a trip needed to be cleared and reset before it could start again. The issue was observed during simulator testing. •  This is the advantage of staging the project at Emerson so the DCS design team can answer questions.

Summary •  Burns & McDonnell, Emerson and GSE have experience with simulation of a natural gas fired combined cycle power station. •  The testing done on the simulator allowed for training to begin and for startup procedures to be fine tuned.

Feedback •  Once plant commissioning is completed then Burns & McDonnell will advise on further benefits from having the simulator.

For more information: Go to: Call: 800.638.7912 Email: Follow us on: Twitter @GSESystems

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