Emerson to retrofit controls for dual-fuel, GE Frame 7E turbine with Dry Low NOx combustion at MMWEC’s Stony Brook power plant

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Emerson Process Management's Innovative Control Systems (ICS) will replace legacy controls on a GE Frame 7E gas turbine at Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company’s (MMWEC) Stony Brook Intermediate Unit. The project marks one of the few times a non-OEM has been chosen to retrofit controls on a GE Frame turbine with Dry Low NOx (DLN) combustion.
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Grace Capwell
Emerson Automation Solutions
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Project will improve operator interface, reporting, alarming and diagnostics capabilities at combined-cycle plant

PITTSBURGH (October 12, 2010) — Emerson Process Management's Innovative Control Systems (ICS) will replace legacy controls on a GE Frame 7E gas turbine at Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company’s (MMWEC) Stony Brook Intermediate Unit. ICS recently became part of Emerson's Power & Water Solutions group. The project marks one of the few times a non-OEM has been chosen to retrofit controls on a GE Frame turbine with Dry Low NOx (DLN) combustion.

The Stony Brook Intermediate Unit is a 354-MW (3x1) combined-cycle plant with three GE Frame 7E gas turbines that generate electricity using either oil or natural gas, as well as a single steam turbine. The Intermediate Unit and a 172-MW peaking unit with two GE Frame 7E gas turbines together make up the five-unit Stony Brook power plant, located in Ludlow, Mass.

For this project, Emerson will replace existing GE Mark V controls on Unit 1B, an 80-MW dual-fuel gas turbine, with a new, non-proprietary PLC-based control system.  The new system will maintain common hardware, functionality and software with the other units while also accommodating the additional I/O associated with the DLN system, including additional pressure transmitters, water injection flow meters and flame detectors. Emerson will also upgrade the unit’s existing vibration probes and heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) operator panel. 

The new controls, which will interface to the unit’s automatic generation control (AGC) system, excitation system and continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS), will provide a number of operational benefits, including an improved operator interface, and more robust reporting, alarming and diagnostics capabilities. 

When the Unit 1B control system upgrade is complete, all five units of the Stony Brook plant will be controlled from a central control room for maximum operator efficiency. 

ICS was selected for this project due to its extensive experience upgrading controls on GE Frame 7E turbines and the success of previous turbine control upgrades performed for Stony Brook dual-fuel units 1A and 1C, as well as the plant’s 2A and 2B gas turbine units.  As of September 2010, these units have had 275 starts with zero failures, according to Stony Brook Plant Manager Karl Winkler.

“Based on our experience with the four previous turbine control upgrades ICS performed at Stony Brook, we were confident that they had the level of expertise needed for this latest project, which has additional complexity due to the DLN combustion,” said Winkler. 

“We’re pleased to continue our working relationship with Stony Brook and play a further role in optimizing the efficiency and availability of this power generation facility," said Pat Nolan, president, ICS for Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions. 

According to Nolan, ICS’ recent acquisition by Emerson Process Management opens the door for the company to further diversify its control solutions for customers. “Now, we look forward to offering our customers an even broader portfolio of industry-leading turbine control solutions backed by the global resources and significant power industry expertise of Emerson,” he continued.

The ICS team has long been a leader in providing turnkey solutions – including planning, engineering, configuration, installation, and commissioning – for turbomachinery automation retrofits. ICS experience complements Emerson's expertise in turbine condition monitoring and protection systems, instrumentation, analyzers and valves. As part of Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions, ICS continues to support its existing customer base and deliver hardware-independent engineered solutions while adding Emerson’s Ovation™ platform to its expanded portfolio of combustion turbine control solutions. 

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About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Our Emerson Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit Emerson.com.

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