Emerson’s Scenario® Simulation Technology Dramatically Reduces Plant Startup Time


With Emerson's Scenario® simulation technology, Con Edison's East River Station realized a three-month startup time reduction and ongoing benefits including improved operational efficiency and reliability.

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Grace Capwell
Emerson Automation Solutions
+1 (512) 834-7214

Con Edison’s East River Repowering Project realizes three month reduction followed by ongoing benefits

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 18, 2008) — Use of Emerson’s Scenario® simulation technology offers reduced plant startup time for new power facility projects and upgrades. Con Edison’s East River Repowering Project (ERRP) illustrates the gains, having realized a three month startup time reduction and ongoing benefits, including improved operational efficiency and reliability. 

ERRP, a truncated combined cycle facility, went into operation several years ago as part of a major improvement project at Con Edison’s East River energy complex. The project was necessary to maintain reliable and reasonably priced steam supply and electricity for Con Edison’s customers throughout New York City. 

The ERRP facility uses two General Electric combustion turbines connected to two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and a steam ring header. This unique configuration provides steam at 3.2 million lb./hr. for dispatch into Manhattan, where it is used as a key source for the district heating system. Emerson’s Ovation® technology provides control for a number of critical processes used in this 360-MW plant. 

Con Edison’s significant investment in this plant made safe and timely commissioning and startup crucial. Because the East River facility is located in Manhattan, Con Edison also had to adhere to strict environmental constraints, such as noise levels during construction, as well as emissions levels during plant commissioning, startup and operation. 

In order to help ensure optimal operation of the East River plant, Con Edison sought a way to efficiently train their operators using equipment and plant models duplicating the repowered East River plant prior to actual commissioning and startup. Con Edison also wanted a tool to help them verify and validate new control logic prior to its installation into the plant’s Ovation control system. 

Based on a two-decade relationship of proven performance, Con Edison partnered with Emerson to provide the right solution. Emerson’s Scenario simulation technology was selected to monitor and control the unique processes associated with the new technology employed at the East River site. To ensure optimal plant operation, Con Edison engineers and operators teamed with Emerson to configure a high-fidelity Scenario solution. 

ERRP’s Scenario simulation consists of actual plant control software and duplicate workstations that mimic the East River control room. Scenario was used extensively to train operators, formerly familiar with traditional boiler/steam turbine plant configurations, on the operation of the new truncated combined cycle plant. Through utilization of Emerson’s simulation technology, operators also became well versed on using the microprocessor-based system, which unlike the previously installed hard-wired controls, enables operators to more quickly recognize and react to abnormal plant process situations. Scenario simulation was also used to develop optimum operator methodology that is documented in the plant’s operating procedures. 

During the simulation design phase and prior to plant startup, East River’s operators and engineers used Scenario to evaluate both steady state and transient conditions based on plant design criteria. Results of these evaluations provided Con Edison engineers with a better understanding of process dynamics and enhanced troubleshooting tactics, leading to development of accurate control strategies under normal and abnormal operating conditions. 

Con Edison also used Scenario to test interfaces of an extensive amount of third-party equipment connected to the Ovation control system, such as the GE Mark V turbine control system and PLC networks for the burner management, gas compressor and water treatment systems. Pre-testing of the data links helped to further reduce the plant’s commissioning time. 

"Use of Scenario helped to ensure that Con Edison’s investment in ERRP’s new plant technology would be optimized by well-trained operators and accurate controls,” said Hsiu-Chen Wang, senior engineer, Consolidated Edison of New York East River Repowering Project. “One major benefit was safe and efficient plant startup that reduced the plant’s commissioning time from four months to one month.” 

After a successful plant startup, Scenario simulation is now used to optimize East River’s processes for improved efficiency and reliability. Further plant tuning, as well as the addition of any new equipment, can be tested and confirmed using the simulation technology before integration into the live system. Additionally, Con Edison is considering using Scenario as a means to realize additional revenue through its Learning Center outsource training for new cogeneration facilities throughout the New York metropolitan area. 

Emerson has decades of real-world power industry experience designing, engineering and supporting simulation projects. Leading power producers around the world rely on Emerson’s Scenario engineered simulation solutions to enhance the safety, reliability and overall operations of their plants. Utilizing tie-back logic, algorithmic models and comprehensive first-principle models, Scenario can provide a full range of training and engineering simulation solutions tailored to meet the unique operational challenges of each facility. 

"Emerson has a long history of designing, engineering, implementing and supporting simulation technologies,” said Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions division of Emerson. “In today’s ROI-driven business climate, we’re finding that now, more than ever, power producers understand the value of simulation and are eager to take advantage of using this flexible tool for engineering analyses, validating new control logic and enhancing operator performance, all of which contribute to increased plant reliability and safety." 

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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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