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ABB helps Uskmouth harness the power of data with integrated recording

18 November 2010

ABB’s SM3000 videographic recorders streamline operations at Uskmouth Power Station

Swapping paper chart recorders for SM3000 videographic recorders from ABB promises to optimise operations and boost efficiency at Uskmouth Power Station in Newport, South Wales.

The 12 new recorders collect and store data on important parameters such as temperature, vibration and expansion in the power station's three turbines. The intention is to link the recorders' output into Uskmouth's distributed control system.

By passing this information to Scottish and Southern Energy's (SSE's) central storage facility, SSE will be able to use the information to monitor future operating trends.

This will enable the company to spot the tell-tale signs of potential turbine problems early so that engineers can optimise turbine operations and carry out preventive maintenance.

The installation of the recorders as standalone units is complete and integration work is now underway. A third-party software conversion tool is being used to translate the information from the SM3000 units, which communicate using Modbus, and the distributed control system server, which uses OPC.

"Once the work is complete it should make everything a lot easier," says control and instrument team leader John Phillips. "The stored data will be used for diagnostics and will automatically generate historical records. We've previously had to download all this information manually into a historian application."

All of the SM3000 units have 36 channels, enabling data to be recorded from analogue, digital and Modbus inputs. This data can be viewed in a variety of formats, with strip and circular chart, bargraph and process views all included as standard.

The SM3000's 8MB on board solid state Flash memory can store 2.8 million samples of data, which can be archived to solid state SmartMedia and Compact Flash memory cards (16Mb-128Mb) and easily transferred to a PC. Protection against mechanical failure is guaranteed by the absence of any moving parts, whilst the use of Flash memory technology means the SM3000 does not rely on batteries to preserve stored data during a power failure.

"Updating the site from the previously installed paper chart recorders to modern videographic recorders means that SSE now has immediate access to a much wider range of operational data," says Les Slocombe, ABB Business Development Manager. "The SM3000 also has a 12.1 inch backlit colour display, which allows the data across all the measured parameters to be clearly viewed, either individually or collectively on a single screen."

As with all ABB SM series videographic recorders, the SM3000 is simple to configure and operate. All commands and information are presented in a familiar WindowsTM based environment, enabling operators to get up and running quickly. Configuration can be conducted whilst the unit is on-line, via the SM3000's key pad, or off-line using a standard PC.

Uskmouth Power Station is a coal-fired power station at the mouth of the River Usk. SSE bought the 363MW station from Welsh Power Group in 2009. Uskmouth is one of the cleanest coal-fired stations in Europe, having undergone a major refurbishment in 2000 that included the installation of flue-gas desulphurisation equipment.

For more information: Chris Ashby
Email: moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com
Tel: 0870 600 6122

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