All-in-one automation solution for power plants

04 January 2012

The Metso DNA automation system has been updated to include new control applications designed for steam and gas turbines, pulverized coal-fired combustion optimisation, and overall machine condition monitoring. The DNA system is also pioneering usability applications in process control work.

Commenting on the advances, Edward Coll, regional vice president for Metso Automation Energy and Process Systems, said: "With Metso DNA you can now have one system for power producers that includes energy management, plant information management, controls for the boiler, turbine and Balance of Plant, as well as safety integrated systems and emissions management."

The integration of applications for turbine control, protection and management is said to provide an easy and cost-efficient method to get all turbine functionality in one common system. Functions for turbine control include auto turbine startup, full arc to partial arc transition, MW control, and protection features such as over-speed and power load imbalance.

Operator training simulator and turbine performance monitoring are also available in the integrated DNA package.

Metso DNA Pulverized Coal Combustion Manager is designed to optimise control reactions to dynamic upsets, such as changes in pulverizer configuration, load demand, or fuel variability, ensuring correct fuel and air flow into the entire furnace. This optimisation of the fuel and air mix maximises combustion efficiency while minimising emissions. The unit is housed in rugged, and easily redundant, real-time process controllers, rather than a network-based PC.
Overall, plants using the DNA Coal Combustion Manager consume less fuel and decrease emissions and emission adsorbents usage, says the company.

Another new DNA application is machine condition monitoring. Metso is believed to be the first to integrate this function into the process controls. The application provides real-time condition monitoring of rotating machines, such as fans, pumps and turbines, and allows operators to see condition monitoring alarms in the same interface with process alarms. Traditionally, condition monitoring has been a separate system, mostly utilised by maintenance specialists. With the Metso DNA Machine Monitoring application, both monitoring and process alarms can be shared with operators in the control room. This may help to reduce the likelihood of unscheduled outages and helps to improve maintenance efficiency by alerting operators to potential problem areas before a breakdown occurs.

The Metso DNA Sootblowing Manager calculates, stores and displays boiler heat transfer characteristics that indicate fouling and deposit accumulation on heat transfer surfaces. It also defines the economically optimal sootblowing sequence and location. By optimising the sootblowing process, a plant can improve efficiency by lowering soot losses, and also improve reliability by reducing unnecessary sootblowing cycles.

Metso is also pioneering ‘usability’ in process control work, providing operational information in both real-time and retrospectively, offering system operators a better insight into processes over time which, in turn, enhances their control. ."

The Metso DNA system enables power plants to integrate all operations into a single plant-wide, or even corporate-wide entity, enabling easy access to information for comparing and combining process data. Operators only need to know one system, and customers also benefit from having a single source for global system support, updates and spare parts. The result is a power plant that has lower fuel costs, reduced emissions and higher availability.

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