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Power Plant Operations

Logic, Instrumentation &


Control

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Topics in this section

Your Operating Expectations

Logic-Controlling the Process

SAMA Drawings

Components of PID Control

Mark VI and DCS

Instrumentation and Measurement

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Control Systems like we use for operating the equipment at the
Generating Station are often complex.

There are many points where the controls for the processes are
interconnected.

Awareness of how these systems and processes interact is essential


for you to effectively understand and control the process, troubleshoot
off-normal conditions and maintain control during recovery/repair.

When you operate a control or system, you should have a reasonable


expectation of what affect will be seen in the process or unit operation.

Whether you are starting a simple process..

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Or operating a complex system with multiple variables in the operating
scheme..

You expect certain events to occur!

For Example:

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If your expectations are not met, then you need to be able to analyze
what occurred and implement temporary action to maintain control of
your operating environment while the root cause for unexpected results
is identified and corrected.

In other words, you put a temporary


Operating Band Aid on it based on your
skill & knowledge!

Similarly, it would also be ideal if you would have a clear mental picture
of the equipment that you are operating and what action will be
initiated in the field and the logic when you change a control setting.

Stated in its simplest form:

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Or, to bring it into our environment:

Plant knowledge of location and function of field devices, as well as


their appropriate name, is necessary to fully understand the result of
control inputs you make.

In order to understand what is affecting the process you are trying to


control, you need to be aware of what information is affecting the way
your equipment responds.

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It is our intention in this section to provide information that will help you develop or
improve that awareness. Some of the control information includes Logic and SAMA
Drawings.

Operators may not normally use a SAMA drawing in their daily tasks or
for trouble shooting, but a passing familiarity with the concept is useful
for ensuring clearer communication with your Controls Specialist or
Electrical Maintenance when discussing Control issues.

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To understand P I D loops, we need to be familiar with a few common
terms

Most controllers use common terminology. This is:

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The basis of most control is control error or control OFFSET.
Control error or control offset is the difference between the setpoint
and the process variable.

It could be the difference between the furnace pressure setpoint and


actual furnace pressure as shown in the example above or any other
setpoint and measured variable in any process.

Proportional Control

Note the direct response of the damper position to the draft. As


draft increases, the damper closes. As draft decreases, the
damper opens. This is an example of a Proportional only
controller.

There is no attempt to get ahead of the changes.

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The more the float drops, the faster the water will flow into the
tank to fill it back up.

As it gets closer and closer to setpoint, the flow lessens. As the


name indicates, the flow into the tank is proportional to the flow
out.
This is great unless you put it on a boiler drum.

Think about it. With only proportional control on a steam drum,


the greater the boiler load, the lower the drum level. Not a good
thing.
Lets review some basic terms by examining a pneumatic
controller.

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The RESET or integral is measured in repeats per minute. The
higher the repeats per minute, the faster this controller is going to
try and return itself to the setpoint.

This is not how fast the controller reacts to the change in the
system, it is how fast it tries to recover. These may sound like the
same thing, but they are not.

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Lets look at the final control in the diagram, Proportional Gain.

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This would be high proportional gain.

We can also set it so that it opens 1% further for each number below
setpoint. This is very low proportional gain. At this rate, pressure
would probably never recover.

The proportional gain simply tells the valve how much to react to a
given control error.

The only part of the PID control we are missing is the D. This stands
for derivative.

Our simple pneumatic pressure control loop above does not have
derivative built into it.

Derivative is simply a function that changes output based on how


fast the process is changing, not how much the process is
changing.

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When a PID loop is properly tuned, you should be able to observe
quarter wave dampening.

This simply means that when the process is upset, there should not be
more than 4 oscillations until the process is back at setpoint.

Each control error


oscillation should be
25% less than the
previous one.

If you have a loop tuned with quarter wave dampening, it is considered


properly tuned.

When would this control scheme be unable to get the


process back in control?

Lets look at the Hotwell controls on the Simulated Plant..

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The simulated plant uses two valves in series to provide minimum flow
protection for the Condensate Pumps and Steam Packing Exhauster.
This may seem like an unusual configuration.

Both valves must be open for flow to occur.

This occurs only if flow drops below minimum AND the pump
discharge header pressure is ABOVE a minimum value.

One opens to provide a minimum flow back to the Hotwell.

The other controls backpressure on the line from the pumps.

What is the advantage of this setup?

Lets compare this to the SAMA drawing for this control

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Some plants only have one minimum flow valve. A single valve,
however, can still be operated by both flow and pressure through the
control system.

Note the bypass valves in this view. There are two valves, just like
there are two regulators. There would be a greater opportunity for leak
through and valve wear if only one valve was employed.

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Next, we will look at the Hotwell level control. This differs from some
plants in that three regulators are controlled by the level control logic.

When the controller Output is at 50% (Mid-Point), all


valves are closed.
A value higher than 50% will open makeup
A value lower than 50% will open the Surplus to the
Storage Tank

Lets compare this to the SAMA drawing for Hotwell Level control

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Hotwell Level Control Logic

This Logic is basically a series of questions that describe the state of a


measured variable in a process.
There are only two possible answers or states for each question.
These answers are YES or NO.

Each decision point on the Logic line requires one or multiple YES
inputs to generate a YES output to the next step.

Lets look at what would force the Hotwell Level controller to go to


Manual

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GE Mark VI and Honeywell DCS Controls

Originally, the ABB Unit 1 was built with a GE Mark II Control


System. This was a totally analog system.

When the Unit Controls were upgraded to the Honeywell DCS


Control System in 2004, the GE Mark II Main Turbine, Generator
and Boiler Feed Pump control system was replaced with a GE
Mark VI control.

The overall function is the same, but the level of control and
monitoring with the Mark VI system is much greater. It also
allows for more interface with the other plant control systems
through Modbus connections.

When in DCS Mode, the DCS System sends information to the


Mark VI control for Electrical Load, Turbine Throttle and BFP
Feedwater requirements.

MODBUS is a serial communications protocol published by


Modicon in 1979 for use with its programmable logic controllers
(PLCs). It has become a de facto standard communications
protocol in industry, and is now the most commonly available
means of connecting industrial electronics.

MODBUS allows for communication between many devices


connected to the same network. Modbus is often used to connect
a supervisory computer with a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) in
Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

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Every control system is limited by the accuracy,
placement and functionality of field devices.

What are the most common field


measurements that every power plant control
system uses to evaluate and run the plant?

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In order to perform the necessary calculations, measurements
must be taken from the process using field measurement devices
and transmitted to the control system.
Among the field measurement devices are:

There are a number of ways to get the field data into the control
system. The most common is through the use of transmitters that
convert a physical signal to a 4 to 20 milliamp signal.

The 4 20 milliamp signal is the standard for transmitting data to


the control system.

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This is an industry standard differential
pressure device attached to a Honeywell 4 to 20
milliamp transmitter head.

You will find theses in many locations


throughout the plant.

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Would this type of device work for monitoring flow in the
air-in and gas-out ducts?

If we are measuring flue gas, air, or other gas in a large scale, low
pressure system such as a boiler secondary air duct, other
methods tend be used because they are less costly to buy and
restrict flow less.

Remember, differential pressure is costly


as it requires higher horsepower to keep
the fluid/gas moving due to increased
resistance.

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While the pitot tube and annubar both work off of
differential pressure similar to an orifice plate, they do not
affect or cause appreciable resistance in the air flow path
as is the case where an orifice plate is used.

Proper use of a pitot tube in a duct would require that the duct cross
section be evaluated to find the area that exhibits average flow.

The reason for this is that flow in a duct is turbulent and not
laminar.

Also, changes in flow volume can affect flow dynamics, making proper
placement problematical.

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Temperature Compensation

Why do we need to use temperature compensation


when determining flow?

Any system with heated liquid, gas or steam must be


temperature compensated to ascertain the proper flow
because density changes with temperature.

The higher the temperature, the less dense the material.


This is why a hot air balloon rises.

As the density decreases, the differential across the orifice for a


given flow will tend to decrease.
This would show less flow than is truly there. Therefore, we must
temperature compensate the flow in a heated system.

Think about the differential across the Generator H2 circulating


fan and how changing purity may affect the p

Lets look at temperature compensation as applied to the 1A


Pulverizer PA control.

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Measuring Temperature

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The chart above lists the highest temperature recommended for
different TC combinations. As you can see, a common metal such
as copper or iron is not going to be good for main steam or other
high temperatures. The rule of thumb is The more exotic the
metal combination, the higher the temperature it is good for.

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RTDs are far less susceptible to electrical noise but are less
durable and fail at a much higher rate than TCs.

RTDs are read using a wheatstone bridge or a galvanometer.

RTDs use either platinum, nickel, or copper in their construction.

As with TCs, platinum is the most accurate and can take the
highest temperature.

Where might these be used in the Power Plant?

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Measuring Pressure

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What are the advantage and potential problems with each
of these?

Selecting which of these field devices to use on a particular piece


of equipment and how it is controlled is determined by the many
factors, including the process requirement and cost.

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