Creating Stability in Power Plants

Unlocking the true value of smart sensing devices through digitalization

Unlocking the true value of smart sensing devices through digitalization

ABB offers a varied selection of reliable measurement and analytical products and solutions geared towards power generation. Through measurement products from AAB, powerplant operators are able to maximize asset efficiency whilst complying with local and international legislative standards of operation. Operators receive access to data on a number of required critical measurements, ranging from combustion performance to water chemistry.

Alongside these mechanisms, digital technologies are also providing new opportunities to improve productivity. This article presents smart devices in various power plant applications, as well as a number of innovative solutions that address customer needs by coupling physical devices with relevant software.

Focus Areas

  • Overview of measurement & analytical devices, as well as digital solutions for power plant applications
  • More efficient surveying through ABB Ability mobile gas leak detection systems
  • Dynamic QR codes that facilitate that could remotely troubleshoot problems in emission monitoring systems
  • Condition monitoring of emission monitoring systems enhancing plant availability
  • Increased productivity through improved device commissioning time with ABB Ability Field Information Manager (FIM)
  • Improved instrumentation maintenance with ABB Ability Verification for measurement devices
  • Wireless devices that facilitate a cost-effective process optimization project
  • Remote monitoring and secured data back-up of effluent discharge measurements

ABB Ability Solutions for Measurements

ABB Ability mobile natural gas leak detection – finds leaks fast and shares data via the Cloud – improves pipeline integrity and public safety

ABB Ability mobile natural gas leak detection – finds leaks fast and shares data via the Cloud – improves pipeline integrity and public safety

Focus Area 1: Mobile Natural Gas Leak Detection

Overview

Utilities, alongside gas transmission and distribution companies, are continuously challenged by compliance issues in pipeline monitoring as a result of:

  • aging infrastructure
  • interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • reliance on time-consuming, error-prone monitoring systems as a result of pressure to cut costs
  • pressure to improve system integrity and safety
  • need for data transparency

City by night

City by night

Customer Situation and Industry Need

The present demand for fast, reliable, and transparent data cannot be supplied by traditional leak detection processes. In order to scan for pipeline leaks, districts and neighborhoods usually seek assistance from third-party utility companies.

With its short detection range, low operational speed, and proneness in detecting false positives, the current surveying equipment is unreliable. Additionally, the surveyor also needs to manually locate and mark any identified leaks using a map and pencil.

ABB takes emission monitoring to the next level – make the move from preventive to predictive maintenance enhancing system availability and operation performance

ABB takes emission monitoring to the next level – make the move from preventive to predictive maintenance enhancing system availability and operation performance

ABB Solution

The ABB Ability Mobile Gas Leak Detection system enables quick leak location detection and data sharing via cloud technology.

  • Improves pipeline integrity and public safety while surveying up to 25x greater area in comparison with traditional methods
  • Enables operators to detect leaks even hundreds of meters away using a flexible and remote measure-map-share technology. This mechanism is compatible with cars, ATVs, aircrafts, and drones.
  • The ABB Ability Mobile Gas Leak Detection system uses ABB’s patented Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) technique which is 3,000 times more sensitive and precise than legacy methods. This allows for the identification of leaks that are several hundreds of feet away from the source.

Mobile platform – speeds up to 50 mph/automatic leak detection using high sensitivity MicroPortable methane analyzer

Mobile platform – speeds up to 50 mph/automatic leak detection using high sensitivity MicroPortable methane analyzer

Outcomes

Because of the major reduction in surveying time brought about by the ABB Ability Mobile Gas Leak Detection system, significant maintenance costs are saved. The fast and timely detection of gas pipeline leaks, combined with digital results that are immediately available online, allows utility companies to move forward with swiftness and efficiency.

Drone-based gas detection – 3D gas detection

Drone-based gas detection – 3D gas detection

Focus Area 2: Reducing the Risk of Powerplant Shutdown

Overview

Emission monitoring systems are critical plant components because loss of measurement data can have major consequences for the customer. Although the exact problem causes may not always be easily evident or solvable, experts may easily recognize early indicators of an issues, ahead of more significant signs of failure. Through digitalization, the collection and use of such insight as a tool for preventing system failures and maintaining online systems is possible.

Digitally connected products and services providing expertize

Digitally connected products and services providing expertize

ACF5000 Analyzer CEM system installed at the Lévis incinerator in Québec, Canada

ACF5000 Analyzer CEM system installed at the Lévis incinerator in Québec, Canada

Customer Situation and Industry Need

When an emission system fails, or when measurements are no longer accurate, the customer strives to return the equipment to operation as fast as possible and at the lowest possible cause. Forward-thinking companies should be able to understand the root causes of such problems, predict possible failures in the future, and ensure that similar events occur less frequently, also keeping in mind that any resolutions should not incur large costs.

ABB Solution 1: Dynamic QR Code Assistance for Analyzers

Integration of dynamically-generated QR Codes on analyzer display:

  • Static information for system identification
  • Dynamic information on system configuration and analyzer health status

The user loads the ABB application 'my Installed Base' (myIB), photographs the QR code, and sends the data to ABB for remote troubleshooting.

An ABB expert can then troubleshoot the problem using the ABB Ability Verification, a specialized software designed to measure devices and remotely explain to customers the procedure for fixing system concerns. If the issues is not able to be resolved remotely via phone support, a trained service technician is deployed as soon as possible.

Outcomes

Through timely and efficient remote support, the system was quickly brought back to full operation, and the risk of unplanned plant stoppages was reduced.

ABB Solution 2: ABB Ability Condition Monitoring for Measurement Devices

The condition monitoring solution enables the continuous monitoring of analytical systems for early fault detection, allowing predictive—rather than preventive—maintenance. This solution is coupled with support from ABB Service Centers that can analyze and address available data to ensure that assets are in full operation and are in line with industry-level standards. In case of unexpected failure, the system can be remotely analyzed and any detected faults addressed.

Outcomes

The emission monitoring system improved its reliability and availability, ensuring maximum powerplant uptime with more predictable operational costs.

Plant Components

Focus Area 3: Increase Productivity by Streamlining System Commissioning

Customer Situation and Industry Need

Commissioning and configuring new instruments is a time-consuming process. Oftentimes, available asset management tools are outdated, complicated to use, difficult to install, and heavily rely on physical connection for initial configuration. During unplanned shutdowns, when rapid commissioning could affect profits, customers require a simple and universal software solution that can easily be configured with any device to prepare configuration while not online.

ABB Solution

The ABB Field Information Manager (FIM) is a universal tool that automatically searches for field devices, identifies suitable drivers, and successfully connects in less than three minutes. The ABB FIM is capable of connecting to any HART™ device through an FDI package or device driver. It is also designed to perform offline configuration. FIM is a flexible solution that can directly and remotely access devices using a HART modem using System 800xA or through an infrared service port.

Outcomes

Saved configurations are also stored as back-up files. When a replacement device is needed, these configurations can be uploaded with ease. As a result, time and money is saved. Improved device management, meanwhile, positively affects operational efficiency.

ABB Ability instrumentation verification solution – reducing maintenance effort and enhancing process and operation performance

ABB Ability instrumentation verification solution – reducing maintenance effort and enhancing process and operation performance

ABB Ability Field Information Manager (FIM) window

ABB Ability Field Information Manager (FIM) window

Plant Components

Focus Area 4: Instrumentation Verification Ensuring Processes Continuously Operate at Their Peak

Overview

Verification is the process of inspecting and testing a product to determine if it meets regulatory and technical requirements, particularly in terms of measurement and performance.

Industrial instrumentation is required to be robust and reliable. It is designed to operate for years with minimal maintenance; however, it is best-practice to inspect and maintain such assets as a crucial part of one’s process.

ABB Ability Instrumentation verification software operated on industrial tablet

ABB Ability Instrumentation verification software operated on industrial tablet

Customer Situation and Industry Need

Every customer is seeking various methods to maximize their profits by improving process performance and availability. Simultaneously, companies are required to comply with increasingly more strict regulations, such as necessary regular testing of instrument accuracy.

Regular instrument verification is one method to ensure that processes continuously operate with safety during their peak. As the need for skilled instrument technicians is ever-growing, operators and customers are continuously challenged with managing their assets effectively.

ABB Solution

The ABB Ability Verification for measurement devices enables customers to easily verify the performance of their instrumentation, independent of the need for highly skilled or experienced personnel. Technicians can then analyze historical data in order to detect early signs of faults. This significantly reduces costs brought about by process downtime.

Outcomes

The newly-enhanced instrumentation testing procedure is fast and efficient. It ensures that processes and operations are appropriately functioning at their peak, enabling maximized revenues and increased profitability.

Instruments and integration solutions for temperature, pressure, level, flow and density measurement

Instruments and integration solutions for temperature, pressure, level, flow and density measurement

Features of the ABB Ability Verification for Measurement Devices Platform

Plant Components

ABB Ability Verification for measurement devices is a software platform that can be used with a range of ABB devices.

Focus Area 5: Optimize Processes by Adding Wireless Measurements to Your Process

Customer Situation and Industry Need

When building a plant, the available budget oftentimes decrees the number of instruments to be installed, creating a need for balance between effectively controlling the process and identifying areas for process optimization monitoring.

Plants are generally equipped with wired communications between devices and control systems. Adding new measurement points in wired infrastructures is difficult and costly; however, as the process evolves and new requirements are established, it is beneficial to add instrumentation once the process is operational.

ABB Solution

Through wireless devices, customers are able to add measurement points without spending too much on wiring. ABB offers a range of pressure, temperature, and vibration devices, in addition to WirelessHart adaptors that can be connected to any Hart device or gateways to create a mesh network with up to 250 wireless products.

Outcomes

Operators and customers gained new knowledge on system processes, leading to improved process efficiency. Investment costs for running optimization projects were also reduced. The provided solutions could easily be integrated into control system networks.

Online remote monitoring of effluent discharges helping to ensure regulatory compliance

Online remote monitoring of effluent discharges helping to ensure regulatory compliance

Plant Components

Focus Area 6: Remote Monitoring of Effluent Discharges

Customer Situation and Industry Need

Regulations on environmental preservation often require powerplants to provide evidence of chemical content and volume discharges during operation. If plant operators are unable to present their measurement data, prove initial waste monitoring, and demonstrate that they have complied with legal limitations, then large fines may be incurred.

A cost-effective system is required for data back-up and remote monitoring. This is to increase plant productivity and alleviate the risk of unexpected data loss.

ABB Solution

Presented in Figure 1 is a typical arrangement of an effluent flow monitoring system, a device that records pH measurements and flow data. Through its ethernet communications and integrated webserver, the RVG200 paperless chart recorder is well suited to this application. This device enables a secure, simple, and remote connection through either the plant network or GSM modem (when ethernet connectivity is unavailable).

Typical arrangement of effluent flow monitoring system

Figure 1. Typical arrangement of effluent flow monitoring system

Data from the recorder can be imported into a data storage and review software (Figure 2) called DataManager Pro.

Using DataManager Pro to remotely view and store data as a back-up

Figure 2. Using DataManager Pro to remotely view and store data as a back-up

Outcomes

A successful remote operation of the effluent flow monitoring system, complete with a secured data back-up, allows for operational security and peace.

Plant Components

ABB recorders and controllers may be utilized in a range of applications within a powerplant.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by ABB Measurement & Analytics.

For more information on this source, please visit ABB Measurement & Analytics.

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