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Emerson Making Virtual Power Plant a Reality

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/13/2016, Location: North America

With the introduction of the industry’s first integrated control and simulation platform, Emerson has positioned owners of coal, combined cycle and other power generation facilities around the globe to fundamentally change how they operate their power plants. Sales of Ovation™ high-fidelity embedded simulation have more than doubled in the past year, signaling significant demand for the virtual power plant of the future and its value in minimizing risk and improving power plant reliability.

“As customers seek improved performance in areas like unit and fleet availability, flexible operations and workforce effectiveness, virtual simulation tools will provide them unprecedented insight into their operations,” said Bob Yeager, president, Power & Water, Emerson Automation Solutions. “Our customers will go beyond real-time information to anticipate and test the future before it happens, improving their ability to meet growing demand.”

According to a 2016 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, global electricity demand will see a 69 percent increase by 2040, putting further pressure on reliable generation. While the trend toward renewables offers energy resource diversity, cycling traditional power plants due to the variability of renewable sources on the grid has proven to increase stress on production equipment, increasing maintenance costs and adding risk of unplanned outages.

“With new generation assets coming online around the world, the industry will likely be challenged to find experienced operators,” continued Yeager. “Emerson is improving operator effectiveness and confidence while reducing operating risks through intelligent control systems, more realistic training and simulation platforms, and easier-to-use technologies.”

In the virtual power plant of the future, the high-fidelity Ovation power plant simulator will run in parallel with the Ovation control system. Operators can test control logic changes in advance based on real-time plant data to ensure their changes won’t disrupt operations or cause a forced outage. Other Emerson technologies such as pattern recognition, Pervasive Sensing™ and analytical tools will enhance the experience to allow plant operators to virtually experience what may happen in their operation before it does.

Emerson is also the only company that offers a single automation platform for both control and simulation, reducing complexity while allowing power generators to run their plants smarter and more efficiently.

“Decades of deep collaboration with our customers in the power and water industries has given us tremendous insight into what they need from their automation supplier,” continued Yeager. “Emerson will continue to lead innovation that helps to fundamentally improve the way power plants are operated.”

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