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Beating the Drum for Improved Dynamic Performance, Resiliency and Stability

by | Sep 12, 2023 | Control & Safety Systems, Power Generation

James Nyenhuis

James Nyenhuis

Manager Performance Consulting, Power Industry

When was the last time you thought about your drum level control strategy? If it’s been a while, here are a few reasons why you might want to elevate this on your priority list.

The energy landscape has changed as power producers continue their journey toward net-zero. Renewable sources of energy are playing a more prominent role in megawatt generation and this, in turn has implications for conventional power generating assets, which must now quickly and effectively respond to load changes more often than originally intended. This is placing greater demand on the dynamic control capability of conventional units. And the consequences are real.

Did You Know: Drum level trips caused by significant transient process events are a leading contributor to reduced plant reliability.

The simple truth is conventional drum level control strategies have inherent limitations when dealing with the varying operating profiles resulting from the intermittent nature of renewable energy. Often, they sacrifice plant dynamic performance to maintain stability under non-steady-state conditions. Fortunately, there is a smarter drum level solution—one that offers better control stability while operating at higher ramp rates, less wear and tear on drum level control valves and better response to transient events.

Emerson’s Ovation™ advanced drum level control solution uses embedded predictive control capabilities to improve dynamic control performance and reliability. This smart solution intelligently controls drum levels through transient events, thereby increasing the stability and resilience of this critical process area.

Plant trips and unplanned downtime cause concerns for customers, headaches for operators and lost revenue for power producers. Importantly,  Ovation advanced drum level control software is proven, built on decades of power industry experience. This enables utilities to operate with confidence at the limits of allowable equipment ramp rates, translating into increased operational flexibility that enables better response to changing system or market conditions, maximizing performance while minimizing reliability risks.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Power Plant Optimization Software page on Emerson.com to find out more about our Ovation™ advanced control software and specifically, how drum level optimization can improve dynamic performance, unit resiliency and stability.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.