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Ovation Advanced Condition Monitoring

Emerson’s Jason King shares an update on advanced condition monitoring in the Ovation distributed control system at last week’s 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference. This integrated machinery protection and condition monitoring module built directly into the Ovation system. It is capable of typical equipment protection functions, but also has condition monitoring technology built in, so no separate software will be needed for diagnosing your most-common rotating asset issues.

Each Ovation Machinery Health Monitor (MHM) module is 8 channels – all 8 can handle your typical turbine supervisory instrumentation like displacement probes, accelerometers, velometers, and other AC or DC sensors that fall into the sensor input ranges. In addition, channels 7 and 8 can also be configured for tachometer sensors of several types (displacement, passive electro-magnetic, hall effect, shaft encoders, and TTL pulse).

A typical protection system in the field today has the sensors and converters in the field, a rack placed somewhere else with its own separate power supplies, and all of these connections to the Ovation system: digital signals for shutdown, alerts, channel faults, setpoint (trip) multiply, and either 4-20mA signals of the overall vibration value from each sensor, or a Modbus connection sharing that data with Ovation, which needs set up, maintained, and can be difficult to troubleshoot. The Ovation Machinery Health Monitor module, the rack and its separate power supplies and all those connections to Ovation are eliminated. Continue Reading

Ovation Intelligence Framework

Emerson’s Alvin Faustino and Azime Can-Cimino discussed plant prognostics with the Ovation Intelligence Framework at the 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference.

Here’s a visual of the framework:

Ovation Intelligence Framework

Azime opened explaining that prognostic maintenance requires starting with data—sensor data and generated data. This data is pre-processed and used to develop a detection or prediction mode by identifying condition indicators and training a model. This model is deployed and continuously refined against the continuously acquired data. Example of generated data might be to look at sensor data in the frequency domain looking for peak frequencies as condition indicators of healthy operation and faulty operation. Continue Reading

Electrical Generator Excitation Control

Emerson's Matt MuskoEmerson’s Matt Musko shared the basics and installation best practices for generator excitation controls at the 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference. Matt opened describing the fundamentals of generator excitation. Three things are necessary to generate electricity: current carrying conductors in the generator armature windings, a magnetic field created by DC current supplied to the field windings, and relative motion between the conductor and magnetic field provided by a rotating turbine and shaft.

The magnitude of the voltage produced by the generator is a function of the number of loops of conductor in the armature windings, the speed of rotation, and the strength of the magnetic field produced by DC current that is controlled by the automatic voltage regulator (AVR).

The exciter is the backbone of the generator control system. It is the power source that supplies the dc magnetizing current to the field windings of a synchronous generator. Two types of exciters are rotating (brush or brushless) and static. Continue Reading

Ovation System Forward View

Emerson's Rick KephartRick Kephart rounds out the 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference with a look into the future around architectures and algorithms. Rick opened with a discussion of Ovation Droplets. It is a lightweight controller that’s part of the 3.7 release. Any Compact Controller can be configured as a Droplet in the Dev Studio configuration software. These compact controllers, configured as standalone, can be adopted as Droplets into an Ovation system.

Some capabilities include that they do not consume a drop on the Ovation network and uses wide area network (WAN) or datalink communication. All points can be historized. They do not communicate alarms in the standard Ovation Alarm Screen but on a private alarm screen to better manage widely distributed applications. Points in a droplet do not have to be unique from one another to simplify configuration. This helps reduce complexity and support scalability over time. One area of engineering effort for a coming release is to add secure VPN from a Droplet back to the Ovation system. Continue Reading

Suppressing Plant Alarms

Since the early days of distributed control systems, much work has been done to improve alarm management and prevent alarms from flooding operators to prevent them from properly diagnosing and correcting abnormal situations. The ANSI/ISA 18.2 alarm management standard began development back in 2003 and built off of the work of other alarm management initiatives. It published as ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries (ISA-18.2) in 2009.

In a 2019 Ovation Users’ Group Conference presentation, Suppressing Alarms in Your Plant, Emerson’s Benjamin Poskie reviewed the ISA-18.2 standard and highlighted the alarm management functionality in the Ovation distributed control system that helps power, water and wastewater plants meet this standard. He discussed nuisance alarms and identifying & releasing suppressed alarms.

Two key performance metrics in the 18.2 standard are to have less than 10 standing alarms and less than 10 alarms in a 10-minute alarm flood for acceptable performance. Highlights of Ovation alarms include on-line parameter tuning, triple redundant alarm icons, suppression by design, manual suppression (shelving) and an alarm suppression log.

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