Emerson Process Management says its combined-cycle optimization program has demonstrated a 67-percent reduction in average 2x1 hot start fuel usage and a 31-percent reduction in average transition fuel usage at a power plant unit owned by a U.S. utility.
According to Emerson, the unit averages 50 hot starts and 300 hot transitions a year, and in addition to slashing fuel usage emissions are also expected to decline.
Emerson is now implementing the program at several other units owned by the same utility.
“Over the last decade, we’ve seen combined-cycle plants shift from baseload to more flexible operation with increased cycling frequency,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson Process Management’s Power & Water Solutions. “Our extensive balance-of-plant experience has shown that for power blocks experiencing heavy cycling, it is critical to look at the complete operational cycle from shutdown back through the startup in order to drive maximum performance.”
Emerson started by collecting historical process data to generate models of the plants operating performance. Then metrics were created with Ovation Advanced Power Applications and deployed to track improvements throughout the project.
After validating the results, Emerson focused on reducing variability by increasing automation, reducing dependency on manual operator intervention. Advanced control strategies result in steam flows and conditions that minimize energy losses within engineering constraints.