ABB Customer World: Simulating power for better control


HOUSTON -- In the process control arena, “convergence” has been a growing trend for years as more and more functionality from previously disparate systems is consolidated behind a single user interface. One important aspect of any process is the electric power system that supports it, but to date most process control systems have not modeled it in a robust way. This has implications, notably with regard to operator effectiveness, safety and project delays.

As experienced operators retire, new operators must be trained to take their place. That training process is extremely important because the operators’ ability to identify potential problems and implement solutions quickly is predicated on their knowledge of the systems they are controlling. Operational errors can cause delays in plant startup, increase costs and most importantly put people’s safety at risk. Still, on-site testing and training is expensive, and it can be challenging to capture different scenarios that operators might encounter.

ABB Process Power Simulator reduces unplanned downtime and shortens commissioning and startup time by training operators to master plant processes on a simulation system. By combining the plant electrical control system with Process Power Simulator, operator training and control system testing can be conducted in a realistic yet disconnected environment.

As a result, verification and validation of control strategies, product solutions, procedures and sequences can be completed in a safe environment. Process Power Simulator can also be used for optimization and engineering studies to improve productivity and energy savings.

Process Power Simulator simulates power system equipment like generators, transformers and breakers as well as electric motors. It enables full-scale testing of power control, load shedding, synchronization and other features in the Process Power Manager library.

In testing, Process Power Simulator saves time during factory acceptance tests by running multiple scenarios virtually rather than physically setting up equipment for a given scenario. It lowers execution time by testing the electrical control system in early project phase, and ensures that it handles disruptions as intended.

The system also includes a web-based instructor interface for running training scenarios and interacting with the model in detail. As a training tool, it captures and shares electrical system operator knowledge and reduces the number of process interrupts and blackouts while increasing safety and reliability. Process Power Simulator is also highly mobile, able to run on a laptop or tablet without any additional hardware.

ABB plans to make a pilot version available in April with the first technical release scheduled for June and additions shortly thereafter.

Related News ///


Comments ///

comments powered by Disqus