Innovation in control systems

As time goes on, improvements are being developed, innovations spread and are being discovered. Whereas for the mechanical part the advances are steady, control systems have made quantum leap improvements compared to systems of 15 or 30 years ago. Because control systems only cost a fraction of the mechanical systems, a control system retrofit is very attractive to consider .

Investment-effect ratio

Consider investing in an upgrade of the control systems, some recent advancements in the industry are summed up below.

Visualisation and trending of all engine parameters in a comfortable control room. Better visualisation provides a quick and efficient access to all the important gas turbine control information.

No more missed events, no need for that spurious fault to re-occur to properly diagnose it. The order of events is accurate, leaving no doubt as to what came first. All data is stored and can still be analyzed months after the event. And can be compared with data of 1, 2 or 3 years ago, or longer if desired. All with a sampling resolution of 0.5 second or better.

Discrimination of events is dramatically better. Whereas older systems may have one indication light saying that there is ‘a' fault, current systems will point you exactly to the faulty device - further supported with a historical trend of that device.

For specific troubleshooting there is fast event-triggered data logging possible, both on an external computer (at roughly 50-100 ms intervals) and even on-CPU (at processor scan interval).

Current PLCs are much more accurate. High definition analog to digital conversion and self-calibration are the reasons for this. This makes it possible to operate engines closer to their limits - safely. Examples are exhaust gas temperature limit and compressor surge limit. You are less likely to burn an engine out. Or you can operate with one engine less because you know you are safely on that limit. Think of the savings in fuel cost and CO2 emission!

More intelligence can be put in the control system if needed when compared with discrete systems. Changes are easy to program. For example stopping the engine with a cooling-down cycle instead of just cutting the fuel reduces the number of overhauls on your engine while keeping its performance. The gas compressor does not have to be depressurised on each stop saving on CH4 emission.

Availability can further be increased by adding redundant field instrumentation which is then processed by the CPU using intelligent voting. Notorious problematic sensors no longer shut you down.

Coupling to DCS or remote systems is easy to accomplish. There is no more need to limit dispatching with only a subset of the information available locally.

Key competence in control systems for gas turbine installations

Holland-Controls owns key competence in control systems for gas turbine installations, reciprocating engines, station control systems and power management systems. This accounts for the complete spectrum of specification, software and hardware design, parts procurement, in-house and on-site testing, subcontracting and supervision for on-site construction, commissioning, handover, customer training and support.

Talk to us about recent innovations which can help you operate your installation with a higher reliability,, more up-time and with the use of futureproof technology using an expendable system architecture.