Utility slashes fuel usage at large power generating unit using Emersons combined cycle optimization strategies

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Emerson expertise and Ovation™ Advanced Power Applications lead to 67 percent reduction in hot start fuel usage and faster startups; reduced emissions expected to follow

PITTSBURGH (January 27, 2016) — Emerson Process Management has completed a combined cycle optimization project that generated operational improvements and slashed average fuel usage at a large power-generating unit operated by one of the largest utilities in the U.S.

To help the utility reduce fuel costs during unit startup, Emerson combined its expertise in combined cycle plant control and operations with several of its Ovation Advanced Power Applications. The result was a 67 percent reduction in average 2x1 hot start fuel usage. Additionally, average transition fuel usage – the fuel used to bring another combustion turbine/ heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) train online and blend it with the running units – was reduced by 31 percent.

These fuel reductions and corresponding improvement in startup time are particularly significant, as this unit averages 50 hot starts and 300 hot transitions a year. Emissions are also expected to decline accordingly.

Based on the success of this project, Emerson will implement its combined cycle optimization program at several additional units owned by this 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. We can help our customers adapt to this changing operating environment, and achieve quantifiable and sustainable combined cycle performance improvements.

Emerson’s combined cycle optimization program is based on a highly structured process involving close collaboration with the customer. The initial stages of the optimization project entail collecting historical process data to generate models of the plant’s current operating performance in order to identify opportunities for improvement.  Emerson then develops and deploys dynamic performance metrics, which are created in standard Ovation logic, that serve as the basis for tracking and validating improvements throughout the project.   

Once the optimized startup process is validated through analysis and testing, Emerson’s power experts focus on reducing variability through increased task automation and reduced dependency on manual operator intervention. Advanced control strategies that actively control HRSG energy distribution to coordinate combustion turbine firing, steam turbine generator loading, and steam bypass and attemperation result in steam flows and conditions that minimize energy losses within engineering constraints.


About Emerson Process Management

Emerson Process Management (www.EmersonProcess.com), an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include Bettis™, DeltaV™, Fisher™, Micro Motion™, Ovation™ and Rosemount™.

 About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world.  The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2015 were $22.3 billion.  For more information, visit Emerson.com.

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