Symphony Plus DCS controls enable a unique new emissions technology in U.S.

2017-01-18 - Close cooperation and a partnership approach with our customer were key to the successful completion of a complex ABB Symphony® Plus control installation that included the first appearance of a unique new environmental controls technology in the United States. The result is a satisfied customer with a future-ready power plant that is prepared for stricter clean air environmental regulations in the years to come.

Using Regenerative Activated Coke Technology (ReACTTM), which was originally developed in Japan and operates there in one of the cleanest coal plants in the world, the customer aimed to drastically reduce emissions of SOx, NOx and mercury from flue gas. The automation controls of this innovative environmental process was to be added on to an existing Symphony Plus distributed control system that was already in operation at the 335 megawatt (MW) Generating Unit 3 of the Weston power plant, a three unit, 952 MW thermal power plant in central Wisconsin. As this technology was new to the U.S., its installation required a rigorous up-front controls design effort between ABB and the plant operator, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS).

Dry-type scrubbing technology

ReACT is an integrated, multipollutant control process that effectively removes sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury (Hg) from coal-fired plants by adsorption with activated coke to attain very low emission levels of those pollutants. One major advantage of the ReACT process is that it uses only a fraction of the water used by conventional wet flue gas desulfurization technology. The process also produces high quality sulfuric acid which is a saleable by-product.

Designing a process and building a control schematic for a new environmental technology was challenging for both WPS and ABB, but ABB remained adaptable to the evolving data and project scope. WPS provided the engineering design, which ABB implemented providing dedicated field service, applications, and cyber security engineers. Through this close cooperation, a straightforward DCS expansion project became a completely customized project delivered in synchronization with the concurrent site commissioning schedule.

Adaptability overcomes controls complexity

The project was more complicated and sophisticated than anyone thought it would be originally. It perfectly demonstrates the adaptability of ABB Symphony Plus design and functionality, which delivers seamless, scalable, flexible, secure control for the entire plant with complete plant information on one platform.

The system’s scalable design meets a broad spectrum of applications and process requirements, and provides easy design of complex control strategies using an extensive library of pre-defined control algorithms.

Customer satisfaction

WPS was very concerned about putting a large amount of additional I/O into an existing system that was already running, and it was crucially important that all networks communicated correctly. ABB not only engineered DCS for the ReACTTM system, but installed and commissioned all of the DCS hardware and network equipment. ABB delivered its solution perfectly, on time and without issues.

With the completion of the project, the expanded DCS and simulator system now include control of the ReACTTM environmental equipment. Additionally, ABB expanded the existing cyber security scope from Weston Unit 3 to also encompass the ReACTTM system. This provided a fully customized solution including AV management, Backup and Recovery, Microsoft Patch Management, and Application Whitelisting, which had been tailored specifically to the plant. The ultimate goal was to ensure that all of the newly expanded control networks communicated effectively.

This complex project was so well executed that the outage plan to tie the ReACTTM DCS into the main unit DCS for six days was reduced after the work was completed in just four days. Just another example of how the ABB team works hard to collaborate and create the results our customers expect.

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