Westinghouse Process Control's Smartprocess™ Delivers Measurable Improvements For Power Plants

Source: Westinghouse Process Control, Inc.
Westinghouse Process Control's Smartprocess™ Delivers Measurable Improvements For Power Plants
PITTSBURGH, June 28, 2000 – Westinghouse Process Control, Inc., a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Company, recently released its Smartprocess™ Optimization Software for wide distribution within the power generation community.

Backed by solid performance results from initial field installations at electric utilities in the United States and Eastern Europe, SmartProcess provides power plants with solutions to operational, heat rate and regulatory compliance challenges throughout the full plant operating range.

A hybrid combination of linear models, neural networks and fuzzy logic, SmartProcess offers a suite of intelligent software modules capable of working with any distributed control system (DCS). The suite includes modules to optimize many power generation processes, including steam temperature control, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and opacity emissions, sootblowing, and load dispatch. While similar software products use steady-state optimization, SmartProcess enhances processes dynamically, providing consistent, reliable results during all plant operating scenarios, including startup, shutdown, load swings and baseload operation.

"By incorporating a variety of technologies, SmartProcess provides the most accurate optimization for the dynamic, interrelated processes specific to power generation," said Jeff Grott, SmartProcess Project Manager for Westinghouse Process Control. "SmartProcess installations have already shown impressive performance improvements, achieving NOx reductions between 15 to 35 percent and significant reductions in steam temperature variances."

Options & Answers for Every Power Plant
Each SmartProcess module has been engineered to respond to today's deregulation and environmental compliance challenges, and is further customized by Westinghouse Process Control power generation experts to provide measurable solutions for specific plant requirements.

Modules in the SmartProcess suite use knowledge-based software tools to enhance power generation. These modules function in a fully automated "optimizer" mode, sending optimum setpoints and biases directly to the existing DCS in a continually adapting closed-loop system. Modules may optionally operate in an open-loop "advisory" mode. Available modules include:

  • Boiler Efficiency Optimizer – This software tool optimizes boiler and combustion processes to improve heat rate. Plants move through variable load ranges without interruption, while maintaining optimal heat transfer conditions.
  • Economic Dispatch Optimizer – This module optimizes the distribution of load demands across multiple units or unit components through a cost-based function which considers dynamically generated efficiency curves, operating costs and emissions to improve profitability.
  • Low NOx Optimizer – Similar in operation to the Boiler Efficiency Optimizer, this module optimizes fuel-to-air ratios across all burners, providing a decrease in NOx emission levels while operating boilers at maximum efficiency.
  • Opacity Optimizer – Another optimizer for the boiler combustion process, this module generates optimal bias signals and setpoint adjustments to minimize and control opacity without compromising boiler efficiency.
  • Sootblower Optimizer – This module improves plant performance by modeling boiler cleanliness factors and optimizing the frequency and location of sootblowing, based on opacity or steam savings objectives. It then initiates strategic sootblowing sequences to minimize heat rate and process steam loss.
  • Steam Temperature Optimizer – This package generates optimal attemporation setpoint signals for precise control of steam temperature, providing a stable, balanced process with improved generating capacity and load change reaction time.
  • Global Performance Advisor – This complete package of boiler and turbine performance calculations allows operators to identify controllable losses, track equipment performance against design specifications, and quickly identify inefficient processes in order to take corrective action and decrease operating costs. This performance monitoring system provides real-time performance data to management to facilitate generation decisions. The Global Performance Advisor uses the Microsoft OLE for Process Control standard (OPC) and can be integrated with any control system supporting an OPC server.
  • Westinghouse Process Control engineers implement SmartProcess through a series of steps that begin with the generation of a plant test plan; move through data collection, model development, installation, and DCS integration; and conclude with proven, successful operation and customer acceptance. Installed SmartProcess software resides on a desktop personal computer, or, for users of Westinghouse Process Control's WDPF® and Ovation® systems, can be installed on a Sun® Microsystems workstation.

    Westinghouse Process Control also offers optional feasibility studies to determine return on the SmartProcess investment. Studies consist of a site assessment, on-site data sampling, development and validation of a plant model, and simulation to determine expected process improvements. As part of the feasibility study, the SmartProcess engineering staff submits a report to the customer, outlining a custom installation for the facility, and an estimate of expected process improvements.

    For information on SmartProcess Optimization Software, visit Westinghouse Process Control at, or call (800) 445-9723.

    Westinghouse Process Control, Inc., is a global supplier of advanced distributed process control and information systems. The Pittsburgh-based company is a recognized leader in developing plant-wide process control solutions for the power generation, water treatment and wastewater treatment industries. Westinghouse Process Control is part of Emerson Electric's Fisher-Rosemount family of companies.

    St. Louis-based Emerson Electric is a global manufacturer with market and technology leadership in process control; industrial automation; electronics and telecommunications; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and, appliances and tools.