FOUNDATION Fieldbus Contributes to Record-breaking Power Plant Efficiency

By FieldComm Group

Jan 03, 2017

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When it comes to setting efficiency records in the power generation industry, leading utilities and their equipment partners turn to FOUNDATION Fieldbus. The technology enables advanced digital control capabilities and provides the robust data needed to optimize plant operations.

EDF, a major French energy supplier, in cooperation with General Electric (GE) Power Generation, recently made history for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant in Bouchain, France. The facility began operation in June 2016 and has a generating capability of more than 605 MW. It generates enough power to supply more than 680,000 homes.

Key to record efficiency at the Bouchain plant was GE’s 9HA gas turbine unit technology, developed and manufactured at the company’s Belfort Gas Turbine Center of Excellence in France. The HA gas turbine delivers enhanced flexibility and is capable of reaching full power in less than 30 minutes. This allows fast response to grid demand fluctuations, as well as integrating renewables to meet industry guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

GE’s Digital Power Plant capabilities also played an important role in achieving peak performance at the Bouchain site. The plant’s digital control system uses real-time data to enable better outcomes with stable and efficient operations, while providing valuable predictive insights for higher reliability and optimization. The control system employs FOUNDATION Fieldbus sensors and valves, which comprise 65 percent of process instrumentation in the plant’s turbine and generator sections, and 95 percent of field devices in its combined cycle and balance-of-plant sections.

FOUNDATION Fieldbus-connected pressure, temperature, level, flow, and analytical instruments provide an enhanced picture of process parameters, and isolation and control valves utilizing the technology enable an assessment of plant readiness that is impossible to achieve with conventional instruments. These digital devices are seamlessly and securely connected to cloud-based analytic and monitoring services, bringing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to life.

The Bouchain plant utilized FOUNDATION Fieldbus to reduce costs through easier commissioning and configuration, and improve reliability for plant availability. Powerful diagnostics make it possible for operators to identify device faults long before the plant is affected. Furthermore, FOUNDATION Fieldbus supports advanced control and modeling, predictive analytics and proactive maintenance. Control room and field personnel have a better user experience due to enhanced alarms and effective device asset management. Fieldbus wiring and terminations also help reduce labor and construction costs.

By monitoring and analyzing data from sensor inputs across the plant, the FOUNDATION Fieldbus-based digital control system helps EDF make decisions about how to optimally run its power generation facility, achieving better performance, greater efficiency and improved reliability while lowering environmental impact

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