Bundled Benefits Are iICEing on the Cake

March 25, 2009
Benefits of Bundling Instrumentation, Control and Electrical Systems

“I want to stress that we’re not a product supplier,” began John Ieraci, PE, PMP, marketing and sales manager for ABB Power Generation Canada’s systems division in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. “While ABB does supply products, our mandate is to take these products and use our extensive systems engineering capabilities to develop specific solutions for our customers. In fact, it’s our electrical expertise that sets us apart from our competitors, whether they’re EPCs or suppliers.”

Indeed, ABB Power Generation Canada’s mandate goes way beyond merely delivering products to providing complete automation and electrification solutions to its customers, continued Ieraci. This ABB business unit refers to these turnkey solutions as Instrumentation, Control and Electrification (IEC) or integrated ICE (iICE). Ieraci presented “Benefits of Bundling Instrumentation, Control and Electrical Systems” this week at the ABB Automation and Power World 2009 in Orlando.

“The ICE concept means knowing that a user’s project includes plant instrumentation products, plant control systems and products, and plant electrical systems and products, but then also understanding that they need integration and electrical and control engineering services to pull the whole solution together,” said Ieraci. “This involves performing system studies up-front, properly sizing the equipment and then integrating everything together for the most efficient and optimized solution. We take this process through installation and commissioning, and either install supervision only or take on complete turnkey responsibility.”

“Many customers don’t realize that ABB can do these projects.” ABB’s John Ieraci profiled success stories for the company’s integrated Instrumentation, Control and Electrification (iICE) project methodology.

ABB Power Generation Canada’s core iICE competencies for power system engineering include performing system studies, electrical design, commissioning, physical design, project engineering, power quality and power electronics. Likewise, it uses design software tools to complete its system studies, electrical engineering, design and drafting, and civil engineering tasks. “For a project to be successful, we must also have excellence in project management (PM),” said Ieraci. “ABB has developed standard PM methods used by our eight regional divisions worldwide. We also share resources and best practices, ensure our PMs use proven methods in project execution, make sure our PMs have experience managing full-scope projects, and that they’re ABB- and PMP- certified.”

Ieraci added the backbone of his business unit’s solution is ABB’s System 800xA and its ability to integrate with all the equipment in a power plant. In addition, many iICE solutions come in modular packages, which means they use pre-fabricated construction, pre-assembled and tested components, and simple logistics and transport to reduce installation and commissioning time to meet users’ shortened project schedules and limited resources.

For example, ABB Power Generation Canada recently cooperated with turbine generator manufacturer Mavel to build a new, small 2 x 5-MW hydro power plant in Concepcion, Panama. Asked to take on “water-to-wire” turnkey responsibility, ABB delivered a distributed control system (DCS), protection systems, MV switchgear, motor control centers (MCCs), AC/DC system, main transformer, substation, lighting, complete engineering, installation supervision and commissioning.

Similarly, ABB also worked with GE on an electromechanical package to help build a new 2 x 300-MW hydro power plant and pumped storage facility for renewable energy in Cheongsong, Korea. Besides implementing fully integrated control and protection systems, this facility is totally automated and remotely controlled from two dispatch centers. The iICE solutions for this project included the protection system, transformers, AC reactors, MV switchgear, LV switchgear, MCCs, excitation system and static frequency converters.

Likewise, ABB helped upgrade Ameren/Taum Sauk’s 2 x 200-MW pump storage hydro facility in Lesterville, Mo. The site was commissioned in 1963, but suffered a dam failure in December 2005. ABB performed a plant audit of the facility’s electrical systems, controls and instrumentation, compared it to modern pump storage plant standards and made recommendations to improve the site’s functions and reliability. ABB also provided a DCS, protection systems, governor system improvements, black start capability, MV switchgear, MCCs, instrumentation, AC/DC system, AC and DC distribution boards, lighting, complete engineering, installation supervision and commissioning. “The first unit will be back online this year, and the second will be online next year,” added Ieraci.

In addition, ABB worked with mechanical engineer Black & Veatch and civil engineer Kuljian to build a new 115-MW coal-fired power plant in 35 months for Black Hills Power/Wygen III in Gillette, Wy. The iICE solutions for the new power plant include a DCS, protection systems, transformers, isolated and non-segregated phase busses, generator circuit breaker, MV and LV switchgear, MCCs, instrumentation and an AC/DC system. “With this project, we identified potential cost savings through fresh engineering, rather than simply duplicating existing electrical designs,” explained Ieraci. “We redesigned the grounding system for the new unit, improved its layout and reduced its cost compared with a previous unit.

“We further recommended a novel approach for running underground cables through duct banks at this new coal-fired plant. The underground cable runs could now be housed in a more robust, but less costly material than the standard galvanized steel tubing that was originally planned. The customer reported that this improvement also reduced construction costs. We also integrated I/O cards directly into the plant’s electrical devices or located them in the field. This eliminated more than 54,000 feet of control cable, which greatly reduced cable, tray, conduit and labor costs, and shortened installation time.”

Finally, Ieraci reported that ABB is even working with eSolar to help design and build a 5-MW Sierra prototype solar power plant in Lancaster, Calif. The plant will consist of two solar light receivers, each supported by a field of heliostat reflectors. The planned thermal plant’s design will include low-impact, prefabricated components, advanced optics and software engineering, and address the customer’s need for low- price, highly scalable facilities, speedy deployment, and minimal grid impact. ABB also will provide a DCS, supervisory controls to a steam turbine, interface to eSolar’s patented Heliostat Field Control System, and an optimization program to evenly distribute solar light reflected by each heliostat to maximize solar thermal receiver life.

“Many customers don’t realize that ABB can do these projects, but we’re a full-scope system solution provider that can provide both products and integrated project functions, such as project management, I&C engineering, electrical engineering, installation and commissioning for all types of power plants, including coal-fired, gas, combined-cycle, hydroelectric, diesel, industrial steam, co-generation, bio-mass and renewable energy,” added Ieraci. “We can perform all phases of these projects from basic design and system studies to detailed design, and then right through to installation, commissioning and after-project support. And, we also have our modular iICE solution for fast-track projects.”