Emerson provides high-fidelity simulators for operator training facility

Dec. 18, 2007

Pittsburgh, — Emerson Process Management has received a contract from Luminant of Dallas, Texas, formerly TXU Power, for four high-fidelity simulators. The simulators will be used to equip the power generator’s new Luminant Training Academy, located in Tyler, Texas.

When used as a training tool, simulators teach operators to fully understand the unique operating characteristics of each plant. Through simulation, operators develop a thorough understanding of how their actions impact plant operations and overall plant efficiency. In cases where system changes or equipment upgrades are planned, operators are able to fully validate changes before they are implemented. 

Luminant will use Emerson’s simulators to train operators at four power generating units. One unit (Sandow Unit 4) is already in service, while three (Oak Grove units 1 and 2, and Sandow Steam Electric Station Unit 5) are new units currently under construction. A second phase that would add simulators for other existing plants is currently under consideration.

Emerson high-fidelity simulators use mathematical models to emulate plant processes. Because they are configured using control logic identical to that of each plant, the high-fidelity simulators offer a realistic training and engineering analysis environment. Due to the fast-track nature of the project, Emerson is working with Baltimore-based GSE Systems, a leading provider of simulation and training, to build the high-fidelity models for each unit. This team approach will result in a best-in-breed, customized simulator solution delivered within Luminant’s required timeframe. Emerson’s Power & Water Solutions industry center will engineer and install the simulators, which will be delivered on a schedule of one per month, beginning in March 2008.

A unique aspect of the project is that these four Luminant power generating units use distributed control systems supplied by two different vendors – Emerson and Invensys Process Systems. The capability for Emerson simulators to seamlessly work with any DCS platform was a key factor in the selection of Emerson for this project. This capability will enable operators at Luminant to be cross-trained on all control system platforms, for more efficient workforce deployment.

“The establishment of this Luminant Training Academy underscores our ongoing commitment to operator training with the goal of operating our units as reliably and efficiently as possible,” said Steve Horn, vice president of technology and operational readiness. “The combination of technology and service offered by Emerson was very impressive. They understood our operational goals and were able to provide a solution that will translate into enhanced operator performance and increased plant efficiency.”