Power Plant Cybersecurity, Control, Automation, M&D: Issue #2

Cybersecurity: Get your mind right

It's time to think differently about cybersecurity. As was famously noted in the classic movie, Cool Hand Luke, you have to "get your mind right" and accept some fundamental principles, if not truths.

    • You are never done.

    • Fear sells.

    • The free-flowing network is dead.

    • The larger threat is the one you don't want to think about. more 

Ovation Users' Group, meeting highlights: Controls platform expands envelope of services, functions

The numbers are tough to defeat. During the five-year period 2000-2004, around 200,000 MW of gas-fired capacity was installed in the US. The expected life of the control systems for those facilities is far less than the physical components-the steam turbine, for example-considering the dizzying progress with digital technology and general obsolescence characteristics of digital hardware. This explains why so many combined cycles and peaking gas turbine/generator plants have been undergoing control system retrofits in recent years. more 

Cogen plant in the oil patch gets a controls makeover 

Replacing and upgrading controls systems serving gas-turbine (GT) cogeneration facilities installed one, two, and three decades ago continues unabated. CCJ editors recently visited one such plant in the California oil patch and discussed controls-related experience with the plant manager (PM). Evidence of this manager's I&C chops were additionally revealed in a 1991 ASME paper he co-authored: "Updating Cogeneration Control Systems for Improved Reliability and Operability." In other words, he's been at this for more than two decades. more 

FT4 controls upgrade addresses unique, common issues

Control system retrofits at gas-turbine-based powerplants nationwide are driven by myriad issues. At the top is obsolescence: Many of these plants were installed during the "big wave" from 2000 through 2004 and the lifecycle of digital systems is far shorter than that of the physical equipment. Plus, many West Coast facilities have to adapt to the new dispatch requirements of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). Finally, there are engine-specific issues not handled well by the original controls. more 

Electric fuel control valve streamlines plant operations
Like some other vintage Frame 6B-powered cogen plants, this facility in the California oil patch, recently visited by CCJ editors, was plagued with fuel-gas valve problems, usually requiring at least a man-shift's worth of work each outage to disassemble, clean seats/plugs, and reassemble. Sometimes an outage would have to be taken if leakage was indicated by the P2 pressure between scheduled outages. more

Cogen plant controls replacement: 'non-proprietary' is key 

Solutions for upgrading and/or replacing control systems at generating facilities powered by gas turbines continue to proliferate, getting more and more creative all the time. For Veresen Inc's Ripon Cogeneration facility (operated by NAES Corp), a 50-MW steam-injected LM5000 cogeneration plant in California's San Joaquin Valley, the watch word for the replacement was "non-proprietary," according to Brett Weber, O&M manager. Weber defines what this means for his 25-yr-old plant: "We want to be able to buy [control] cards from a vendor down the street." more 

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