- August 22, 2011
- Schneider Electric
- Case Study
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has deployed an operator training simulator for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant.
August 22, 2011 - Invensys Operations Management announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has deployed an operator training simulator for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant with carbon capture using innovative simulation software-based training solutions from Invensys. Implemented at the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research (AVESTAR) Center in Morgantown, W.Va., Invensys Operations Management’s SimSci-Esscor DYNSIM high-fidelity simulator will help train operators for new IGCC plants now being built in the United States. An AVESTAR facility identical to the one at NETL is also in place at the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy. It also uses a DYNSIM high-fidelity simulator and will be used to assist NETL with research and education. “IGCC with carbon capture holds tremendous promise as a low-cost, clean energy source so IGCC plants are expected to be a key resource for the provision of clean fossil power in the near future. Fulfilling that promise, however, requires an adequate supply of well-trained operators,” said Tobias Scheele, vice president, operations management applications, Invensys Operations Management. “The DOE is using our DYNSIM simulator, just as airlines use flight simulators to train pilots before they take to the air, to help future IGCC plant operators achieve operational and environmental excellence.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that, based on current usage rates, the United States has enough coal to last more than 200 years, but if plants continue to use conventional fossil fuel technologies, they will emit unacceptable levels of CO2 and other pollutants. IGCC with carbon capture offers an environmentally friendly alternative by capturing 90 percent of the CO2 produced by traditional fossil-fuel burning processes while at the same time reducing sulfur, mercury and other NOx emissions. However, IGCC is also a complex process requiring highly trained operators. Many plants are now in various stages of design or construction in the United States and there is a pressing need for a well-trained work force. The DOE is therefore providing high-fidelity simulated environments that will enable trainees to learn to interact with controls that are almost indistinguishable from those they would encounter in a real plant. “IGCC is highly complex, mostly because personnel must learn to operate what is effectively both a chemical processing plant and a power plant. To teach them how to do that we must simulate the chemical process of coal-gasification with CO2 capture together with combined-cycle power generation,” said Stephen E. Zitney, Ph.D. and director of NETL's AVESTAR Center. “No one has ever done that before, but now with help from Invensys, we can simulate routine operations, disturbances and malfunctions, as well as routine and emergency shutdowns. We can even simulate operations and train operators on different coal and biomass feed stocks.” The next phase of the project, already well underway, extends simulation from the control room to outside plant operators, or field operators, expanding the SimSci-Esscor solution to a 3-D virtual reality experience using Invensys Operations Management’s EYESIM immersive training simulator. Wearing a stereoscopic headset or eyewear, IGCC field operators can coordinate activities with control room operators. Immersed in an EYESIM virtual environment, field operators can move and interact as if they were in the real plant. The environment is fully interactive with the simulation models, so actions taken by a field operator will have an impact on the process and actions performed in the control room will change the information visible to the field operator. As a result, field and control room operators will be trained to coordinate their activities and perform collaboratively as a team. About Invensys Operations Management Invensys Operations Management, a division of Invensys, is a leading provider of automation and information technology, systems, software solutions, services and consulting to the global manufacturing and infrastructure industries. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, its solutions are used by more than 40,000 clients around the world in more than 200,000 plants and facilities. Invensys Operations Management’s offerings are delivered under several prominent industry brands, including Avantis, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, InFusion, SimSci-Esscor, Skelta, Triconex and Wonderware. The company’s approximately 9,000 employees and its global partner, Ecosystem, integrate these products and services to help clients collaborate across systems and enterprises in real time, extracting critical data to make faster and better decisions; and synchronize their operations from the plant floor to the executive offices, aligning production goals with business objectives. To learn more about Invensys Operations Management, visit iom.invensys.com. Invensys plc is headquartered in London and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISYS.L), with approximately 20,000 employees working in 50 countries.Learn More
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