Apache update won by Westinghouse

Westinghouse Process Control has been selected by Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) to update process control systems at its Apache Station southwest of Tucson at Cochise, Ariz.

Westinghouse Process Control and Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) have signed a $5 million contract, under which Westinghouse will engineer and install new computer systems for three of Apache’s generating units by May of 2003.

At its Apache Station, AEPCO operates a 520MW power plant comprising of two 175MW coal-or-gas fired units, one 85MW natural gas combined cycle unit, and an additional 85MW of combustion turbine resources.

Westinghouse will install its Ovation information and control system to help AEPCO achieve its management goals of availability, reliability and maintainability. Ovation will meet the plant’s original design specifications, says Westinghouse

During installation, engineers will incorporate AEPCO’s existing operator interface software from Intellution, Westinghouse’s sister company within Emerson Electric. The interface will then create a plant-wide interface able to communicate with Ovation sensors, controllers and I/O devices.

‘The Ovation system will replace older analogue systems on units two and three, and a 10 year-old digital system on unit one, giving Apache a plant-wide, open-architecture system that helps protect the facility from obsolescence,’ said Ann Pauley, president of Westinghouse Process Control. ‘By incorporating the Intellution interface, our engineers allow AEPCO to preserve its investment in that software, and reduce the amount of re-training necessary for Apache operators.’

The custom-designed system will stabilise boiler temperatures to improve the facility’s loss on ignition (LOI), allowing the plant to burn fuel, particularly coal, more completely. Traditionally, the fly and bottom ash created by burning coal is disposed of in expensive landfills.

However AEPCO produces a high quality, low-carbon content ash, which it currently sells 60 to 80% of for use in high-strength concrete and construction products. By targeting LOI, Ovation will further decrease the amount of carbon present in Apache’s fly and bottom ash, increasing its desirability for beneficial, environmentally friendly uses, while allowing the plant to use fuel more efficiently.

Ovation is platform independent and uses standards-based networks. Through a secure data line, the Apache plant will be directly connected to Westinghouse Process Control engineers at its Pittsburgh headquarters, allowing for system troubleshooting and timely service after installation.

Westinghouse estimates as much as a 40% reduction in maintenance costs, a 10 to 25% reduction in the number of forced outages caused by control-related events in coal-fired power plants.