Upgrading turbine equipment helps extend the operational lifetime of a Colombian power plant

Source: Turbine Technology Services Corporation

Oct 24, 2013

Turbine Technology Services Corporation (TTS), a full-service gas turbine engineering services firm based in Orlando, Florida, is finishing a project involving the replacement of multiple gas turbines, along with the modernization of balance-of-plant (BOP) control systems at the Termoyopal power plant, north of Bogota, Colombia.

TTS’ project in the South American nation required the modernization of 3 existing and 2 replacement gas turbine power generation assets to enhance Termoyopal’s capabilities.

Upon completion of the modernization project, Termoyopal’s turbines were successfully upgraded to improve the reliability to a critical energy generation resource, which serves the needs of the city of Yopal and surrounding communities in a region where power generation is a catalyst for progress and stability.

In addition to the plant’s turbine equipment upgrades, TTS was challenged with the complexity of Termoyopal’s existing control systems, which incorporated multiple legacy GE MKIIs, MKIV and 3rd Modicon-based programmable logic controller (PLC) control systems.

When TTS arrived at Termoyopal, it was discovered that the maintenance personnel was burdened with having to use multiple programming languages and hardware platforms, as well as stocking spare parts for each of the different systems—making the management and maintenance of their turbine systems an even more complex effort.

TTS provided a solution that not only simplified the operation and consolidated the mix under a single platform—it also modernized the entire plant control, increasing available system data while offering an interface tailored to the operators’ and maintenance engineers’ specifications for plant operations.

Since plant staff was already familiar with the existing systems, TTS’ installation of replacement turbines and modernized controls gave Termoyopal the opportunity to resolve challenges in the OEM equipment, while rationalizing the control and operation of the entire plant.

To deliver an effective solution, TTS implemented Rockwell Automation’s PlantPax system, thus providing Termoyopal with a core system upgrade that led to a scalable architecture—adding much needed flexibility and the ease of adding hardware and software components.

Additional enhancements included adding cybersecurity protection, Rockwell’s RSLogix5000 programming software, which follows the industrial programming standard IEC 61131-3 and features programming languages  Ladder Logic, Structured Text, Sequential Function Chart, and Function Block.

In the end, TTS successfully coupled these programming tools with an intuitive operator interface (HMI) platform that gave the Termoyopal power plant and staff the tools needed to operate their power plant with much greater flexibility than ever before.

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