Benefits of retrofit explained

Why retrofit

The first question is why retrofit the control system? This can be answered by considering the costs of operating old plant:

  • Frequent maintenance and re-calibration
  • High level of manual intervention to operate plant
  • Unreliable
  • Non scheduled shut down
  • Difficult to diagnose - extended outage

Experience has shown that failures are predominantly due to:

  • Control
  • Instrumentation
  • Auxiliaries

In other words the core engine is robust and reliable; it is the C & I equipment that causes the majority of failures.

What to retrofit

When considering a retrofit always try and move as many control functions from hydro-mechanical equipment to software, electronic or electrical control. This will always improve reliability.

A typical scope of a controls system retrofit might include:

Plant sensors, including:

  • Switches replaced with transmitters (pressure and temperature)
  • Vibration
  • Speed
  • Level

Control functions:

  • Governor
  • Sequencer
  • Temp, Press Monitor
  • Vibration monitor
  • Overspeed Trip
  • Emergency Shutdown
  • AVR, Gen Protection
  • Load Management
  • Operator Interface
  • Event Recorder
  • Remote Control

Plant driven devices:

  • Fuel control valves, gas/liquid
  • MCC Starters
  • Solenoids
  • Motors
  • Actuators
  • Cables

What hardware to use

Try to avoid purpose built specialist hardware, which may suffer from:

  • low quantity
  • low quality
  • high price
  • difficult to self maintain

Instead chose equipment that is:

  • Readily available
  • Mass produced
  • Modular

This type of equipment will have the following benefits:

  • Developed product
  • High quality
  • cost effective
  • Latest Technology
  • readily available
  • Reduced delivery Time
  • Spares readily available

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