2016 02 Paper: Better Generator Performance Without Breaking the Plant or the Bank

This paper will discuss how a small team from Snowy Hydro accomplished significant plant improvements with minimal resources, physical plant modifications or demand on others outside their Project Team. The objective was to improve generator start time and start consistency. A previous project had already achieved some "easy wins" that gave best return for effort towards the 260 second ‘start to fully loaded’ goal. The new team’s challenge was to question if it was viable to reduce start/loading times further without an unreasonable amount of engineering effort and without putting the plant at risk. The key to this was having consistently fast starting times and minimising the damaging no-load running. These improvements were achieved on plant that ranged in age between 40-56 years old. The development of a turbine simulation for Hardware In the Loop (HIL) tests was a key feature. Some old heads were initially sceptical and a large part of the project was convincing others that better performance could be achieved without being harder on the plant. The paper will discuss how the team was able to develop tools to efficiently solve problems, the challenges faced, the successes and the failures.

  • Author: Adam Robinson, Selwyn Hunt
  • Exchange: 2016 - Queenstown Meridian
  • Company: Snowy Hydro
  • Topic: Controls, Data Analytics, Governor, Optimisation, SCADA
  • Key Words: Control Philosophy, PLC, computerised