ABB reinforces operations efficiency of Quezon power plant

By Myrna M. Velasco – October 24, 2017, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

With its “Ability Symphony Plus” training simulator digital solution, European firm ABB will be reinforcing the operational efficiencies of the 460-megawatt Quezon power plant sited in Mauban town of Quezon province.

ABB said this new training simulator will “upskill operators at plant” with an upgraded human-machine interface via its Ability Symphony Plus control system.

As noted by Kevin Kosisko, managing director of ABB’s power generation business unit, they will be banking on their company’s “strong track record in providing expertise and services to help operators handle the complexity of their power plants.”

He added their solution-offer to Quezon Power is “a collaborative approach, which is in line with our ABB Ability offering,” that will be key “in supporting the customer’s decision making and performance.”

ABB’s scope of work on this project covers design and engineering, as well as installation, commissioning, and training.

Frank Thiel, managing director of Quezon Power Phils. Ltd. Co., explained that with this ABB-underpinned training simulator, “our current operators can train and re-train to sharpen their skills, and thus be ready for any eventuality.”

That way, he noted that they will then be able to “respond better to system disturbances, grid off-sets or any other upsetting event that could potentially cause the unit to trip.”

It is worth noting that the Philippine government, through the Department of Energy (DOE), has already been stepping up calls for ‘upgrade requirements’ on the array of power plants in the country so they can boost the operating efficiencies of their facilities and prevent the recurrent outages distressing the power system. Quezon Power is so far advancing initiative on that sphere and becoming the ‘proof-of-concept’ for digital power plants in the country.

Thiel expounded that with this ABB digital solution, “new operators can become familiar with the plant’s control system and learn the operations without working directly in the control system of the plant.” Overall, he said, this entails “less risk” in their operations.

Essentially, the simulator “will offer a virtual recreation of the actual Quezon power plant, including non-standard scenarios and faults, allowing both newly recruited staff and existing operators to become more familiar with their working environment and learn how to react in challenging situations.

Additionally, Thiel said, “our operations team can also test new control logic changes that can improve efficiency for instance, or help us be more resilient to system disturbances.”

He qualified that “by testing the logic changes in the simulator, we can avoid implementing unproven changes in the control system,” emphasizing that this new system “will be quite valuable to our overall operations.”