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Process simulator to reduce costs for Liddell Power

A new simulator to be built by Yokogawa Australia will reduce costs for the Liddell Power Station in the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales (NSW), the supplier says.

The simulator will enable the power station to train operators in all aspects of the plant’s operation. It will also allow the power plant to replicate and investigate plant failures and test proposed plant modifi cations prior to implementation. The simulation device is expected to take 18 months to build.

According to Yokogawa simulation group manager, Richard Porter, the simulator will integrate seamlessly with Liddell Power Station’s distributed control system (DCS).

“The most important feature of the simulator will be that it runs exactly the same software package as the real plant system — a CENTUM distributed control system installed by Yokogawa some years ago — and uses exactly the same configuration,” he said.

“This makes the simulator the perfect test and training environment for the control system. To the eyes of the operator, the control system appears to be totally identical to the real plant with opera tions and alarm events requiring iden tical attention, making it a very useful training tool. Operators can be trained in every aspect of the plant’s operation, even those that only occur infrequently.”

According to Yokogawa, the new simulator will provide such a realistic representation of the plant that modifi cations to the control system will be able to be both tested and commis sioned on the simulator.

This feature has the potential to dramatically reduce commissioning and implementation costs, and also reduce plant downtime and operating costs, the company says.

The Liddell Power Station is owned by Macquarie Generation, a state- owned corporation established in 1996 following reform of the NSW electricity system, and now Australia’s largest elec tricity generator.

The coal-powered station has four 500MW steam driven turbo alternators and each year produces approximately 10,000 GWhs of electricity, enough power for more than one million average Australian family homes.

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