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Siemens innovations in control room technology announced at POWER-GEN Europe

Siemens has made a leap forward in its SPPA-T3000 Instrumentation and Control room technology as announced at POWER-GEN Europe in Cologne, Germany on Tuesday.

Hans-Christian Ostertag, Siemens Energy’s Head of Market Requirements delivered a presentation on the advance in control room technology at the event, which he explained was primarily motivated by the question, “How can a control system boost operator efficiency?”“Information handling and decision making to prevent maloperation and to enable fast and sound troubleshooting are the key to further increase availability and profitability of power generation. It is the core responsibility of the operator in the control room to ensure availability and profitability of a power plant,” Ostertag said.

He explained to the audience three innovations that backbone the new SPPA-T3000 control system, including a new graphical user interface, new intelligent alarm handling and a new concept for central control rooms.

The newly designed user interface offers enhanced, optimized operating efficiency. So-called “trip stop” buttons provide the user with distinct instructions on how to react to faults that occur in the power plant. A fresh harmonization concept enables control of remote power plants from one single, central control room.

The key consideration for the layout and design of the new SPPA-T3000 user interface was to ensure that the operator can intuitively react reliably and correctly in any situation. Vital criteria for this included prioritization, individualization and ergonomics.

Meanwhile innovative intelligent alarm handling in the guise of two “trip stop” buttons were also developed as a new alarm class for SPPA-T3000. These buttons are integrated in the alarm line for the new user interface and enable the operator to react quickly, appropriately and reliably in critical situations. The “trip warning” button is used to evaluate trip-relevant scenarios and generate warning messages to which the operator must give special attention to avoid unwanted shut-downs.

The “trip stop” button can also be used in situations in which a sudden fault re-quires an immediate reaction. This button provides brief, pre-defined instructions on actions to take to avoid unwanted shutdowns, along with an associated user window that the operator can use to help bring the critical situation quickly under control.

Meanwhile new concept in fleet control allows the operator master various plants from one central control room.

The need for central control rooms has arisen as a result of demographic and economic developments. Central control rooms must be capable of operating an entire fleet comprising various power plant installations with dissimilar instrumentation and control systems as if the control room were on hand at each power plant site. Siemens deploys its SPPA-T3000 control system for this purpose in a multiple unit configuration, operators in the central control room have a secure handle on the entire fleet at all times, as if they were actually at site, thanks to the system’s uniform operating and signalling philosophy.

“In the advanced development of SPPA-T3000 besides our own innovations the experience and practical needs of customers were integrated”, stresses Dieter Fluck, head of Product Management in the Siemens Energy Instrumentation, Controls & Electrical business unit. “Our central control room concept contributes to a substantial reduction in operating costs and, thus, to more competitiveness of our customers.”

“All of these innovations are focused on the operator. His efficiency is the key to success,” concluded Ostertag.

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