Symphony Plus maximizes generation for advanced thermal power plant in China

Reducing emissions while maximizing power generation are some of the main advantages of an ultra-supercritical thermal power plant. Wanzhou, a port city at the western end of the Three Gorges region on the Yangtze River, chose this solution to satisfy evergrowing demand for power. With help from Symphony Plus SD Series scalable control and I/O products, the first two units of Shenhua Group’s 6-gigawatt thermal power plant are operating commercially.

Wanzhou district is part of the Chongqing municipality and one of China’s fastest growing regional economies. Chongqing is a transportation hub and industrial powerhouse that greatly benefitted from the launch of China’s Go West initiative in 2001, designed to narrow the development gap between the Eastern and Western regions of the country.

Since then, Chongqing has registered steady GDP growth and in 2013 exceeded China’s national average GDP growth by 4.6 percent. The municipality is urbanizing rapidly and its cities expect to host 70 percent of the 30 million population by 2020, which when added to improving infrastructure and enhanced industrialization has created a power deficit of more than 4,000 megawatts.

To deal with electricity shortages and still comply with the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism, the state owned mining and energy giant, Shenhua Group, invested $3.77 billion in a power generation and coal storage complex in Wanzhou in 2012. It comprises six ultra-supercritical (USC) coal-fired generators, each with 1,000 MW capacity. These high-efficiency USC generating units are being installed in phases, and are designed to reduce fuel costs and emissions, and provide reliable, low-cost electric power to help eliminate the region’s chronic power deficiencies.

Flagship DCS

The first phase comprising two generating units is complete and in commercial operation. For this phase, ABB was awarded a contract in 2014 to supply its flagship Symphony® Plus distributed control system (DCS) products for power generation.

Symphony Plus monitors, controls and optimizes the entire generation process of the two USC units, including the flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system. The flue gas desulfurization process uses high-tech equipment to remove sulfur dioxide fromthe exhaust fl ue gases of fossil-fuel power plants. As environmental protection criteria for power plants in China becomes stricter, the safe and smooth operation of a power plant’s FGD system is a very important factor in order to meet regulatory controls and standards.

The Symphony Plus solution comprises the latest SD Series HPC800 process controllers and PDP 800 PROFIBUS interface modules, which ensures safe, effective plant operation, high efficiency and ease of operation and maintenance. The system’s S+ Engineering tool provides a unified environment for the design and maintenance of the entire control system, including support of the Ethernet communications network, control applications and PROFIBUS devices, and field communications.

Complete plant visibility

Wanzhou has one of the largest PROFIBUS installations in China. Extensive use of this communications protocol enables reduced cabling, faster commissioning, improved diagnostics, and ensures plant operators are fully informed at all times. The ABB solution also includes S+ Operations human machine interface, which provides Wanzhou operators with complete visibility of plant processes, and oversees both the power generation units and balance-of-plant, greatly reducing management and maintenance costs.

Commissioning the first 2,000 MW of this landmark project marks the first step towards resolving Chongqing municipality’s power shortages, and providing the added power needed to pursue more sustainable local development.

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