Power Is Important Focus for Invensys Operations Management

"Power is the number two focus for our team," stated Steve Blair, president of Invensys Operations Management North America, as well as the executive leading the nuclear power business.

There is a huge business opportunity in China, stated Blair, during a presentation to assembled media at OpsManage'10. But there is also some opportunity in North America for life extension and even perhaps new generating capacity in nuclear. Many Enterprise Control System components fit the range of services needed for power generation control.

Paul DaCruz, vice president of power, listed several pain points that included power generation growth, aging power plants and reduction of carbon footprint. The International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook forecasts that between 140 and 400 new reactors must be put on the grid during the next 20 years. But the world capacity to build them is just one per year. Obviously, moving from one to seven or more reactors per year is a huge challenge. Then, about 30 percent of generating capacity worldwide is aging. Further, perhaps as much of 40 percent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions could result from power generation.

Other challenges compound the problem. The move to the smart grid, the need to achieve greater productivity and efficiency in existing plants, plant safety and reliability improvements, an aging or lack of workforce, and finally, cyber security, all present the need for solutions.

Invensys is addressing these pain points through a number of products and initiatives. One is to reduce the instrumentation and control project delivery timescale by using smarter engineering tools and dynamic simulation. DaCruz noted that one project saved three months in project implementation using dynamic simulation. Solutions for "soft migration" with minimum disruption will help modernize aging systems. Combustion optimization and efficiency increases use of Advanced Process Control, which addresses both the efficiency and the carbon footprint challenges. Invensys is addressing workforce issues by helping with knowledge transfer using operator training simulation.

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