May 17, 2013
Emissions monitoring system ensures supply of electricityBack
Engineering|Africa|Bytes Systems Integration|CoAL|Environment|Eskom|Generators|Invensys Operations Management|Invensys Wonderware|Microsoft|System|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Electricity Supply|Emissions Monitoring System|Equipment|Information Technology|Systems|Environmental|Deon Van Aardt|Kristy Ross|Power|Operations|Information Technology
© Reuse this
As a result, engineering and information technology company Invensys Operations Management and information technology provider Bytes Systems Integration helped Eskom implement a comprehensive emissions monitoring system to better supervise and control its emissions.
The emissions monitoring system is based on software that was supplied by Invensys Wonderware in 2011 and currently forms part of the integrated generation control centre (IGCC) that was provided to Eskom in 2010.
Every power station has an emissions licence with which it needs to comply. This ensures that the environment and health of people in the vicinity of power stations are not affected negatively. The emissions licence specifies two limits – a normal operating limit, which states that emissions must be below this limit 96% of the time – and a cap limit, which emissions must never exceed.
Eskom senior consultant Kristy Ross says control room operators at power stations must be constantly aware of potential problems which might result in emissions exceeding the set legal limits.
“If such an event occurs, it might be necessary to exercise load loss. This will have a ripple effect, as other power stations will be required to pick up the slack by ramping up production. Given the scope of the problem and Eskom’s nationwide footprint of 13 operational coal-fired power stations, it was decided that emissions status should be centrally monitored and controlled in real time,” Ross says.
The system runs on a Microsoft platform and collects data, including emissions levels, from all Eskom’s power plants, after which it is sent to a central control room at the utility’s Megawatt Park head office, in Gauteng.
Invensys technical director Deon van Aardt says Eskom now has a central platform that provides an overall view of its fleet of generators.
The emissions monitoring system also helps stabilise the electricity grid and reduce downtime of generators, as it provides an early warning in the event of emissions exceeding the legal limits.
Van Aardt says Eskom has the ability to connect to installed equipment at each generating stack, which monitors the ash emissions in real time.
This information is then captured by a database, which the utility can use to draw a graph of the emissions. This graph is then logged into an operational historian that captures the data at a high-rate on plant level. The ArchestrA System Platform, which forms part of the main system, collects all the information and provides Web-based visuali- sation for the IGCC, which can be accessed using Internet Explorer.
At the IGCC, Eskom has set up dashboards and reports. The dashboards show a live view of the operations and provide the emissions levels. From there, Eskom can draw reports to make an analysis and strategic decisions, take corrective action or shut down the generating plants, if needed.
“You have to get the right information in the right context and, by having a mechanism that enables someone to rapidly and easily collect plant information and put it in the right context, operations can run more efficiently. In this case, it is environmental data being collected to control emissions, so Eskom can make deci- sions quickly if needed,” Van Aardt says.
The emissions information can also be accessed from mobile devices, while the monitoring system also provides a warning, should emissions begin to exceed the legal limit. This enables Eskom to quickly take preventative measures.
Edited by: Tracy Hancock© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Environment News
International consulting engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) has appointed Salani Sithole as South African MD, effective March 1. Sithole has been with the company for six years and, prior to joining RHDHV, held various positions in engineering consulting,...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.
In a recent letter to the editor that I sent to Engineering News (Concerns regarding South African portion of Square Kilometre Array) and in a follow-up article elaborating further (We must start preparations to build our own synchrotron light source), I stated my...