Industrial automation specialist Rockwell Automation has completed an Integrated Architecture (IA) solution for Mauritian power utility the Central Electricity Board (CEB) for its new 30 MW diesel-powered Fort Victoria plant, in Port Louis.
The plant will meet escalating energy demand.
To meet the client’s requirement for a dual redundant programmable automation control (PAC) platform for the supervisory and control system, Rockwell Automation recommended the Allen-Bradley brand of ControlLogix controllers.
This system allows for redundancy of the Ethernet network for the PAC and supervisory control and data acquisition equipment, as well as redundancy over the input/output module network to enable minimum downtime.
“The ControlLogix system automatically switches control to a secondary controller chassis if the primary redundancy module detects an event on any module in the primary chassis. Given the importance of supplying uninterrupted power, this was the ideal solu- tion for the CEB,” explains Rockwell Automa- tion branch manager for sub-Saharan export Colin Morris.
The RS Logix 5000 software, which was developed in the US, supports the ControlLogix system. This software provides a high degree of integration and interoperability between plant software applications, automation controls and the enterprise business systems through open standards-based technologies.
“The RS Logix 5000 software forms part of Rockwell Automation’s Factory Talk solution, which offers a convergence of all applications into a common, extensible and configurable software platform that will support discrete, batch and continuous production environments through industry templates,” says Morris.
Further, the CEB has standardised all equipment, including sensors, switches, vibration monitors and related components to Rockwell Automation, to enable seamless integration across the plant.
The IA solution enables the fast scanning of all major alarm signals, providing no time delays in the transfer of information and signals from a different protocol to that of the direct control system (DCS). All analogue and digital signals connected to the DCS are trended with a resolution of at least one second and this data is stored for a minimum of three months.
“The CEB has been using Allen-Bradley programmable controllers and software in its hydroelectric and diesel-powered plants for many years, which has provided consistent performance. Owing to its technical teams being conversant with these products, it made economic sense for the utility to opt for our IA solution to avoid additional investment in training,” says Morris.
“Over the years, we have found Rockwell Automation’s equipment to be reliable, user- friendly and easy to programme. It is also able to withstand the harsh environment of diesel-powered plants,” says CEB control and instrumentation automation engineer Jayramen Kristnasawmy.
Rockwell Automation’s Mauritian channel partner, engineering products and services provider Rey & Lenferna, will provide the CEB with ongoing support for spare parts.
Morris says sub-Saharan Africa is a huge growth area for the automation industry, as more projects are being considered and implemented. He describes sub-Saharan Africa as the ‘new Asia’ in terms of growth and projects.
However, he states that the region has a power supply problem and that many older power plants need upgrading. The control aspect needs to be repaired or replaced to make power plants more efficient, he says.
“Sub-Saharan Africa has a large installed base of older and less efficient plants and these are being refurbished. There is a trend to build new consumer plants around the continent that are, in turn, being supplied with high-quality automation systems,” Morris says.