Drax Power - Process Control Refurbishment (Units 4-6)
Download PDF >>
Following the first half refit in 1997, the main control room comprised three modern ‘soft’ operator desks based upon the APMS Scada system, and three ‘hard’ control desks using conventional controls and indications. Operating two types of control desk required different skills and restricted flexibility and efficiency.
Given the size of this project, a competitive tender was issued and after an intensive tendering period, Capula were awarded a multi-million pound contract to replace the process control and information systems on the second half units (units 4 to 6) plus the Water
Treatment Plant control system and a large number of Common Station Service plant areas. A key factor was that the common services needed to be successfully upgraded whilst continuing to keep the plant in operation.
The APMS System
The chosen HMI platform was the APMS system. This gives a uniform operator interface platform across all six units and common plant areas, thus simplifying maintenance and permitting operators to move around plant areas more easily. The APMS system is based upon the latest versions of the product which runs under the Linux operating system on a dual redundant Intel computer platform manufactured by Dell.
The Schneider Quantum Unity PLC platform was chosen after an intensive evaluation period of suitable platforms carried out jointly by Drax and Capula and was favoured over APACS due to its improved performance, interface capability and longevity. Quantum Unity is the latest high end process control system manufactured by Schneider Electric and is based upon the proven Quantum PLC range which
has found many applications in power and other industries. Unity provides a very modern and powerful PLC platform providing high reliability and compliance with the IEC1131-3 programming environment.
The new ‘soft desk’ was installed in the main control room and houses 10 off 20” LCD monitors, keyboards and mice. These are supplemented by three off Mitsubishi 67" projection cubes built into rear panels.
Operator screens are designed to use the same standards as the first half units in order to provide a common user interface to the operators. A separate emergency shutdown desk section is provided with conventional controls and indicators to enable the safe
shutdown of the unit in the unlikely event of a computer failure.