Process Monitoring & Control Systems

Network Systems Engineering Corp (NSEC) designs and installs systems that acquire real-time information to support facility startup, routine operation, and special system testing. The systems range in size from dozens to thousands of input and output (I/O) signals. Each system is designed with the facility operators in mind and typically requires little or no prior computer experience to operate. With 35 years of experience in implementing many types of monitoring and control systems, NSEC assists its Clients with the design, implementation, validation, and support of all types of Process Instrumentation and Control Systems, including:

  • Distributed Control Systems (DCS)
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA)
  • Energy Management System (EMS)
  • Turbine/Generator Monitoring & Control Systems (DEHC)
  • Environmental Monitoring Systems (CEMS)
  • Burner Management Systems (BMS)
  • Chiller Monitoring and Control Systems
  • Boiler Monitoring and Control Systems
  • Water Treatment Monitoring and Control Systems

Monitoring and control systems should provide users with the most current information and ability to effectively, efficiently, and reliably operate and manage systems for which they are responsible. These systems provide support for a wide variety of monitoring and analytical functions. For example, Distributed Control Systems may support energy management, performance reporting, and load dispatch. When integrated with compliance monitoring systems, such as a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) these monitoring and control systems can support comprehensive regulatory reporting requirements.

In addition to monitoring and control functions, Process Monitoring and Control Systems provide critical information management functions, which is typically configurable on a given system. NSEC can assist its Clients with designing and implementing system functions such as:

  • Graphical Operator (Human-Machine) Interface
  • Historical Data Collection, Archiving, and Retrieving
  • Report Generation (including client-defined reports)
  • Alarm Processing
  • Historical Event Processing (Trending)
  • Sequence of Events Processing
  • System Performance Analysis (including evaluation of losses)

In addressing System Performance Analysis for one of its Clients, NSEC integrated the CITECTÔ for Windows SCADA System with the PSS/AdeptÔ Simulation Program to allow users to perform a variety of network analysis and network optimization functions. Users are able to compare PSS/Adept calculated values to the actual values monitored by the CITECT system. Power Technologies, Inc.’s PSS/AdeptÔ (Power System Simulator/Advanced Distribution Engineering Productivity Tool) models balanced or unbalanced, looped or radial systems with any combination of three-phase, two-phase, or single-phase laterals. Short circuit calculations are available for three-phase, phase-to-ground, phase-to-phase-to-ground, and phase-to-phase faults. PSS/ADEPT also performs capacitor placement optimization, tie open point optimization, load scaling, and machine scaling.

This NSEC-customized SCADA system includes unique “Analysis Displays” for each substation. These displays allow system operators to try out different control scenarios: an operator can setup a control state scenario, send this configuration to the PSS/Adept software, determine the resulting system conditions of the scenario using the PSS/Adept simulation software, and then display the results on the CITECT Analysis Display right next to the current, actual values. The entire process is performed without leaving the CITECT Client PC or the SCADA system. This means that all other SCADA functions, such as alarm monitoring, continue during the analysis process.

  • Current Network Performance: Using these NSEC-unique analysis functions, current network parameters such as actual generator output, loads, and switch positions are available to a PSS/Adept model. The PSS/Adept model calculates expected network conditions such as voltages, currents, and power and displays them side-by-side with the measured SCADA values. System operators are able to compare actual versus expected network performance allowing for easier identification of network problems.
  • Expected Network Performance: In anticipation of a system change, such as picking up or shedding load or shutting down a generator, system operators can use these analysis functions to pass the expected network change to the PSS/Adept model. PSS/Adept then calculates the resulting network conditions and displays them side-by-side with the current SCADA values. This allows system operators to determine the effect of planned network changes prior to implementation. In addition, this analysis capability allows the system operator to analyze the effect of various different network changes to determine which scenario will result in the best network performance.

In general, NSEC assists its clients with the design, engineering, and installation of Process Monitoring and Control Systems, from developing system performance and functional requirements right through to final operational testing. NSEC analyzes a client’s needs to determine which hardware and software systems match the requirements of the application, require the least customization, minimize the risks of obsolescence, and provide the most flexibility for future upgrades, enhancements, and additions. NSEC can develop custom hardware and software solutions if commercially available products are not available or appropriate for the application.

NSEC assists its clients with the selection, design, engineering, and implementation of power plant systems available from a number of suppliers, including:

  • Bailey Controls’Distributed Control Systems
  • General Electric’s Turbine Control Systems
  • Honeywell’s Distributed Control System
  • Max Controls’ (formerly Leeds & Northrup) Distributed Control System
  • Foxboro’s Distributed Control Systems
  • Anarad’s Continuous Emissions Monitoring System
  • Enertec’s Continuous Emissions Monitoring System

NSEC also assists its clients with the selection, implementation, and integration of the monitoring and/or control software package best suited for each application. NSEC has extensive experience with the following off-the-shelf packages:

  • WonderWareÒ Corporation’s FactorySuiteÔ System
  • CitectÔ for Windows Industrial Automation System (now Schneider Electric)
  • OSI Software, Inc.’s Plant Information (PIÔ) System
  • Rockwell / Allen-Bradley’s FactoryTalk System

NSEC has worked on a variety of projects dealing with Process Monitoring and Control Systems, including:

  • Developed a set of functional requirements for a computer-based Continuous Emission Monitoring System capable of meeting the EPA’s acid rain program as described in 40 CFR Part 75, including the requirements for record keeping, periodic testing, reporting, record maintenance, and availability. NSEC then developed a software system to perform all of the specified requirements. This system was installed in over a dozen PSE&G fossil generation units.
  • Designed, procured, and installed computerized data acquisition and analysis systems at various nuclear power generating facilities to support a variety of plant startup and special test functions. These systems were installed in both pressurized water reactor (PWR) and boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear power generation facilities. NSEC’s work included the development of all design change documentation, such as system design and installation packages. The systems included:
  • Transient Analysis and Recording System.
  • Piping Fatigue Monitoring System (using an EPRI pipe stress program).
  • Control Rod System Testing (automation of the data recording and analysis for control rod system testing at an operating PWR).
  • Piping Vibration Data Acquisition System (supported special startup testing at a BWR plant). The system was designed to be installed and operate inside the plant’s primary containment.
  • Suppression Pool Temperature Monitoring System (a 100-channel system for an operating BWR plant).

See Experience Summary for other information.