Beran integrates with Capula to supply Turbine Monitoring System for Drax Power Station

01 / 01 / 2009

Capula and Beran Instruments were selected by Drax Power Ltd. to supply On-Line Condition and Vibration Monitoring Systems (OLVMS) to its power station in Selby, North Yorkshire.

Drax Power is the largest single electricity generator in the UK with a capacity of some 4,000MW.

Work on the project commenced in April 2007 and was completed in December 2008. Capula, which is the UK's leading advanced automation and real-time business intelligence provider to the power generation, nuclear, utilities and industrial markets, was selected as the main contractor.

The project involved the installation of six unitised Beran PlantProtech™ 766 On-Line Condition and Vibration Monitoring Systems, to monitor the steam turbine generator sets that are on-site at Drax. Beran was selected as the supplier of the specialist product required, whilst Capula has been responsible for project management, involving installation of all six systems, making the necessary modifications to the existing Distributed Control System (DCS), the Advanced Plant Management System (APMS), and Supervisory Control Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, and handling subsequent testing and commissioning.

Commenting on the project, Duncan Affleck (Beran's Senior Sales Engineer) said: “We are delighted to be working with Capula on this assignment at Drax Power Station. For this project, each one of our Beran PlantProtech Systems has been configured to monitor 60 vibration channels, 16 hard-wired process channels, and 2 phase markers, as well as data transferred from the Station's Distributed Control System through an OPC interface. The systems have been installed to enable both on-site and remote personnel to access and view plant information in real-time, or to analyse historic and real-time data using standard PCs connected via TCP/IP ethernet links.”

Capula's Power Generation Business Development Manager, Phil Willett, said: “This project is one of several major control system upgrades being carried out by Capula at Drax Power Station. This particular one is the first time that Capula has integrated Beran OLVMS equipment to provide on-line plant condition monitoring of all six turbines at Drax. This system is fully integrated into the DCS process control platform. The new installation replaces obsolete systems and provides the Station with modern equipment using sophisticated technology for monitoring of turbine vibration during all operating conditions. This allows Drax Power to carefully monitor the condition of the turbines, and to schedule routine maintenance and detect problems at an early stage."

Capula and Beran Instruments worked together closely during the design and testing phases to ensure a smooth transition, which enabled installation of the Beran PlantProtech Systems to be completed ahead of schedule.

Peter Muff, Project Manager at Drax, commented: “This work is part of a major upgrade to our control systems and, with the ability to analyse over 200 operational parameters, we now have the potential to benefit from avoided revenue loss, increased plant life, improved safety and assurance of technical fitness for purpose. On-line analysis enables on-the-spot operational decisions to be made with confidence – a real plus in our business.