EXPERT: Efficient excitation system prevents power plant malfunctions

EXPERT Efficient excitation system prevents power plant malfunctions

A good excitation system will help in the maintenance of a power plant and prevent malfunction incidents, an expert engineer said.

“A well maintained and reliable excitation system can help to maintain control of the power network by maintaining system voltage and preventing power oscillations,” Electrical engineer Douglas Cope of the Excitation and Engineering Services Ltd told Power Philippines.

An excitation system including automatic voltage regulator (AVR) is an essential part of the electrical control and protection system for the generator. It ensures the correct terminal voltage at the generator output for all load conditions along with providing additional control and protection features when the generator is running near its limit conditions (electrical, thermal and stability).

However, Cope said that some of the excitation systems of power plants in the country will soon be past their design life and maintenance upgrades are needed.

He added that these excitation systems are now obsolete and no longer supported by its original equipment manufacturer.

“This will present challenges in the future with equipment reliability,” Cope said.

The Excitation and Engineering Services Ltd engineer said that there are improvements needed for the excitation systems, “including conversion of a dc exciter to brushless, converting a rotating exciter to a static system and converting an analog system to digital,” he added.

The Philippines isn’t the only country facing these concerns. According to Cope, even the United States and the United Kingdom share the same troubles.

“These countries are having the same obsolescence issues as the Philippines now that the equipment is getting older,” Cope said.

Cope has been working in the energy industry for almost 13 years. He has worked for the RWE nPower as its lead excitation engineer – where he handled the excitation systems of the company’s UK fleet and other third-party utility companies.

He also designed and commissioned excitation control systems for coal, oil, nuclear, gas and hydrogenation plants from 1 MW to 1,200 MW for Alstom Electrical Machines.

To help with the improvement of the PH power plants’ excitation systems, Cope is set to train energy industry delegates here at the 2nd Excitation and Control Systems for Power Generation training program on November 6 to 7, 2017 at The Lighthouse, Lopez Building at the Meralco compound in Ortigas.

To know more about excitation in power generation, train with Douglas Cope by registering to the training course through this link.