L-3 to map reactors for BE

Simulator specialist L-3 MAPPS has been awarded a follow-on contract by British Energy to create new reactor core models and integrate them with balance legacy software at the Hartlepool and Heysham 1 simulators. The new model for the Hartlepool simulator (shown right) is due to be in service by the summer of 2008, followed by a similar installation at end-2008 for Heysham 1.

Hartlepool power station, which has been in service since 1983, consists of two advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs), generating 1210 MWe. Heysham Stage 1 power station, also with two AGRs of combined output of 1150 MWe, also started generation 1983. AGRs are unique to the UK and it is the first time that L-3 MAPPS’ advanced reactor model generation utility – designated Orchid Core Builder – will be applied to AGRs. This kind of reactor uses slightly enriched uranium dioxide fuel clad with stainless steel. The coolant gas is carbon dioxide.

Until recently, Hartlepool, in NE England, was the only power station in British Energy’s fleet without its own dedicated local simulator facility. Hartlepool operators were receiving training on a simulator located at the Heysham site on the northwest coast of England, serving both the Heysham Stage 1 and Hartlepool plants. To improve certain aspects of performance, the shared simulator’s software was rehosted to PC/Windows-based computers running L-3’s simulation environment with advanced instructor

station capabilities. In addition, a replica control room was built for the Hartlepool unit, the whole being put into service in March. L-3 also modernised the Heysham Stage 1 simulator, which went into service in August.

L-3 has more than thirty years of experience in supplying plant computer systems for Canadian heavy water reactors, and some years ago delivered a complete simulator system for British Energy’s Sizewell B plant.

New HEPA AVC from GE

GE Energy has introduced its SQ-300i automatic voltage control (AVC), for electrostatic precipitators, a completely redesigned version of its SQ-300 AVC .

The AVC serves as the ‘heartbeat’ of the ESP control system, using a proprietary spark response algorithm to control the delivery of electrical power to discharge electrodes by controlling power input to a transformer rectifier.

The redesigned SQ-300i is intended to improve precipitator

performance by providing a faster spark response, allowing greater

productivity while maintaining emissions performance, and incorporates the following new features:

• A faster, more reliable communication network that results in

better spark recognition and control that can enable ESPs to function more efficiently

• An onboard five-trace oscilloscope that can display events such as sparking, which means the automatic voltage control cabinet can stay closed, promoting the safety of personnel

• The ability to import and consolidate key information to a Windows-based application simplifying maintenance, performance and troubleshooting

• An optional full-colour touchscreen operator interface, which can be connected to one or multiple controllers

• The capacity to store a week’s worth of data using onboard storage data.

Preceding SQ versions will continue to be supported through service and replacement parts.

Better filtration instead of compressor washing?

Advanced Filtration Concepts of California is supplying a new high volume HEPA filter manufactured by Engineered Filtration Systems. The delta-p impact (ie pressure loss in the filter) of HEPA filters has in recent times come down to a value that makes it feasible to use such filters to minimise compressor washing and sometimes eliminate it altogether.

These EFS high volume HEPA filters have been designed around a high efficiency V-bank style media-pack with low pressure drop and energy conservation in mind. Filter material is mini-pleated wet laid microglass. The filter has an extended media area (431 sq ft) which results in a longer service life and fewer replacements. They are rated at ASHRAE 99.99%.