The AVESTAR® Center brings together state-of-the-art, real-time dynamic simulators with operator training systems (OTSs) and 3D immersive training systems (ITSs) into a comprehensive, hands-on “learn-by-operating” virtual plant environment.
Today, the Center offers three full-scope, high-fidelity, real-time dynamic simulators including IGCC with CO2 Capture, Gasification with CO2 Capture, and Combined Cycle. The dynamic simulators are based on the reference plant design designated as IGCC Case 2 in the DOE/NETL report “Cost and Performance Comparison of Fossil Energy Power Plants Volume 1, Bituminous Coal and Natural Gas to Electricity Final Report (DOE/NETL-2010/1397), Rev. 2, November 2010.” More detailed process descriptions for all major plant areas are available in “DOE/NETL IGCC Dynamic Simulator Research and Training Center, Volume 2: IGCC Process Descriptions, June 30, 2008 (DOE/NETL-2008/1324).”
The plant-wide IGCC dynamic simulator combines--for the first time--a chemical process (gasification) simulator with a power (combined-cycle) simulator, together in a single dynamic simulation framework based on the DYNSIM software from Invensys Operations Management (IOM). Developed in collaboration with WVU, IOM, Fossil Consulting Services, Enginomix, the Electric Power Research Institute, and other energy experts, the high-fidelity dynamic simulator accurately models a 520 MW(net) IGCC power plant with 90% pre-combustion CO2 capture. Each of the two coal, petcoke, or biomass-fired gasification trains consists of a cryogenic distillation-based air separation unit, entrained-flow gasifier with radiant syngas cooler, syngas cleanup for particulates and mercury removal, water gas shift reactors, dual-stage physical solvent-based acid gas removal process for H2S and CO2 capture, Claus plant for sulfur recovery; and CO2 conditioning and compression. The combined cycle uses two advanced F-class gas turbines, a triple pressure-level heat recovery steam generator, and steam cycle.
Key capabilities of the dynamic simulators and OTSs include:
- Normal base load operation
- Complete cold, warm, and hot startup
- Normal shutdown
- Fuel switching
- Emergency shutdowns
- Equipment malfunctions and failures
- Variety of abnormal situations in real-time
The dynamic simulator software and hardware architecture is designed to provide maximum flexibility and performance for training and research applications. The OTS allows for training up to eight users on the plant-wide IGCC simulator or four each on two independent combined cycle and/or gasification simulators. Each trainee interacts with an operator training station using two human machine interface (HMI) displays providing the “look and feel” of a control room environment. The instructor has access to two instructor stations and two simulation master computers for running the dynamic models and corresponding training scenarios. By exploiting multiple processor cores on one or more instructor computers, the dynamic simulators can be executed in parallel to achieve real-time or faster-than-real-time training performance. Two engineering stations are also available for making simulator enhancements or for research purposes.
Each AVESTAR® site also features 3D virtual ITSs for integrated control room and plant field training. Using innovative virtual reality technology, the ITSs add another dimension of realism to the real-time dynamic OTSs by providing 3D plant walk-through environments.