Foster Wheeler Selects Emerson’s Automation Technology for the World’s Largest 100 Percent Biomass-Fired Boiler

Foster Wheeler has chosen Emerson Process Management’s PlantWeb™ digital plant architecture with the Ovation™ expert control system and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software to control a new biomass boiler at the Polaniec Power Station in Poland. When operational in 2012, this will be the world’s largest 100% biomass-fired boiler.

Foster Wheeler is building the 190 MWe biomass-fired circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) boiler island for plant owner GDF Suez, one of the world’s leading energy providers. Poland has been investing in biomass power generation to achieve a target of producing 15 percent of its total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

“The Foster Wheeler circulating fluidized-bed technology provides solutions for effective CO2 reduction in power generation through large-scale 100% biomass utilization,” said Jarosław Mlonka, President & CEO of Foster Wheeler Energia Polska. “Emerson’s proven automation technology will help overcome the difficulties of burning agricultural biomass efficiently by providing reliable, accurate and efficient boiler control.”

Emerson’s Ovation system features embedded advanced algorithms and proven control routines that continually adjust the combustion process to account for the varying characteristics of biomass fuels.

Emerson’s scope of supply is based on an Ovation system to handle 6000 I/O. This includes Ovation SIS (Safety Instrumented System) for boiler protection and burner management. Project documentation will be generated using the Ovation Documentation Builder smart tool. Emerson will also supply automation services including complete project management, engineering and installation.

Also included is Emerson’s AMS Suite, which will speed configuration and commissioning of boiler instrumentation. When the plant is operational, AMS Suite will enable maintenance and operations personnel to predict equipment issues to better maintain and protect the machinery.

The boiler island and biomass handling plant will be built next to the existing units at GDF Suez's 1,800-MW coal-fired power station, which already uses an Ovation control system. Following further modernization of the station’s existing turbine, its output capacity will increase from 190 to 205 MW.

Designed for high reliability and easy maintenance, the boiler will burn wood chips in combination with 20 percent of agricultural derived fuel such as straw pellets or crushed briquettes, sunflower pellets, fruit husk pellets, and crushed palm kernel shells.

The annual biomass requirement of the new unit will be approximately one million metric tons, and it is expected to generate 1.2 terawatt hours (TWh) of clean energy annually. The plant is designed to ensure that emissions will be well below those required by the EU Large Combustion Plants Directive.

“Biomass utilization will play a significant role in Europe's energy future,” said Bob Sharp, European president, Emerson Process Management. “Emerson’s automation technology is perfectly placed to support power generation developments by providing advanced automation and control functions to maximise both boiler and plant efficiency.”


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