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Balance+ for GHECO-One Power Plant

Integrating the ÅF Balance+ control concept into the Gheco-One plant in Thailand has brought numerous advantages.

Gheco-One power station is a 660 MW supercritical coal-fired power station in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, owned by Glow Group, part of GDF Suez family of companies. Integrating the ÅF Balance+ control concept into the Gheco-One plant has brought numerous advantages. Among these are faster start-ups with less oil, a higher utilisation rate and improved efficiency thanks to a stabilised steam temperature.

ÅF experts began work on the project in June 2012 with a control performance evaluation. This showed that there was a potential for introducing numerous improvements. Throughout the project ÅF specialists and plant staff collaborated closely to optimise the plant and by the time the project was completed in 2014, ÅF's efforts had helped Gheco-One to win the ASEAN Energy Awards 2013 in the Best Practices – Clean Coal Use and Technology in Power Generation category.

ÅF has developed advanced control strategies, the Balance+ conceptthat facilitate optimal control of power plant processes without the need for time-consuming tuning procedures. The solutions developed by ÅF's Advanced Process Control team have been incorporated into a single, straightforward control concept called Balance+. This can be customised to meet individual demands for enhancing plant performance and availability. The essence of Balance+ are the tool's process-based calculation models. Any disruptions to the process are measured directly or indirectly and the calculation model then computes what action needs to be taken in order to compensate for these effects. The calculation models are adaptive, so the control response remains optimal even during process changes. Sophisticated calculation models mean that Balance+ can be tuned with slow parameters to ensure that the process remains stable in the steady state, yet responds quickly to transients, thus minimising any over- and undershoot.

The control concept has been successfully introduced in dozens of different kinds of power plants, including drum units and OTU's of varying sizes. In every case, Balance+ has paved the way for significant economic and environmental benefits in the plants concerned. The advantages are numerous for both plant owner and the environment. The plant manager of Gheco-One was so pleased with the results of the Balance+ project that, when interviewed, he explained that he had already recommended several of his company's other plants to implement the same system.

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