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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number DTI/CC/9999
Title Virtual plant demonstration model basic framework
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 20%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Coal, Coal combustion) 30%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 capture/separation) 20%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Oil and gas combustion) 30%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Alstom Power Ltd
Award Type 3
Funding Source DTI
Start Date 01 July 2004
End Date 01 June 2007
Duration 35 months
Total Grant Value £1,170,119
Industrial Sectors
Region West Midlands
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Alstom Power Ltd (99.993%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , ME Engineering Ltd (0.001%)
Project Contact , Process Systems Enterprise Ltd (0.001%)
Project Contact , RWE npower plc (0.001%)
Project Contact , Engineous Software Ltd (0.001%)
Project Contact , Fluent Europe Ltd (0.001%)
Project Contact , Babcock International Group plc (0.001%)
Project Contact , University of Ulster (0.001%)
Web Site
  • To develop a detailed, written specification defining the required Virtual Plant Demonstration Model (VPDM).
  • To develop the design of the interface structure and middleware required for the VPDM.
  • To obtain data for model testing and validation.
  • To construct the VPDM, test and validate it.
  • To demonstrate that the VPDM meets the specification and, in particular, that it is possible to link a variety of components and whole plant models across theinternet.
  • To apply the VPDM to a new fossil fuel technology that is of interest to UK plc, which incorporates CO2 capture.

UK power generation and associated industries are facing growing pressures from ever-tightening environmental constraints, the drive for sustainability and increasing global competition. This provides new challenges and applications for power plant modelling in: new plant development; design and manufacture; plant demonstration and authorisation; engineering support. The recently completed project on Power Plant Modelling (see Project Summary 336), which was supported by the DTI, proposesanew UK power plant modelling initiative: the development of a VPDM.

A future VPDM will provide an integrated software framework which will allow the full potential for wholeplant software modelling to be realised. As a result, UK industry could provide competitive power plant solutions and ultimately zero emission technologies with significantly reduced development costs, risk and very competitive prices. The development of the full VPDM will be split into two phases, each lasting three years.

Phase 1 will develop the whole plant concept of the VPDM with integrated components utilising the internet. The VPDM developed will be limited for application to steady state operating conditions. Phase 1 will also include two whole plant applications: a test application based on an existing plant and a demonstration application that will include a new fossil technology of interest, eg carbon capture.

Completion of Phase 1 will produce a VPDM that will be ableto utilise the most accurate component models available, many of which are proprietary and residing on various hardware platforms at different locations. It will also introduce common standards for interfacing. Both of these attributes will give significant benefits over other existing power plant models.

Phase 2 will extend the Phase 1 VPDM to include dynamics and control analysis. Developments will also be made that will allow integration with design and construction management software.

This project undertakes Phase 1 of the VPDM development. The project will also propose a mechanism for supporting the developed VPDM in the future to benefit UK plc.

The basic framework that will form the core of the VPDM is illustrated in the figure. The whole plant model will be the user s selected model, which could be a commercial or an in-house software package. The component models will be application - specific but they are likely to be a selectionof: furna ces;boilers; gasifiers; gas turbines; steam turbines; fuel cells; CO2 capture plant.

The interface structure will need to be standardised for all the software modules and the CAPE-Open standard will be the first approach to be tried. The middleware A and B will manage the communications, security, register of component module addresses, etc.

Some of the key activities in this project are being developed into a collaborative project with the US Department of Energy (US DOE) under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding on energy research between the UK and the USA. Although this UK VPDM project does not need these UK-US collaboration activities to achieve its objectives and benefits, successful collaborations will provide the additional benefits of: developing compatible US and UK platforms for integrating plant simulation programs; adopting common security systems to protect confidential and proprietary information; advancing the incorporation of co mputational fluid dynamics into system models.

Publications DTI (2004) The Development Of A Virtual Plant Demonstration Model - Virtual Plant Demonstration Model Basic Framework: Project Profile 356. DTI Cleaner Coal Technology Programme, URN 04/1624, DTI, UK (PDF 396 KB)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/01/07