Plant-wide control, mobility and visibility
The Rockwell Automation PlantPAx® distributed control system delivered advanced plant-wide control and optimisation for the plant. By using a common automation platform, the PlantPAx system provided seamless integration between critical process areas of the plant. In addition, the Allen-Bradley® CompactLogix™ controllers together with PowerFlex® drives with Safe Torque-Off delivered a fully integrated architecture. The Integrated Architecture® solution allowed all equipment to seamlessly integrate over Ethernet into the controllers, allowing fast, reliable control with detailed diagnostics for this critical application.
Reducing engineering time associated with installation and commissioning was a key priority for the project. The PlantPAx Library of Process objects is a pre-defined library of controller code (Add-On Instructions), display elements (global objects), and faceplates that let you quickly assemble applications with proven strategies, rich functionality and known performance.
“By using the PlantPAx Library of Process Objects in the Leigh Creek project, we were able to reduce the engineering and testing time involved. We also decided to design all the equipment on skids to reduce installation time on site,” explained Phil Galbraith, principal control systems engineer, ATSys.
The FactoryTalk® product suite provided real time visibility into the system for monitoring and controlling the plant. FactoryTalk View SE was used in a redundant configuration for visualisation and control on a pair of PCs running in the control room onsite, helping to ensure reliability for critical control and monitoring functions. FactoryTalk Historian SE and FactoryTalk VantagePoint were used for logging of historical data and visualization on a cloud-hosted system.
As the pilot plant was in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it was important for operators to be able to access data remotely. This platform also enabled the capability for remote access to the production data. In addition to having access to real time data, it was critical to log data for analytics and reporting analyse trends, investigate inefficiencies and monitor environmental KPIs.
Successful syngas production
As with all pilot projects, there is always a risk that the project may not be commercially feasible. This was not the case with the Leigh Creek Energy Project; in fact, its success exceeded expectations. The pilot project resulted in the successful production of commercial syngas – with a peak flow rate of 7.5mmcf/day which was higher than anticipated for the ISG process. In addition, the pilot study demonstrated that Leigh Creek Energy has operated the ISG gasifier safely through data analysed from surrounding environmental monitoring wells before, during and after the trial.
The data recorded reveals that the size of the gas resource is significant, making this resource one of the largest undeveloped, uncontracted and undervalued gas resources within the East Coast gas system in Australia. Unlocking the value of such a significant energy resource will provide Leigh Creek Energy with the foundation to progress the project to the next commercial stages.
“The success of this trial has effectively unlocked a large energy resource of huge value and captured key data that validates the fact that this proven ISG technology can be successful in a commercial application,” said Phil Staveley, managing director, Leigh Creek Energy.