FERC Regulations Monitoring: Racine Hydroelectric Plant

By on August 17, 2010

Project Overview

Bordering Ohio and West Virginia along the Ohio River, the Racine Hydroelectric Plant operates using a high-lift gated dam that has been in commission since 1967. The plant is owned and operated by The American Electric Power Company and consists of two 24,000 KW bulb-type Kaplan turbines operating 24 hours per day as run of river conditions permit.

Throughout the years, the Racine Plant has continually performed FERC regulations monitoring of dissolved oxygen in the Ohio River to ensure levels do not fall out of allowable ranges. When the plant’s existing dissolved oxygen monitor and sensing system became irreparable, plant engineers contacted NexSens Technology to learn more about the value added in integrating a NexSens real-time data logging system with Analytical Technology Inc. (ATI) process monitoring systems.

FERC Monitoring System Description

Within the plant’s operations facility, NexSens application engineers were contracted to assist with the removal of the old dissolved oxygen system and implementation of the new system. Within an existing steel enclosure, engineers mounted an ATI Q45D dissolved oxygen monitor with an Auto-Clean air blast DO sensor.

ATI’s Auto-Clean system periodically generates a series of high pressure air blasts to remove foulants from the face of the sensor. The Auto-Clean is setup at user-defined intervals to adjust for high or low fouling environments. This feature significantly reduces manual cleanings and sensor maintenance intervals for plant engineers.

The rugged 5 mil Teflon membrane DO sensor is mounted within a NexSens A100 flow cell designed specifically for industrial applications. By connecting into the existing water lines, the flow cell continually provides a fresh sample for the DO sensor to analyze.

The Q45D dissolved oxygen monitor features an interactive LCD user interface that allows plant engineers to view live DO concentration and temperature readouts and perform on-site DO sensor calibrations. Air and sample sensor calibrations allow compensation for temperature, barometric pressure, and salinity.

Mounted against the steel enclosure, a NexSens 2100-iSIC data logger with landline modem interfaces with the Q45D monitor. This allows all dissolved oxygen data to be logged into the iSIC’s memory and sent via landline telephone to NexSens iChart servers in an offsite location.

With iChart software’s unique alarm notification feature, plant engineers have setup alarm notifications to be sent via email when dissolved oxygen readings fall below 5 mg/L. Additionally, iChart is setup to automatically send daily Excel data reports via email to collaborating agencies along the river. The automation and data processing capabilities of the NexSens system have greatly increased dissolved oxygen process monitoring efficiency for plant officials.

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