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Success St or y

Duke Energy Utilizes Power Plant Parameter

Derivation Software to Validate Generator
and Excitation System Models
Duke Energy has applied the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) -developed Power Plant
Parameter Derivation (PPPD) software tool and methodology extensively to validate models for
the generator and excitation system of their synchronous generation eet.
By using the EPRI PPPD software and the knowledge from the PPPD Users Group , Duke
Energy has validated over 38 (some of which are sister units) generating units. The PPPD soft-
ware has allowed the Duke staff to perform this work internally. The data captured and used
with the PPPD tool was supplied from on-line voltage step tests. Thus, since the data is recorded
on-line there is no interruption to commercial operation of the unit and so no costs associated
with rescheduling power.
In addition, Duke Energy was able to validate the models on two black-start gas-turbines in a
nuclear power plant using PPPD, which helped with Nuclear Regulatory Commission required
studies for the plant. Another success was that Duke engineers were able to validate models for
a power plant in a critical region of the network and do more accurate planning studies which
helped avoid potentially costly system upgrades that may otherwise have been needed based
on studies with the old, non-validated, models of the unit.
Keeping the Process In-House and Avoiding Unit Downtime
Previously, Duke Energy had to hire outside consultants to perform the necessary testing for
model validation. This typically entails schedule time for performing staged testing of the unit
during start-up after a scheduled maintenance outage of the unit. Staged testing includes per-
forming a series of predened tests that include small (~10 percent of the units rating) megawatt
and megavar rejection tests and off-line and on-line voltage reference step tests. Units are
required to be out of commercial service during such tests, and considerable time may need to
be invested in planning for the tests. For example, the testing preparation for one plant required
about six months of engineering/procedure writing to develop a nuclear test procedure. The
time a unit is out of commercial service for testing can constitute a signicant cost, particularly for
large base-loaded units. Thus, the old testing approach costs signicant time and money, on top
of the cost of hiring of a consultant. In addition, Duke reported that based on their experience,
the range of cost per generating unit for external consultants to do this work ranges between
$15,000 to $30,000, depending on various factors. To be able to perform this work on sev-
eral hundred units internally, using the PPPD tool and new approach, will result in signicant
savings over the past practice of taking the unit out of commercial service for staged testing.
What is the PPPD Software Tool?
The PPPD software tool is a simulation program that can be used for validation and parameter
estimation of models for synchronous generators and their controls. This software signicantly
reduces engineering time needed for model validation. Input to the PPPD tool is a combination
PPPD has lled a major
hole in the process of
validating models.
~ Chris Schaeffer ,
Senior Engineer, Duke
Belews Creek Seam Station
Electric Power Research Institute
3420 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94304-1338 PO Box 10412, Palo Alto, California 94303-0813 USA
800.313.3774 650.855.2121
2011 Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Inc. All rights reserved. Electric Power Research Institute, EPRI, and TOGETHER . . . SHAPING THE FUTURE OF ELECTRICITY are
registered service marks of the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
1024670 October 2011
For more information, contact the EPRI Customer
Assistance Center at 800.313.3774 (
Pouyan Pourbeik, Technical Executive,
Grid Operations and Planning
of DFR data in standard-formats and entry
of machine performance information
using a simple graphical user interface.
The PPPD tool exports validated model
data in an easy to use format for planners
that can be used to validate models. Tests
of the PPPD tool have shown that reliable
models can be developed using on-line
recorded responses to system distur-
bances (e.g. from digital fault recorders),
thus avoiding the need for removing gen-
erating units from service for testing.
Evolution of the PPPD Software
Work on the PPPD software tool began as
a proof of concept software tool for auto-
mating parameter tting using data col-
lected from the staged testing of genera-
tors. This is recognized as the traditional
method for performing this task. In 2008 and 2009, research was
continued in which EPRI extended the software to be able to use on-line
data, whether from disturbances or tests, captured by monitoring equip-
ment such as digital fault recorders (DFR) to validate the power plant
models. Duke was an early participant in this research. EPRI demon-
strated the concept on several power plants including two in WECC
and one in ERCOT. The software was completed and initially released
in 2009. EPRI now has a software users group for utilities who are
licensed and applying the tool. Duke Energy is one of many utilities that
is a member of that group.
Value for the Utility
PPPD has lled a major hole in the process of validating models, said
Chris Schaeffer, senior engineer for Duke Energy. The data needed for
validation is fairly straight forward and can be captured during staged
online/ofine testing or from online disturbance data if units are
equipped with monitoring equipment. The problem in the past was
that the effort to develop the models, predict the response to the testing
scenario, making the comparison and especially adjusting the model
parameters to match test results was very specialized and few had the
skills needed. This has required the use of consultants.
With the PPPD software and the support provided by the PPPD Users
group, a technical specialist knowledgeable with excitation control
equipment can quickly develop the needed skills and implement a vali-
dation program. It is key to note that these efforts have required close
collaboration of the generator owners and operators and our transmis-
sion planner, added Schaeffer. It is our intention to use this tool and
the expertise we developed to support validation testing efforts on all
our plants, which include Nuclear, Coal, Hydro and Gas plants in the
Southeast (SERC Region) and Mid West (RFC Region).
Moving the Industry Forward
EPRI is committed to sharing what it has learned with the public and the
industry through venues such as the PPPD Users Group and several
publications at conferences. The key benet of this new and innovative
tool is that through either automated monitoring of equipment or per-
forming rather innocuous on-line voltage step tests, one can meet the
imminent North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) stan-
dards on generator model validation on a routine basis, without the
need to take the generating facilities out of service and perform staged
tests. Also, the tool is a rather simple and easy to learn software tool
that with the appropriate training and experience allows utility staff to
perform this type of work themselves and thus reduce internal costs.
Photo caption placed here.