Investigate Coal Handling Process Alternatives & Optimize Coal Paths
Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a province-based electricity generation company, is one of the largest power generators in North America with assets that include 2 nuclear generating stations, 5 thermal generating stations, and 65 hydroelectric generating stations.The Nanticoke Generating Station (GS) and Lambton Generating Station are both located in southwestern Ontario.
First, in its Nanticoke Generating Station, OPG wanted to evaluate alternative strategies for the transfer of coal to the station.
For its Lambton Generating Station, OPG wanted to simulate the coal demand for different generation plans, as well as analyze alternative crush/blending options with the array of materials handling options. The objectives included an investigation of “best practices”, costs and capacity constraints within the power plant.
Visual8 was approached to develop both the detailed Coal Handling Process Simulation model of the existing coal handling processes within the Nanticoke GS and a Coal Path Simulation model of the materials handling systems at the Lambton Power Plant.
Visual8 created the models with inputs that included:
- Shipping/ train,
- Demand schedules,
- Conveyor/scraper rates,
- Costs & reliability,
- Storage capacities,
- Opening levels, and
- Basic routing options.
The Nanticoke and Lambton model are similar in context; however, with the Lambton model differing in the following aspects:
- Maintenance schedules to determine the time and date that particular pieces of equipment are forced in outage status
- New logic to identify alternative paths to ensure coal is continually fed to the power house
Output results included:
- Cost summary,
- Conveyor utilization and throughput,
- Storage utilization,
- Demurrage report,
- Exception report,
- Conveyor flows, and
- Detailed reports on selected equipment.
With the Fuels Management Systems, the team analyzed alternative shipping schedules and alternative coal-blending options. This helped the team establish the best scenario that reduces materials handling, increases direct shipments, improves maintenance planning and scheduling, and determines overall reduction in fuels supply cost. In addition to analyzing alternative coal-blending options, the “what-if” capacity planning tool can also be used as an annual budget planning tool.
While the Coal Handling Process Simulation analyzed differing coal distribution strategies, the Coal Path Simulation model provided the flexibility to assess the impacts of different coal delivery strategies and alter coal path availability for the purpose of supplying coal required at the units within the plant.