Tecnatom has carried out an upgrade of the full-scope simulator at Cofrentes nuclear power plant to modernize the Honeywell distributed control system to the same version available at the plant. As part of the modernization, the entire control system Honeywell TPS has been migrated to an ACE (Application Control Environment) controller. This migration has been done jointly with Honeywell Spain, who have made the migration of control to the corresponding CAB control blocks. The communications between the simulation and the Honeywell PKS system have also been redesigned, migrating the control to more modern industrial communication protocols based on OPC.
Following the upgrade, all dedicated industrial hardware has been removed, and has enabled virtualization of the control on a Windows Server.
Why was the modernization of the system necessary?
This modernization was carried out as part of the plan to eliminate the obsolescence of digital control systems, and has allowed to have a modern system in the simulator, which guarantees the availability of the simulator for the years to come.
As a result of the modernization, the following has been achieved:
- Identical operation and appearance to the reference plant. Being a modernization of a system in operation at the plant, and having to maintain the fidelity in appearance and operation of the system with respect to the plant, a critical point was to ensure that the operation and appearance of the modernized system was identical to the existing one. Extensive testing was performed to ensure that the data representation and operation of the new system was equivalent.
- Improved response times. Although the response times of the original RS232-based system met real-time requirements, migration to industrial communication protocols based on TCP/IP over industrial Ethernet has eliminated data latency, reducing the time required to bring the simulator into service.
- Completely modernized hardware. After modernization, there are no obsolete HW components, and all elements have technical support and spare parts for at least another 10 years.
- Virtualization of control. As all the control of Honeywell TPS falls on a Windows Server-based ACE controller, maintenance and contingency management can be included in the existing plan for the rest of the simulator’s computer equipment.