OptiMaxx - Tie Line Controller Overview
OptiMaxx is a suite of software modules specifically designed to minimize your total cost of
electricity. Software programs are embedded directly into your facilities existing control
system or may reside in a stand-alone computer connected via an OPC or Modbus interface.
OptiMaxx continuously calculates your facilities marginal cost to generate electricity
internally, based on fuel costs, boiler efficiencies, turbine efficiencies, condensing and
venting costs. Other variables, specific to your site, may be included, as required.
Your facilities internal marginal cost to generate power is continuously compared with the
current market price, which is retrieved over the Internet. Based on price differences,
OptiMaxx decides to either buy or make power. Depending on your specific electrical
contract, a decision to sell or shed electrical power may be included, if applicable.
Based on calculated decisions, OptiMaxx software automatically drives condensing steam
turbine generators to an optimum operating point while observing myriads of process
constraints. Typical constraints include: emission limits, boiler limits, turbine and generator
limits, contractual limits and more.
If economical, OptiMaxx may even choose to vent steam to make additional power with
non-condensing steam turbine generators. If available, gas turbines may also be included in the
overall optimization of electrical generation.
Unlike other systems that take several minutes to calculate the next move, OptiMaxx software is
quick. Every second, OptiMaxx continuously captures opportunities to minimize overall energy costs
by moving your process to the lowest cost solution. The result is incredible savings! Due to high
fossil fuel prices, installation of OptiMaxx usually pays for itself in only a few months.
A unique feature of OptiMaxx is a text messaging system that informs Operators and Managers what is preventing the control
software from doing better. Typical messages are, "Can't increase boiler load because ID fan is at maximum." or "Can't buy
more power because turbine condensing load is minimized."
Frequency distributions of system constraints are tabulated each day for performance analysis and reports. These reports
easily identify and prioritize equipment improvements needed to increase savings even more. Using OptiMaxx reports,
improvement projects are quickly justified because returns on investment are easy to evaluate and assign.
In addition to Real-Time Pricing control, OptiMaxx supports traditional interval demand tie-line control and instantaneous MW
purchase control. Depending on your facilities requirements, these additional controls may be included:
Interval Demand Megawatt Hour Purchase Control - In this mode, electrical power is purchased during your Power
Company's demand interval. A pulse is received from the Power Company each interval to synchronize clocks. OptiMaxx
control software monitors the Power Company's purchase meters and adjusts power generation, based on minutes left in the
interval, the amount of electricity already purchased, the instantaneous MW purchase and the MW Target. OptiMaxx controller
uses three different control strategies, depending on minutes left in the interval. OptiMaxx optimizes buying electricity to
exactly reach the MW target at the end of the interval. But, it also prevents process bumps across interval boundaries by
matching instantaneous purchase megawatts to the target value.
Purchase Megawatt Control - In this
mode, an instantaneous purchase MW
target is maintained without regard to the
Power Company's interval demand
boundaries. This mode is typically used
during maintenance outages.
Load Shedding - Some facilities choose
to implement our electrical load-shedding
module to prevent setting new interval
demand peaks or purchasing very
expensive power. Smart Decision making
software ensures only a maximum
number of prioritized loads are shed to
prevent penalties or minimize overall
electrical cost. Usually, load priorities are preset in tables but
Conclusion - Responding correctly to real-time pricing signals can reduce overall electrical costs, significantly. Many
companies across North America are enjoying incredible energy savings with OptiMaxx process control software. Soon, you will
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