Data Validation & Reconciliation (DVR) Services

Online monitoring systems rely on the ability to measure plant parameters accurately on an ongoing basis; however, all measurements have some amount of error. This error can result in lost generation and reduced reliability in monitoring plant performance accurately. Data Validation & Reconciliation (DVR) will determine the errors associated with a measurement and provide a corrected or reconciled measurement value. DVR can also reduce the overall uncertainty for measurements.

Data Validation and Reconciliation (DVR) Modeling has quickly become the gold standard for optimizing plant performance. We’ve seen the trend and the need for optimization – and have services available to assist with thermal performance testing and monitoring.

DVR applies statistical and first-order principles to:

  • Identify Faulty Sensors
  • Optimize Output
  • Robust Analysis
  • Recover Power

Our approach to DVR starts with a highly experienced team of thermal performance experts. GSE Engineering, Programs & Performance group (formerly True North Consulting) is helping plants improve their performance using DVR modeling. This method reduces uncertainty surrounding performance monitoring to allow better decision-making.

DVR Service Overview

DVR combines statistical processes and physical (functional) relationships to determine the most probable value for each measurement in a system. Use of the functional relationships between the measurements creates a system of redundant measurements. The errors are determined by solving for mass and energy balances around the components and the entire system of measurements. Statistical analysis is performed to calculate the overall uncertainty for the system and the individual measurement uncertainties. Objective statistical standards are used to verify that the calculation is providing the best possible solution. The benefits of DVR can be summarized into five key attributes:

  1. Thermal Performance: Thermal Performance is the overall evaluation of a power plant’s electrical production with respect to the amount of power provided by the reactor. If yearly average price for electricity is $25 per MWhr, a 1 MWe improvement will result in a yearly revenue increase of approximately $200,000. Many plants will have recoverable losses up to 5MWe, resulting in approximately $1,000,000 per year of increased revenue. These returns will vary based on a particular power plant’s contracts and agreements with transmission and distribution grids. With the increasing cost of non-renewable fuel sources, the possible savings will only increase. DVR improves the ability to detect problems causing lost generation and provide a mechanism for correcting some of the problems. Additionally, various plant parameters can be provided without adding additional instrumentation. These additional measurements will aid in the thermal performance troubleshooting process.

  2. Environmental Limitations: A forced reduction in generation can often be required based on limits other than core thermal power. Environmental regulations can often require plants to reduce power or change configuration, resulting in lost generation. This methodology can calculate relevant parameters (i.e., circulating water flow rate and discharge temperature within Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act) more accurately, allowing for operation closer to specifications and decreasing the potential for unplanned power reductions.

  3. Power Recovery: DVR can be utilized to ensure operation as close to the plant licensing basis as possible resulting in increased and safer plant generation. Often plants operate with an overconservative core thermal power calculation, resulting in lower generation. Plants can also operate in an overpower condition due to a nonconservative core thermal power calculation. This methodology will allow core thermal power calculation inputs to be more accurate, resulting in increased generation and decreased regulatory scrutiny. Multiple units have been observed to suffer from conservative bias in their calculation for core thermal power due to fouling of their feedwater venturis or flow nozzles; DVR has been used to correct for this conservative bias and allow for power recoveries up to approximately 15 MWe.

  4. Measurement Uncertainty Recapture (MUR): MUR allows plants to increase core thermal power through a reduction in CTP uncertainty. Currently plants rely on high accuracy flow measurement devices to achieve a reduced uncertainty. For plants that have this higher accuracy instrumentation the maintenance costs and the reduced generation due to failure can cause significant financial losses for the unit. DVR can provide a method to prevent or reduce the lost generation associated with the failure of these devices or be entirely used as the basis for MUR without requiring additional instrumentation. A Topical Report was developed with EPRI and submitted to the NRC for their review to allow DVR for MUR uprates. The NRC has issued the final safety evaluation report for the topical report which utilities can now use as guidance for using DVR for MUR uprates.

  5. Data-Driven Maintenance: DVR can identify instrumentation and component issues using a real-time, physics-based approach to troubleshooting rather than only statistical relationships as in the case of advanced pattern recognition (APR). However, DVR can be used in conjunction with existing APR software/techniques as an enhancement to the site’s troubleshooting capabilities. By including the entire primary and secondary systems into the analysis, a much broader approach is utilized to identify and correct problems. This methodology can be used to revise existing time-driven preventative maintenance programs to data-driven maintenance, resulting in significant cost savings to the utility.

GSE also offers tools like TSM Enterprise that can integrate seamlessly with our DVR modeling processes and other software tools already in use at your plant to provide analysis and reporting of plant thermal performance, helping to reduce staffing, errors, and costs in operations.

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GSE Engineering is a highly experienced team focused on creating innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs using a combination of our industry-leading services and products. The Programs & Performance group (Formerly True North Consulting) leverages decades of specialized expertise in thermal performance and engineering programs that refine and update systems, to optimize performance and safety.

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