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Projects > Energy

Automated control system picture

In collaboration with Haskell, Sun State Systems built the control systems for Sky Global Power One's power generation plant in Texas. This PLC-powered control system package will control the operations of the plant and feedback live information to plant operators, cutting headache and human error out of the equation. Sky Global Power One's plant uses six GE EcomaginationSM qualified 8.6-MW J920 FleXtra ultra-fast response, natural gas-fired reciprocating engine generator sets. It is the largest North American power project for the GE Jenbacher FleXtra gas engine to date.

Sky Global Partners, LLC partnered with the San Bernard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SBEC) to protect customers from power price spikes due to a growing population, hot climate and extensive industrial sector. This plant will supply peaking power to the SBEC to increase grid resiliency and control the overall cost of wholesale power.

Sky Global Partners chose to use PLCs because of their many advantages:

  • Flexibility: One single Programmable Logic Controller can easily run many machines.
  • Correcting Errors: In the old days, with wired relay-type panels, any program alterations required time for rewiring of panels and devices. With PLC control any change in circuit design or sequence is as simple as retyping the logic. Correcting errors in a PLC is extremely easy and cost effective.
  • Space Efficient: Today's Programmable Logic Control memory is getting bigger and bigger this means that we can generate more and more contacts, coils, timers, sequencers, counters and so on. We can have thousands of contact timers and counters in a single PLC. Imagine what it would be like to have so many things in one panel. That would be a HUGE enclosure!
  • Low Cost: Prices of PLCs vary from few hundreds to few thousands. This is nothing compared to the prices of the contact and coils and timers that you would pay to match the same things. Add to that the installation cost, the shipping cost and so on.
  • Testing: A PLC program can be tested and evaluated in a lab. The program can be tested, validated and corrected saving very valuable time and allowing easy plug and play in the field.
  • Visual observation: When running a PLC program a visual operation can be seen on the screen. Hence troubleshooting a circuit is really quick, easy and simple.