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Before

“With an increased workload and lack of automated test data, we struggled with putting together information required for client and ECMPS reports.”

After

“The time it takes to create a report from the RATAView data has been cut significantly. We can now generate a report after the test with at least 25% less work or more than before, especially when working in the XML format.”

Overview

Evergy is the largest electric company in Kansas, serving more than 1,000,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the eastern half of the state. They have a generating capacity of 16,000 megawatt electricity from its 40 electric generating units in Kansas and Missouri. Evergy service territory covers 28,130 square miles (72,900 km²) in east Kansas and west Missouri. The company owns more than 13,700 miles (22,000 km) of transmission lines and about 52,000 miles of distribution lines.

This Case Study features Supervisor of Environmental Testing, Alan Eason, and Manager of Emission Reporting and Testing, Jeremy Duis. Both have ten years of stack testing experience. QSTI Groups 1, 3, 4 certified.

 

Challenge

Evergy’s new stack testing group, Evergy Testing & Analytics (ET&A), was created in April 2019 and tasked with RATA testing all of their electric generating units in Kansas and Missouri. Their challenges included:

  • COLLECTION & ANALYSIS: ET&A was tasked with performing emissions testing both internally and externally.
  • REPORTING ISSUES: ET&A did not have a reliable, automated system for collecting or managing test data from multiple analyzers.
  • INCREASED TESTING DEMANDS: With an increased workload and lack of automated test data, ET&A struggled with putting together information required for client and ECMPS reports.

 

Solution

 

RATAView

The RATAView software helps stack testers meet complex regulations, including requirements around testing frequency, calculations, data gathering and data retention required by 40 CFR Parts 60 and 75. This intuitive subscription software is packaged with an 8864 Data Controller, the most widely-used device in the industry for data collection, computation and storage. It automates reporting functions for generation in Excel and XML files for ECMPS.

RATAView is high configurable and can be run from a standard workstation PC. It’s the only RATA testing  software backed by a 24/7 customer support team and in constant development.

 

RATA Testing With RATAView at Evergy

To meet their challenges of increased RATA testing demands, reliable collection and analysis efficiency reporting, Duis and Eason considered several other products and considered developing their own internal system, before choosing RATAView.

When examining which system to implement, they sought answers to several questions. From “How would the electronic signal be processed?” to “What happens if the system malfunctions during a test?” It was important to the ET&A group that their RATA testing solution was reliable and customer support would be available when needed.  

ESC | Spectrum and Evergy worked on multiple projects together with great success previously, so Duis and Eason decided to move forward with the implementation of RATAView. “We were taking on an ambitious project to start a testing program from the ground up and could not risk failure,” said Duis. “Even though RATAView was a relatively new product, we trusted that ESC | Spectrum would deliver a quality solution backed by industry expertise.”

“We were not disappointed. They became more than just suppliers; they were our partners and we felt that they had just as much invested in our success as we did. We also liked their on-site, in-person installation service and responsive customer support system. The ability to customize and expand the software as needed was of great value.”

Both Duis and Eason felt the critical implementation process went smoothly. Explained Duis: “The ESC | Spectrum team were fantastic. They came out to Lawrence Energy Center (in Lawrence, KS) and did everything for us. When they left, we had a full working product. They hooked up the 8864 Data Controller and set up templates for all the different tests we do with various combinations of gases for each site. Then, they checked in with us to confirm the entire system was working properly and ran mock tests to ensure the software and data controller were communicating. We had access to customer support whenever we needed it after the set up was complete.”

Evergy has been using RATAView for just over a year. Since implementing the software, they’ve seen a number of measurable benefits. “RATAView has been a very valuable asset to Evergy,” said Duis. “It has made life simpler, and our data moves faster through the entire system. We used to calculate by hand, and now I get the data I need immediately in a format that I can present to a client. The time it takes to create a report from the RATAView data has been cut significantly. We can now generate a report after the test with at least 25% less work or more than before, especially when working in the XML format.”

“Most of my peers are still using a basic 0-10VDC or 4-20mA to digital converter with little to no automation. The automation of RATAView was initially, to me, not a selling point, but the more I use the system and the more ESC | Spectrum has tailored it to our needs, the more I appreciate its efficiency. Anyone can create a simple analog to digital converter data acquisition system, but ESC | Spectrum has gone the extra mile to create a complex, user-friendly and all-encompassing data acquisition system for RATA tests that I would highly recommend to any stack testing company.”


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    Published: 7/6/2020 2:49:06 PM

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