Mark VIe New Software Download to Gas Turbine

GE gave us new Mark VIe software to download to GT after they have made some changes. Due to Covid, GE engineers are unable to mobilize to the site.
Can you please provide advice/procedure to download new Mark VIe software to GT as this will be the 1st time for us to download Mark VIe software?

You really should be asking GE to provide the download procedure. Depending on the type of changes that were made, the download procedure could be quite involved, including the exciter and all HMI devices in the ToolboxST project.

This is really something you should be insisting GE to provide--especially if the changes were made because of mistakes or corrections to the original software. Again, depending on the versions of software on the HMI and running in the Mark VIe you really GE to be detailing how to make this download--because you may need to download to more than just the Mark VIe to make the changes be effective on the HMIs and if the exciter is also on the UDH (Unit Data Highway).

Please work with GE to obtain the proper procedure, and make sure you have an email address for someone--at a minimum--for support (a phone number would be best, of course).

Best of luck--please let us know how this goes for you!!!
Thanks for your time to answer the query. I am now asking GE to provide procedures. Initially, somebody told me that it is just copy and paste process. We just need to replace existing G1 and G2 files with the ones provided by GE. But i feel that it may not be that easy.
Anyway, thanks a lot for your reply and suggestions.
>"copy and paste"

Maybe, but at your mention of "new Mark Vie software", what came to my mind, was when I was in chemical plant control room while the DCS vendor was doing a DCS software upgrade in the CD-ROM era (10 years ago) - 6 hours start to finish and the technician doing the upgrade used a 40 page checklist as his reference.

Mark VIe is not something you can learn by hearsay and anecdotal information (myths; tribal knowledge; speculation).

On the HMI you will find a LOT of .pdf files, most of which are only identified by the GE publication number (for example, GEH-6721) in the filename. On recent HMIs they have been putting a large number of "how to" files which aren't usually very long, and some of which have some REALLY good information and procedures. You need to use MS-Windows Explorer to find the files (you can search each of the drives (C; E; M; etc.) for *.pdf. (True to form, some of the same files are in multiple locations, and because the GE HMI can be used for many different Mark* turbine control panels (IV, V, VI, & VIe) they also put a LOT of additional (and unnecessary) files.

My suggestion is to create a new folder on the Desktop. Then start opening each of the .pdf files that appear to be GE manuals and write down the title of the document ('Mark VIe System Guide, Vol. I' for example). Then when you exit the file, choose 'Save As...' and change the name to include the document's title (for example, 'MarkVIeSystemGuideVolI_GEH-6721.pdf') and save the newly named file in the newly created folder on the Desktop. This DOES NOT delete the original file; it only creates a copy of the existing file with a more "intuitive" name in the newly created folder on the Desktop.

This will require several hours, maybe more. You will open some files that are for wind turbine controls and power conversion modules that are totally unapplicable to your needs and wants. Just close these files and continuing opening--and renaming and saving--the files that relate to turbine control. As you discover what documents are on the HMI, you might want to highlight the filenames you write down to go back to them later for review and investigation, because you will CERTAINLY discover documents that have information you will need and find useful and informative.

The "how to" documents will probably be the best place to start reading and investigating. But, you will be surprised at the information which is on the HMI and "hidden" because it isn't more readily recognizable. (GE should really have a small app that people can open which finds, indexes and lists all of the Mark*-related documents by title AND publication number, and from that app people can simply click on the title or publication number to open and read the information in the file.... )

Anyway, be prepared to spend some time doing this. Have a notebook handy to write down the titles of the documents you want to rename and copy to the folder you created on the Desktop. And, have a highlighter to use to mark the files you want to review later. I would say you should probably plan to spend an hour a day or so going through the files, renaming and copying the applicable files to the Desktop folder, and highlighting the titles in your notebook you want to read or skim through. By doing this, you will become familiar with the information on the HMI and also put all of the applicable files in a folder on the Desktop which is easily accessible by yourself or anyone, and by including the title in the filename you will make it much easier to know what information is in the document.

This is one of the ways to get familiar with the HMI and the Mark*. GE doesn't make it easy--but it is possible with some effort and time. And, I guarantee you--it will be worth the effort at some point in the future.

Best of luck! Let us know how you proceed and fare in getting this new software downloaded.
Hi David and CSA,

Thanks for giving advice to search in GE documents.
In fact, this is a kind of correction to original software. We sent our existing software to GE and GE will send back modified one to us. What we know is that GE put additional logics in the software and let the site to download it while the unit is offline.
We will do it in coming planned outage.

The Mark VIe dynamically assigns signal names to memory locations, and when new signal names are added it's not uncommon for there to be lots of changes to the database. For example, let's say you lived at 349 Paradise Lane, and when some new people moved to your town and had to be added to the list of residents the postal service changed your street address from 349 Paradise Lane to 8720 Wahdi Circle and someone else was given the street address of 349 Paradise Lane. But, some friends didn't know about the change of street address and were still trying to send you mail at 349 Paradise Lane, but the people who now had the 349 Paradise Lane street address just ignored the mail or, worse, were sending back incorrect information.

That's the way the Mark VIe system works. In the computer, there are memory locations (the equivalent of street addresses in the example above) for every signal name (resident name). BUT, when signals are added the memory locations get reassigned (someone else gets 349 Paradise Lane and you get 8720 Wahdi Circle). Now, when the HMI wants data from 349 Paradise Lane it either gets nothing in response or it gets different data. In the same way, when an operator tries to send a command to a signal name, it might go to a different memory location--which is not a command-type function at all, or worse--it is a completely different command function.

That's why for some logic changes (especially when new signal names are added) it is often necessary to download to all of the other devices in the Mark VIe project--the HMI(s), the exciter(s), as well as the Mark VIe turbine control panels.

So, while it would seem it would be as easy as deleting the G1 and/or G2 files and replacing them with the new ones GE provided and downloading them to the appropriate Mark VIe panels (since the only thing which (seemingly) changed was the turbine control logic/configuration), that's NOT what's required for all of the other devices in the Mark VIe project to talk to each other and share information correctly. It can be very time-consuming, AND it has to all be done in the proper order and using the proper methods, and if not, well, it can be a great big mess to try and resolve.

Best to get the process from GE, HAVE A READ OF IT TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND IT AND IT MAKES SOME KIND OF SENSE TO YOU--BEFORE starting the process. If you have ANY questions about the procedure they give you you need to get clarification BEFORE you start. AND MAKE A BACK-UP OF THE ENTIRE HMI HARD DRIVE BEFORE YOU START--EVEN IF YOU FEEL 100% CONFIDENT YOU UNDERSTAND THE PROCEDURE!!!

Making that back-up could be the difference between being off-line for weeks and hours!!! Don't start any part of the procedure without making that back-up, and if the software you use to crease the hard drive image has a way of verifying the integrity of the image--use it. I would also caution you that when making a hard drive image/back-up that you first stop CIMVIEW/CIMPLICITY, and then stop WorkstationST. Those applications quite often open and lock files on the hard drive which many imaging/back-up programs can't recognize and will just bypass--and which will mess up the integrity of the back-up.

Hope this helps!!!
Thanks for your valuable advice. I have been in this forum for quite few years reading the threads posted by other people. I can get a lot knowledge form this forum. I really appreciate for all the supports and reply. :)
This is important. I also take a separate archive of the .tcw and put it somewhere it can't be corrupted, lost, or overwritten.

The “right” answer is that you, the customer, should not be doing this. Replacing a device in an existing .tcw is more than a copy/paste, the most thorough OEM document I’m aware of is internal proprietary, and the .tcw “should be” password protected to the point that you "can't" do it the "right" way.

Now that that's out of the way, need a little more information before you get a helpful answer. It can be very easy, but you can also totally and irreparably corrupt a device file in a .tcw with no way to undo it (ask me how I know).
  • What version of ControlST are you working with?
  • What MKVIe device version do you have?
  • What files were you given as the "new software"? Is it a .zip folder with a device folder inside? Just the device.xml file? An entire .tcw archive?
  • CSA touched on this a little bit, but it needs to be 100% clear before you get the right method: are the EGD exchanges in the new software identical to the old software? Even if engineering didn't add or delete signals, registers can change. And getting everything sorted on the UDH can be a pain.
Thank you, PungentReindeerKing.

This is not for newbies, or even novices. It takes experience, and understanding of the overall software relationships of all the devices on the UDH, the EGD, and what's supposed to happen--so that if what's supposed to happen doesn't on any single step then before the process is continued the problem is resolved.

Because blind adherence to a cookbook procedure that hasn't been read and understood BEFORE starting to use the procedure is a plan to fail (because of a failure to plane). Sure; GE can say, "Just download this and you're good to go." But, I've never seen that be the case with Mark VIe--never. Even with simple changes, it can be messed up without even trying--even when following a very good procedure. It's just too easy to make a mistake, and recovering from these kinds of mistakes is difficult. EVEN IF YOU HAVE A FULL BACK-UP OF EVERYTHING!!!

People get flustered and they start downloading and uploading and re-booting and not paying any attention at all to the erros and warnings in the Status window. And that's how things get REALLY screwed up. When one doesn't know what or when the procedure went wrong and one just starts flailing and trying this and that (without writing everything down that one is trying--and what the results of those efforts were!), then it just gets ugly. And, this is how the Mark VIe gets a bad reputation. Not undeserved, because of the lack of proper documentation, but this is one of the many ways it's gets a bad reputation.

And, that last paragraph reminds me of another good step to take when performing any so-called "change" like this--write down each step, in as much detail as you can, and then write down the results of each step. Even if there are no warnings or error messages; either capture a screen shot in a MS-Word file or write down the results from the status window, for EVERY step and RESULT. That way when someone asks, "What happened?" or, "When did it start to go bad?" you have a list of steps and results.

This is serious stuff. Electrical power is serious stuff. Generating electrical power is serious stuff. Some manufacturers make it more complicated than it needs to be--but that doesn't make it any less serious. Or intense.

Hope this helps!

If GE can't get out there to do this, and they performed the modifications/changes to the software, they need to write the procedure. You need to read and understand the procedure they provide, and get any clarifications you need. AND, you need to get a direct "line" to someone who can help you with any questions or problems. But, do yourself a favor--make a full back-up, AND, write down every step you take and document what the results were. You may not need it. But I would bet you will, especially if you or someone at your site has never actually done this before. And I would put serious cash up with my side of the bet (because I am pretty certain I would be winning).

GE has got to understand that in many parts of the world they can't just send someone in for a service call and expect them to do it one or three days and leave. Many parts of the world have quarantine periods, and that means downtime. So, they should be writing good, verified and proven procedures to give to their own field service personnel as well as Customer who are being told, "We can't get there because of the pandemic, so you just need to download this and you'll be good to go." Because, that's rarely, if ever, the truth of the situation.
Hi CSA and PungentReindeerKing,

Thanks a lot for giving advice and precautions. Now , we are planning to download the software via live Video Support from GE.
Our control ST version is Version 6 and it is Zip folder with device folder inside.

GREAT to hear!!! The World Wide Web is a Wonderful thing, isn't it?

It would be very great if someone at your organization could write down the steps--it doesn't have to be anything detailed--and I would suggest it would be a worthy endeavour for the site personnel to have written down in the event that something like this came up again.

And if you could share those steps with would be FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!

Best of luck--and many of us are very interested in the process (steps) and outcome(s). VERY interested.

I apologize for not being more prompt on responding to your initial request. I stepped away from for a bit.

Based on what I have ready above, I would not DL this without GE's (or an expert) help. No question. Don't even try unless they are on the phone with you and/or have screen sharing. There are too many things that can go wrong here. Too many things you can miss. PungentReindeerKing is also right, this could be a very easy process. It would not take him (or I) very long to do this, but we know what to look for. Unless you have someone that has done this before, I would strongly recommend that some expert is with you.....that being said, where are you located?

When you do download with GE (hopefully) you have not done this...Make sure you ask them the following. They will not do this on their own.
* Will my controller reboot (if yes, then you need to do all below) - ask them this many many times.
- Have you reconciled all of your control Contestants
- Have you reconciled all of your Non-written variables
- Are you prepared for complete loss of GT function? All valves will go to fail safe position, and you may vent gas.

Hi ME42,
Thanks a lot for reading details and giving advice. We are also reviewing whether we should do it or not as the site has limited knowledge in Mark VIe.
The site is located in remote area of Myanmar ( Burma) .So, it will not be easy to mobilize experts to the site if something wrong happens.
The discussion in this forum gave me a lot of precautions. I really appreciate for all of your time and support :)
Keep us posted what you decided to do. Unfortunately, Myanmar is a bit far away and I do not know any experts in the area.

Do you all have remote sharing capabilities? I will offer up our services to be able to support you all if you must need someone to help during the download.

Although I gave the procedures on how to update/replace the old software/device, I still don’t recommend you to do this work yourself, because the new S/W may have other donload steps, such as EGD compress or DEVICE compress, I’m not sure if your unit is still using legacy MKVI controller for EX2000 controller in the tcw S/W. If it is, you need other step like GET EGD for it to update its EGD, etc.,

Although I've tried my best to write down the following detailed update steps, but may have missed some steps, so below is for your reference only

  • Open the site TCW(E:\Master)
    • Archive the complete TCW
    • Take the backup of the DistributedIO.xml of the both the units
    • Open the G1
      • Take a backup of the constants
      • Record the LVDT parameters of all servo valves
      • Close the G1
    • Open the G2
      • Take a backup of the constants
      • Record the LVDT parameters of all servo valves
      • Close the G2
  • Delete G1, G2 and GT_Library(If needed) from the site TCW
  • Close the TCW

  • Extract the new archive TCW and keep it ready.
  • Replace the distributedIO.xml that was taken earlier into the respective G1 and G2 folders in the extracted folder

  • Open the site TCW
    • Right click on the top level of the TCW
    • Add existing GT_Library.xml from the new archive TCW folder
  • Open the library
    • Close the Library file
  • Click on the Shared IONET1
    • Right click on the Shared IONET1
    • Add existing G1 Device.xml from the new archive TCW folder
    • Compare whether the LVDT parameters of servo valve of PCAA/PSVO in new software are the same as the old software. If they are different, you can directly replace them with the old parameters, or do an AUTO CALIBRATION for these regulators.
  • Click on the Shared IONET2
    • Right click on the Shared IONET2
    • Add existing G2 Device.xml from the new archive TCW folder
    • Compare whether the LVDT parameters of servo valve of PCAA/PSVO in new software are the same as the old software. If they are different, you can directly replace them with the old parameters, or do an AUTO CALIBRATION for these regulators.
  • Save the TCW

Once the new software is replaced, you can execute compilation and download. Before downloading the new software, you need to do some LOTO operations for the controller to reboot, such as turn off the COOLDOWN and stopping the lube oil pump&lift oil pump; place the power CB of the 88QE in the off/open position, If you don’t know which fans or oil pumps will start automatically when the controller reboots, you’d better place the power CB in the off/open position for all of oil pumps and fans on the MCC panel, in addition, when the controller is rebooted, the solenoid valve of the SSOVV will lose power, which will open the SSOVV and release the gas fuel Or pre-charged nitrogen in the pipe.
I may have forgotten to remind you to stop the hydrogen seal system and stop and disconnect the power CB foe both of DC& AC seal oil pump If your generator uses a H2 seal system