If i have the controller simulator for GE mark VI, what is the procedure for the setup of that simulation?
Shall i use the toolbox or the cimplicity after the installation of the simulation? in addition, what version of the dongole should i use?
I'm going to answer both questions in one response.
To my knowledge, there are two types of Mark VI simulators: One that uses a VME rack and power supply and a UCVx card and requires an HMI with Toolbox and CIMPLICITY to function as a turbine control simulator. I will call this a "hardware simulator" or "hardware-based simulator." (I have also seen one configuration that used two (2) UCVx cards, one for the Mark VI and the other for the HMI, and that configuration required a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse to be connected to the second UCVx card. (But UCVx cards are expensive--more expensive than a cheap desktop or laptop.)
Toolbox is used to download turbine configuration software to the UCVx card, and that configuration software can have a turbine simulator function (simulating speeds and temperatures and such so that the unit can be started and stopped and loaded and unloaded just like a real unit to simulate a running turbine--not just a Mark VI turbine control panel) from CIMPLICITY displays.
A dongle (USB Protective Device) is required in order for TCI (Turbine Control Interface--a GE proprietary MS-Windows background service that allows communication with a Mark VI) to provide full HMI functionality (data display, unit commands, alarms and events). I have personally used a PC with only Toolbox to configure and troubleshoot and commission a Mark VI, but that did not include CIMPLICITY which requires TCI (and a dongle). That dongle can be the same one used for any HMI that is connected to UCVx in a Mark VI turbine control panel (real turbine control panel or hardware simulator); there's nothing "special" about that dongle.
Toolbox is used to configure the Mark VI (the UCVx in a hardware simulator). CIMPLICITY is only used for graphically monitoring a unit's operation, sending commands to the unit, and managing alarms.
The second kind of Mark VI simulator is a PC-based simulator. In this simulator there is a "virtual" UCVx card that is in software that runs on a PC. Toolbox, and even CIMPLICITY, can be installed on that same PC and used to configure and monitor, send commands to and manage alarms of the software-based "virtual" UCVx that has the turbine control configuration software downloaded to it from Toolbox. As with the hardware Mark VI simulator, the configuration software downloaded to the virtual UCVx card can have a simulation function included that simulates speeds and temperatures and pressures and load and such, and CIMPLICITY is required to send the commands to the virtual UCVx and graphically observe data and manage alarms.
The PC-based simulator can also have the turbine simulator configuration downloaded to it (to simulate a running turbine--not just a Mark VI turbine control panel) which can be controlled and monitored from CIMPLICITY.
The BIG difference between the two types of simulators (hardware-based and PC-based)--to my personal knowledge--is that a special dongle (USB Protective Device) is required for the PC-based simulator. And those dongles were rarely allowed to get out of GE factories and offices and into the field.
GE sold hardware Mark VI simulators to Customers, but I never saw a virtual simulator outside of a GE facility.
As to how or where to obtain a Mark VI simulator, I don't think GE still sells them, so someone who has one and wants to sell it would be the about the only way to get one. I have purchased a VME rack (from Schroff) and had access to a UCVx and a dongle and made my own hardware-based Mark VI simulator--time-consuming but a good learning experience. I don't have access to the Toolbox turbine simulator configuration (to simulate a running turbine--not just a Mark VI turbine control panel), but if I did it would have been an easy download. The harder part is configuring CIMPLICITY (and that's a whole 'nother task and story in itself).
Hope this helps! They're fun for a while, but, really, they just sit around gathering dust for the most part. Usually, someone (who hasn't made proper back-ups!!!) downloads something and causes it to "break" and then because they don't have proper back-ups they can't recover and get back to a known, good configuration and then it's really just a dust-gathering piece of hardware. OR, the site needs the UCVx card for their running turbine(s) and it gets taken and never replaced.
The turbine simulation software (it could be a steam turbine or a gas turbine) is very, Very, VERY basic. It will start and load and unload, but there are no features for introducing problems like high wheelspace temperatures or high exhaust temperature spreads or high atomizing air temperatures or high inlet air filter differential pressure to cause alarms so that the "simulator" can be used for operator training to educate them how to respond to alarms or unusual start-up circumstances and the like. That would be their real value--for use as operator training systems--but that would take a LOT of work to configure the software (using Toolbox) and create CIMPLICITY displays to trigger the various problems so that the operator could be trained how to respond. And, while GE sold them as operator training systems, they were never properly configured to train operators for alarm management. And, the turbine simulations were, again, VERY basic so trying to use them to troubleshoot starting or operational problems was next to impossible.
The "The PC-based simulator" CSA refers to is the virtual controller and is a componet that can be installed when ControlSt is installed, but your dongle must have the virtual controller license on it for the virtual controller to work.
GE does sell the virtual controller licenses to customers. TVA owns both MK-6 and MK-6e virtual controller licenses for ControlSt versions 4x, 5x and 6x. If you have a large fleet of units and do a lot of changes and modificaitons inhouse, as well as do your own in-house training (in our case we do some informal training with them), it can make sense to purchase the license.
>Do you have to download related software?
The virtual controller software is on the same ControlST CD/DVD shipped with each HMI, all you need is a proper dongle for it to work. And yes, if you are the registerd owner of the software you can download it from the website. https://digitalsupport.ge.com/communities/cc_login?s
This is a link of my post for MarkVI simulator.
>How to use it actually?
RTFM (Read The F......, er, uh, ... Fine Manual)
GEH-6749 is conveniently included in the zipfile. As with ALL GE documentation, it is enough to get one started. And, that's about it. The rest is up to the user to discern through (much) trial and (even more) error.
If one already has an HMI with ControlST and WorkstationST, one will find a plethora of GEHs and GEIs and GEHTs on ALL sorts of topics, most of which are short and relatively well-written. Not all apply to this particular subject (simulation) but I have seen some that do.
The problem with them is they are all named similarly: GEH-6749.pdf. Best to copy them all to another folder, and then open them one at a time. Write down the title of the publication. Then close the publication, right-click on it and select Properties, rename the file to something more helpful, like, "Mark VI Virtual Controller User Guide GEH-6749.pdf" (without the double quotes). If one will take the time to do this (and it only takes about an hour for all the GEHs and GEIs and GEHTs on an HMI), one will see there is a LOT of information published and readily available for many different functions. If one finds publications in the new folder location that aren't applicable (such as those for wind turbine products and software), one can delete them from your new folder and not even waste time renaming them. (They are--or should still be--in their original folder location, anyway!)
I still believe this version (as with most versions) of the "virtual controller" require a unique and specific dongle, which GE thinks very highly of (because they charge a high price for it).
I mean without the ST installed, can we use it?
Sorry for the confusion.
If it requires ST, then cant use it at my workstation.
Sect. 3 of GEH-6749 mentions it does require a dongle, and a "special" driver for the dongle.
Do you know if this runs with the "normal" dongle, or does it require the "special" dongle, as mentioned by mhwest?