BTG Bioliquids is a technology provider for fast pyrolysis of biomass residues. To bring new operators quickly up to speed with their plant, BTG Bioliquids decided to invest in a high-fidelity Operator Training Simulator (OTS).
An Operator Training Simulator provides a virtual plant on a computer, allowing operators to train plant operations ahead of plant start-up and throughout plant lifecycle. An OTS enables both inexperienced and experienced operators to gain experience in an off-line, non-intrusive environment without interfering with the operations of the actual plant.
Blueprint for the BTG Bioliquids OTS was the 5 tonnes/hr Fast Pyrolysis Bio Oil (FPBO) production plant ‘Empyro’ located in Hengelo (the Netherlands), which was constructed in 2015. The FPBO production plant has many specialized pieces of equipment, processing non-standard products such as biomass and pyrolysis oil. This required a non-standard OTS solution, which made Mobatec the natural choice to deliver their state-of-the-art OTS plant model, developed with their highly flexible Mobatec Modeller software.
The OTS project progressed smoothly all the way from the definition of the scope in the mark-up phase, to the engineering of the plant model and ultimately the integration phase. Whenever necessary, BTG Bioliquids kindly shared technical and process information about the Empyro plant. Mobatec from their side provided BTG Bioliquids with an interactive ‘sneak preview’ via a remote connection with the OTS under construction.
In another close collaboration, the engineers of BTG Bioliquids and Mobatec have thoroughly tested and improved the OTS over a period of several weeks prior to a successful delivery in the spring of 2020. But even after the completion of the project, BTG Bioliquids engineers will always be able to make future modifications or expand the OTS if necessary due to the flexible and easy to use software of Mobatec.
Mobatec’s plant model was linked to an exact copy of the Emerson DeltaV control system which thus has become an integrated part of the OTS. Both systems are run on laptops, making the OTS highly portable. The combination of the plant model with the Emerson DCS results in a ‘digital twin’ of the original plant and makes any operator training a lifelike experience!
As the icing on the cake, in the summer of 2020 Green Fuel Nordic from Finland and customer of BTG Bioliquids was the first to use the OTS and train the operators of their newly built plant. This resulted in a complete and successful start-up of the virtual plant, performed by all operators.
“Everybody on the team liked the training on the simulator very much. Within a short period, operators gained skills to run and operate the plant. Now that we understand the plant, we can proceed to run and operate our plant at a high capacity with minimal stops. “
Customer feedback, Green Fuel Nordic