Boiler Control System Retrofit, Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, WA.

Three Boilers – three Control System Upgrades – three years to complete

        By Craig Beesley, Systems Interface

        July 18, 2019

“It’s an iconic sight driving past Naval Base Kitsap. But what is the ‘cloud maker’ actually doing?” Kitsap Sun   – May 2019

The existing Boiler Control Benchboards and Plant Auxiliary Benchboard, operator control consoles and displays at the shipyard were deemed obsolete and in need of replacement. The original Westinghouse system was put in place in the mid 1980’s and could no longer meet the current standards and latest energy saving requirements.

Systems Interface teamed up with Coburn Contractors and MacDonald Miller to provide a complete solution from design through installation, including training and commissioning service to upgrade the Boiler Control System.

This included all new hardware and software, control panels, new server, workstation and monitoring for the Control Room.

Our Engineers were on on-site extensively before the process begin making sure where instruments were located, and making sure that wires were routed to the proper locations in order to oversee the removal of the old system and to coordinate installation of the new system. They were the main point of contact with the Navy.

The Solution

For a robust, standardized, and reusable solution, Systems Interface leveraged the Industrial Combusion & Steam Generation Solutions Team (IC&GS) from Rockwell Automation to provide the burner management (BMS) and combustion control (CCS) required for the boiler Control System.

The three boilers were identical and each was equipped with two (2) combination natural gas and steam atomized oil fired main burners with natural gas pilots. Each burner had its own fuel train and can operate independent of each other or in unison. Fuel Switchover is automatic and is not required for the boiler to be shutdown. Each burner retained the two (2) UV flame scanners.

The BMS then communicated with the other external networks of the Boiler Control System over a non-redundant Ethernet/IP network.

The first challenge was removal of parts of the existing system while the other sections were left intact to perform other functions. The first part that was replaced was the Plant Master Control. The Plant Master has control over the systems that are common to all (3) Boilers that included: Feed Water System, Diesel Fuel Pumps, De-aerator System, Bearing Cooling, Steam Header, and Condensate Systems. These systems work independent of the actual combustion and steam production of the boilers but are an integral part of the overall system. Once this was achieved it came time to one at a time replace the boiler control systems. This meant that while work was being done on one of the Boilers, the other two had to remain functional to supply steam to the plant.

Commissioning and Startup

Carving out the wiring from the old Westinghouse System and rerouting the wires to the location of the new system was a task that required a lot of coordination with many factions. When installation was complete, Systems Interface did an extensive point to point survey of all wiring before any power was applied. Once power was applied, SII worked to complete startup and commissioning. This was done for all three boilers over the course of several years.

Upon completion of the commissioning, our engineers remained on-site to train operators and maintenance personnel, update documentation and hand over the completed control system.


Hi Dave and Craig:

Little did I know four years ago that it would be four years before we completed the boiler retrofit for B 900 but, here we are.

Reviewing the system with Craig led me to the conclusion that things are working better than probably ever before. We certainly had our challenges but we hung in there with the common goal of completion with all things working the best they possibly could.

The new graphic panels and controls layout in the control room is exceptionally fine! Never before could you see that much data at one time and easily veiwed by a crowd if needed. There were no alarms and the operator was happy with how things were working. Also, the impression from the operator is that all of the other operators are quite pleased with the system controls.

Thank you for making this lengthy project such a sucess!

very best regards,

  Marvin Hullinger, CxA, EMP

  Commissioning Authority

  Neudorfer Engineers

About the author: Craig Beesley

Craig Beesley is the Engineering Manager at Systems Interface in Mukilteo, Washington.