NeuCo - The Optimization Standard

Case Studies

NeuCo continuously works with customers to produce case studies & presentations that articulate what our products have done to make their lives a little easier.

Comprehensive Boiler Optimization - MATS WPS Benefits are just the beginning

Presented at EUEC in February 2016, this presentation shows how NeuCo is helping its customers use the neural network combustion optimization provisions to minimize the costs associated with boiler inspections, tuning, and performance tests while maximizing outage flexibility to avoid unnecessary lost generation revenue. The presentation includes results on how one of NeuCo's customers are deploying neural network combustion optimization across its coal-fired fleet to not only to minimize MATS compliance costs, but also to reduce fuel costs, comply with emerging NOx emissions limits, and be better-prepared for the greenhouse gas reductions required by the new Clean Power Act. Click Here to view this presentation. If you would like more information, please contact us at

NOx Reduction and Boiler Optimization at SherCo Unit 2

Presented at PowerGen in December 2015, this presentation - given by Jason Grimm at Xcel Energy - covers the complete combustion optimization project on Sherco Unit 2 - including software, mills and tuning of the boiler - where the upgrade to CombustionOpt V3 alone is given credit for an additional 10% NOx reduction on the unit. Click Here to view this presentation. If you would like more information, please contact us at

NeuCo's technology described in comprehensive report from IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a comprehensive report on advanced sensors and smart control products for coal-fired plants in 2015. This is a recommended read for anyone interested in how NeuCo's optimization technology differs from other solutions in the market and why NeuCo's optimization technology will help your power plant increase efficiency and reduce emissions. Click Here for an overview. If you would like more information, please contact us at

NeuCo's technology featured in EPRI report

Originally published December 19, 2014 in the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) report titled "Case Studies in Flexible Operations of Combined-Cycle and Simple-Cycle Plants: Interim Report", this white paper describes the deployment of software to optimize duct burner dispatch of Dynegy's Independence Generating Station. The gas turbine (GT) fast ramping capability is bid into the NYISO Regulation Ancillary Services Market. The total capacity of the gas turbine and steam turbine, including additional power generated from duct firing, is bid into the energy market. The software optimizes the net economic benefits by minimizing duct firing and its undesirable heat rate (fuel cost) impact. Several neural network models were developed to predict near-term plant demand and estimate available generating capacity given grid and ambient weather conditions along with a plant equipment response model. These inputs are then used in real-time to optimize duct burner operation. Using the dispatch optimizer to more closely follow predicted demand is estimated to save between $875,000 and $1.2 million in fuel costs per year. Dynegy found that the new control applications have resulted in a more efficient dispatch of their duct burners and an overall fuel savings as compared to their initial operating characteristics. Click Here to view the report. If you would like more information, please contact us at

Combined Cycle Power Plant Duct Burner Optimization Using ProcessLink

Presented at the EPRI Heat Rate conference in February 2015, this presentation describes the technology, approach and results (operational and financial) associated with application of a closed-loop hybrid neural network-first principles optimizer at the Dynegy Independence power plant, a 1000 MW four-on-two combined cycle plant. The optimizer allocates fuel across plant blocks and sub-systems to minimize fuel costs while meeting capacity and ramp-rate commitments. The presentation describes how adaptive on-line learning neural networks are used in combination with rigorous thermodynamic modeling to employ the most efficient possible firing regime (i.e. loading across combustion turbines, HRSGs, duct burners, and steam turbines) while meeting the maximum capacity and load-following commitments bid into a Regulation Ancillary Services Market). Click Here to view the presentation. If you would like more information, please contact us at

Enhanced Boiler Performance using Targeted Sootblower Activation

This presentation, given at the EPRI Heat Rate conference in February 2015, highlights a novel, targeted approach to sootblower activation designed to activate blowers based upon the conditions of the boiler rather than a traditional time and/or sequence based approach. At the core of this new approach is the use of neural network based models for predicting the changes in both the cleanliness factors and the heat duties of boiler heat transfer devices due to sootblower activation. Both the heat duty and cleanliness factor of each heat transfer surface in the boiler are calculated using a series of performance calculations. Using the results of these calculations, a set of neural network based models are trained to predict the change in cleanliness factor and heat duty due to sootblower activation. This technique has been shown to improve boiler performance while at the same time reducing overall sootblower activations by 20%. Click Here to view the presentation. If you would like more informatioon, please contact us at

Improved NOx Reductions in a Combustion Optimization System using a Novel Neural Network Training Algorithm

Combustion optimization of fuel and air distribution in coal fired units based upon a neural network approach has been used to reduce NOx emissions over the past 20 years. Critical to the reduction of the NOx emissions is the quality of the neural network. To improve the quality of the neural network model of NOx, a novel neural network training algorithm has been developed, focused on training a neural network model that provides an accurate prediction of the change in NOx due to change in the fuel and air distribution, and the novel algorithm also gives an estimate of the uncertainty of the prediction. Results were presented at the EUEC conference in San Diego in February 2015, using data from a large coal fired unit where a combustion optimization system, with a neural network that was trained using the novel algorithm, was implemented. Click Here to view the presentation. If you would like more information, please contact us at

Analysis and Treatment of Weather Forecast Error - A case study at Independence Station

Weather has a significant effect on overall plant capability due primarily to its direct effect on gas turbine (GT) capability. Estimating the effect weather is having, or may have in the future, is difficult because, among other reasons, that It is difficult to predict the weather, and that there may be real or artificial differences between the actual weather at the plant and the actual weather at the location for which the forecast is taken. Presented at PowerGen in December 2014, this case study details the analysis and treatment of weather forecast error at Dynegy's Independence Station (two 2-on-1 combined cycle units, each unit having two GE 207FA gas turbines with 165 MW capacity, two Vogt HRSG's with supplementary-fired duct burners (22 MW capacity each), and one steam turbine (206 MW)). Click Here to view the presentation. If you would like to get the white paper please contact us at

Anomaly Detection and Diagnosis for Thermal Performance and Equipment Health

When problems occur at a plant - whether involving equipment health or performance degradation, tell-tale signs are recorded by the data historian but it is difficult for plant personnel to monitor such data and identify problems in real-time across an entire plant. In many cases, equipment problems are not detected until the equipment fails; or with process issues such as thermal efficiency or emissions there are extended excursions with high costs. Presented at PowerGen in December 2014, several case studies from coal power plants that use NeuCo's ProcessOpt product was highlighted. Click Here to view the presentation.

Improved Boiler Performance Using Targeted Sootblower Activation

Presented at CoalGen in August 2014, this presentation details the empirical findings from a large, T-fired coal unit using a novel targeted approach and combining neural networks, cleanliness based approaches, expert systems and performance calculations. Click Here to view the white paper and/or click Here to view the presentation

Economic Viability in the Eye of the Storm

Presented at CoalGen in August 2014, this presentation by NeuCo's Director of Market & Technology, Peter Spinney, details his views on how to stay economically viable in these turbulent regulatory times. Click Here to view the presentation

Developing Applications for Combined Cycle Optimization at Independence Station

Presented at Electric Power in April 2014, this presentation describes the technology, approach and initial results associated with the application of a closed-loop hybrid neural network first-principles optimizer at Dynegy's Independence 1,000 MW four-on-two combined cycle plant. Click here to view this presentation

MATS Best Practices: Understanding the details

Presented at EUEC in February 2014, this presentation give an overview of the new MATS regulations, and how NeuCo's CombustionOpt MATS Edition can help you mitigate the risk introduced for your plant with the new regulations and best practices. Click here to view this presentation

Using Neural Network Combustion Optimization for MATS Compliance

NeuCo's Peter Spinney authored an article that was featured in the February 2014 issue of POWER magazine; the article highlights EPA's final language tweaks of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) regulations that is scheduled to take effect in April 2015, and how neural networks not only can reduce boiler emissions and CO, but also reduce the administrative costs of complying with MATS. Click here to view this paper

Closed-Loop Optimization at Alliant Ottumwa Generating Station

An analysis of the Closed-Loop Boiler Optimization project at Alliant Ottumwa Station. Some of the plant goals were to achieve maximum NOx reduction without jeopardizing plant operation, maintain a maximum allowable CO limit and avoid upsets and improve overall operational consistency. » request this paper

Advanced Optimization Applications at TMPA Gibbons Creek

Bruce Partlow (TMPA) describes several recent technical advancements which have helped Gibbon's Creek (a single-unit 480-MW tangentially-fired coal power plant located outside of Bryan/College Station, TX.) achieve a broader set of goals and help improve upon existing system performance. » request this paper

Boiler Optimization at Xcel Energy Tolk and Harrington Stations

NeuCo was asked to present at the Xcel Energy Boiler Conference in Denver, CO.  This presentation highlights the implementation and benefits of BoilerOpt® at Xcel Tolk and Harrington and showcases the most recent data on how combustion and sootblowing optimization continues to support and improve upon the plant’s initial goals of better  performance, increased boiler reliability, and ramping-related issues, a growing industry concern. » request this paper

APS Four Corners Fleet-Wide Optimization Initiative

Presented at Electric Power 2011, this presentation discusses APS Four Corners’ use of optimization technology since 1999 to improve efficiency and reduce NOx and CO2 emissions, and how the systems have evolved along with Four Corners’ objectives and challenges. » request this paper

Understanding & Managing Back-End Equipment Impacts and Tradeoffs with Optimization

NeuCo provides examples from several customer sites about how optimization technology has helped to provide an understanding of the real-time impacts and tradeoffs caused by the interaction of back end equipment such as SCRs, SNCRs and FGDs with the rest of the plant.  » request this paper

Unit-Wide Optimization Systems: A CCPI Case Study

The second round of the CCPI Project officially concluded in late November 2010 with the publishing of NeuCo’s final technical report by the DOE.  This presentation summarizes the final analysis results and was presented at the 2011 Reinhold NOx conference. » request this paper

Boiler Optimization and Advanced Instrumentation for Heat Rate & Reliability Improvement

This presentation focuses on the use of Boiler Optimization and how it is used to improve heat rate and integrate with advanced instrumentation for additional benefits. Case studies include Xcel Harrington Station and DTE Belle River; featuring the NeuCo/ZoloBoss integration project results.  » request this paper

Mitigating Operational Impacts of Wind Power, NOx Regulations and Boiler Cleaning at Xcel Energy's Harrington Station

Senior Plant Engineer Anthony Perez describes results from the Harrington BoilerOpt® project.  Using BoilerOpt, the plant was able to reduce NOx emissions, improve heat rate and increase unit reliability through more balanced sootblowing, both at base load and while ramping to accommodate wind generation.  » request this paper

CCPI Project Results: Multi-Pollutant Control at NRG Limestone

This presentation reports on the final phase of NeuCo's 4-year DOE CCPI project at NRG Limestone, and presents preliminary results for the closed-loop boiler optimizers.  » request this paper

Combining Closed-Loop Boiler Optimization with Real-Time Measurement of In-Furnace Combustion Attributes

This presentation, by DTE Belle River's Chris Steiger, describes the implementation and results of combining BoilerOpt® with Zolo Technologies’ ZoloBOSS tunable laser diode in-furnace measurement system.  NeuCo, Zolo, and DTE are working closely together to demonstrate the strong benefits that can be achieved through this combination of technologies with respect to CO2 reduction, heat rate improvement, the avoidance of slagging, NOx and CO control, and improved overall unit performance.  » request this paper

Great Catches by NeuCo Optimizers

This presentation describes the value of equipment health anomaly detection and diagnostic systems, such as MaintenanceOpt®, in alerting plant personnel to equipment problems and expediting problem diagnosis and remediation.  Several "Great Catch" examples are provided including high ID fan motor temperature, low oil on a fan bearing, turbine bearing vibration, and condenser air evacuation issues. » request this paper

Boiler Optimization at four Ameren Meramec Units

Results on four Ameren Meramec units that have installed BoilerOpt®, which includes integrated combustion and sootblowing optimizers.  The presentation highlighted the initial results and how Ameren and NeuCo’s Customer Support team have been working together to incorporate key learnings, expand upon the benefits, and overcome new challenges in a dynamic operating environment. » request this paper

Beyond Coal; Optimization for Oil & Gas Units

This case study examines how optimization provides operational and economic benefits for gas and oil-fired units.  Site examples include Mirant Canal & JEA Northside.  » request this paper

Sootblowing at Ameren Meramec Unit 3

When Ameren Meramec's Unit 3 became plagued with sootblowing-related tube erosion which caused unforced outages, they turned to optimization to help address their sootblowing issues.  This case study highlights the first SootOpt® installation at Ameren Meramec, which provided the basis for multiple product installations at the remaining 3 Meramec units and several additional Ameren coal-fired plants. » request this paper

Technology Attributes for Successful Unit Optimization

Every customer has a unique set of goals and challenges that vary between solution, plant and unit.  This paper describes the top 10 best practices "technology must haves" for successful plant optimization. » request this paper

The Financial Benefits of Flexibility with Real-Time Asset Optimization

Authored by Peter Spinney and featured on, this is the first time NeuCo has formally communicated about optimization’s ability to manage power generation’s operating and financial tradeoffs in a way that responds to uncertain fuel, NOx allowance, and carbon markets. » request this paper

Benefits of Combining SCR Systems and Optimization

This paper presents results of combining boiler and SCR optimization at Dynegy’s Baldwin Energy Complex, implemented as part of NeuCo’s US Department of Energy Clean Coal Power Initiative Phase 1 project. Read about how optimization has reduced SCR-related costs by reducing ammonia consumption, mitigating negative SCR-related side-effects and simultaneously improving combustion and sootblowing operations. » request this paper                                      

The Intelligent Generation Plant: Using Low-Cost Optimization Analytics to Manage the Carbon Footprint

This Energy Insights paper examines how power industry trends such as rising fuel costs and CO2 regulations are driving the need for plant efficiency improvements, and how optimization is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges. » request this paper