This case study will explain Evergy’s stack testing challenges and how they were able to solve them using ESC Spectrum’s RATAView software. The study features the Supervisor of Environmental Testing, Alan Eason, and Manager of Emission Reporting and Testing, Jeremy Duis. Both have ten years of stack testing experience and are QSTI Groups 1, 3, 4 certified.
Evergy is the largest electric company in Kansas and serves more than 1 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the state’s eastern half. They have a generating capacity of 16,000-megawatt electricity from its 40 electric generating units in Kansas and Missouri. Evergy’s service territory covers 28,130 sq. miles (72,900 km2), and the company owns more than 13,700 miles (22,000 km) of transmission lines and about 52,000 miles of distribution lines.
Evergy’s Stack Testing Challenges
Evergy’s new stack testing group, Evergy Testing & Analytics (ET&A), was created in April of 2019 and tasked with RATA testing all of their electric generating units in Kansas and Missouri. With an increased workload, Evergy was overwhelmed with challenges, prompting them to switch to RATAView. These challenges included:
- Collection and Analysis
- Reporting Issues
- Increased Testing Volume
Evergy Challenge #1: Collection and Analysis
Evergy Testing & Analytics (ET&A) had to perform emissions testing both internally and externally. With a scope of work consisting of 40 electric generating units in Kansas and Missouri, their workload was becoming overwhelming for their team. Stack Testing is complicated work, without mentioning the lack of an automated system to increase efficiency.
Evergy Challenge #2: Reporting Issues & Increased Testing Volume
ET&A did not have a reliable automated system for collecting or managing test data from multiple analyzers. With an increased workload and lack of automated test data, ET&A struggled with putting together the information required for client and ECMPS reports.
About the RATAView Stack Testing Software
Why use RATAView for RATA testing? ESC Spectrum’s RATAView software helps stack testers meet complex regulations, including requirements around testing frequency, calculations, data gathering, and data retention required by 40 CFR Parts 60 and Part 75. This intuitive subscription software is packaged with an 8864 Data Controller, the most widely-used device in the industry for data collection, computation, and storage. It automates reporting functions for generation in Excel and XML files for ECMPS.
RATAView is highly configurable and can run from a standard workstation PC. It’s the only RATA testing software backed by a 24/7 customer support team and in constant development. The software guides you through the configuration of the test queue to create a workflow, then automates the test process. Reuse the test workflow at any time with the click of a button in either automatic or manual mode.
It makes reporting faster and more efficient by allowing you to add data from a specific Test ID or identify a range of dates for the reporting tool, then generate your reports in Excel.
Evergy’s RATAView Implementation
To meet Evergy’s challenges of increased RATA testing demands, reliable collection, and analysis efficiency reporting, Duis and Eason considered several other products and considered developing their own internal system before discovering RATAView. It was essential to the ET&A group that their RATA testing solution meet their standards for reliability and readily available customer support.
ESC Spectrum and Evergy worked on multiple projects together with great success previously, so Duis and Eason decided to implement RATAView. “We were taking on an ambitious project to start a testing program from the ground up and could not risk failure,” said Duis. “Even though RATAView was a relatively new product, we trusted ESC Spectrum would deliver a quality solution backed by industry expertise.”
“We were not disappointed. They (ESC Spectrum) became more than just suppliers; they were our partners, and we felt that they had just as much invested in our success as we did. We also liked their on-site, in-person installation service and responsive customer support system. The ability to customize and expand the software as needed was of great value.”
Both Duis and Eason felt the critical implementation process went smoothly. Explained Duis: “The ESC Spectrum team was fantastic. They came out to the Lawrence Energy Center (in Lawrence, KS) and did everything for us. When they left, we had a complete working product. They (ESC Spectrum) hooked up the 8864 Data Controller and created templates for all of our facility’s different tests with various combinations of gas for each site. Then, they checked in with us to confirm the entire system was functioning correctly and ran mock tests to ensure the software and data controller were communicating. We had access to customer support whenever we needed it after the setup was complete.”
Evergy’s RATAView Benefits
After using RATAView for a year, Evergy experienced measurable benefits. “RATAView has been a precious asset to Evergy,” said Duis. “It has made life more straightforward, and our data moves faster through the entire system. We used to calculate by hand, and now I get the data I need immediately in a format that I can present to a client. The time it takes to create a report from the RATAView data has been cut significantly. We can now generate a report after the test with at least 25% less work or more than before, especially when working in the XML format.”
“The automation of RATAView was initially, to me, not a selling point, but the more I use the system and the more ESC Spectrum has tailored it to our needs, the more I appreciate its efficiency. Anyone can create a simple analog to digital converter data acquisition system. Still, ESC Spectrum has gone the extra mile to create a complex, user-friendly, and all-encompassing system for RATA tests that I would highly recommend to any stack testing company.”
ESC Spectrum Helps Facilities Streamline Stack Testing
We are a total solution provider for air emissions compliance: from providing quarterly maintenance training, as well as mobile testing, stack testing, repair, and calibration, to developing Data Acquisition Systems and other compliance software….and all the DAS and CEMS services to support those activities. Contact us for a customized demo of RATAView or discuss our Stack Testing services.