Bridging the Digital Gap

17 November 2020 by Westinghouse Electric Company

Innovative Technology and Industry Expertise offer a Simplified Path to Plant Modernization

When the world’s first AP1000® plants came online at the Sanmen and Haiyang sites with no major startup issues, it confirmed for the world what we already knew – our instrumentation and control (I&C) solutions bring peace of mind to utilities concerned about their systems’ reliability. But how does this success translate to operating plants across the globe?

The Challenge


Due to growing aging and obsolesces concerns with their existing systems, Florida Power & Light recognized the need to make rod control system upgrades at the St. Lucie plant. Full system upgrades can be costly and add time to outage windows if the new system doesn’t operate as planned. Having fabricated, tested and installed our Digital Rod Control and Rod Position Indication (RPI) technology into the AP1000 plants, the utility had confidence that Westinghouse’s solutions would work properly, the first time.

Our Solution

Our digital control system solution, the Advanced Rod Control Hybrid (ARCH) builds on Westinghouse's legacy of industry-leading innovation, proven design and implementation. It is designed to allow plants to transition from analog to digital rod control via a modular and scalable drop-in solution for both Westinghouse and Combustion Engineering plant designs.


ARCH leverages the functions and features of Westinghouse's Digital Rod Control System while maintaining the plant's existing field cabling and cabinet architecture for cost-effective, lower-risk installation. The utilization of modern components and manufacturing processes addresses ever-increasing obsolescence concerns while supporting installation during a standard outage schedule.

The Results

The first U.S. installment of ARCH was implemented at the first unit as part of our 2019 fall outage campaign, followed by the second installation during the 2020 spring outage season. Using lessons learned from the first implementation, our teams were able to further reduce schedule impact. 

Notable Takeaways:

  • Both installations were completed within their 20-day window
  • Since implementation, neither unit has had a rod drop or unplanned outage 

Learn More About Digital Rod Control Upgrades