1Q 2012

2012 BEST PRACTICES AWARDS

Awards in Operation and Maintenance, Design, Environmental Stewardship, and Safety 

>One of the biggest challenges facing owners and operators of gas-turbine-based powerplants in deregulated markets is the need to continually improve the performance of their facilities–to increase revenues and decrease expenses. One component of this goal of “continual improvement” is Best Practices. These are the methods and procedures plants rely on to assure top performance on a predictable and repeatable basis. more

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COMMENTARY

Why the energy industry should invest in high-school education

>The demand for new technologies and energy have created two parallel workforce phenomena— the development of new careers in the energy industry and the increased competency skills for technicians. From construction to business management, energy management issues are growing very important in a number of career pathways. more

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BY THE NUMBERS

Wind slips, gas dominates announced US capacity additions

> With small marginal power-industry growth, current renewable mandates consume a relatively large portion of new generation leaving traditional fossil fuels less room to expand. Low gas prices, upcoming environmental regulations, and a mini-boom in GT-based capacity announcements help gas gain market share at coal’s expense. more

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Updating gas-turbine reliability, availability

>Preparation by Strategic Power Systems Inc (SPS for the CCJ’s annual By the Numbers report normally begins with a careful look at ORAP® performance metrics for aeroderivative, “E” class, and “F” class technologies across all OEMs and a wide range of owner/operators. more

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2011 GT orders better than predicted, 2012 better still

>Stealing a line from an old brokerage ad, when Mark Axford talks, everyone listens. That certainly was true at Western Turbine XXII where the Houston-based turbine consultant once again attracted a larger audience than any other speaker. more

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Gas below $5 until 2016

>”Natural gas market fundamentals and forecasting,” the first broadcast (mid-March) in the Current Intelligence weginar series sponsored by GDF Suez Energy Resources NA, proved valuable to generation professionals as well as to commercial, industrial, and institutional electricity buyers. more

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FEATURES 

Generators

Efforts to locate, repair damage from spark erosion advance

> Most gas-turbine user groups devote at least a few hours each conference to presentations and Q & A on generators, with much of that time focused on air-cooled units installed a combined-cycle, cogeneration, and simple-cycle plants over the last 15 years or so. more

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Gas Turbine Historical Society

Intercooling key to the commercial success of gas turbines

> Most people begin their professional careers with little or no historical perspective about the industry they serve. They may absorb some history over time if they’re interested in how things got to be the way they are and if they have a knowledgeable and sharing mentor. more

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Underground Infrastructure
Your circ-water piping: Is it a disaster waiting to happen?

>A circulating-water pipe failed at Unit 3 of Southwestern Public Service Co’s Harrington Station, Amarillo, TX, late last October. No one was injured because the failure occurred in the evening, and the maintenance crew was gone, but the breached pipe flooded the basement with 3 in. of water and damaged the electrical circuit breakers. more
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Fuel Preparation 
Blending off-spec, pipeline gases reduces fuel cost

>Four years ago, natural gas and oil prices had gone through the roof. Today, natural gas is lower than it has been in decades. Because of this volatility, fuel flexibility is almost always a good thing, as long as you remain within the range of fuel specifications recommended by the manufacturers of your gas turbines and duct burners.  more

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USER GROUP ROUNDUPS

Western Turbine Users

Western Turbine XXII exceeds expectations

>The 2012 edition of the world’s largest conference and exhibition for owner/operators of GE LM (land and marine) aeroderivative gas turbines, sponsored by the independent Western Turbine Users Inc, was held at the Pasadena (CA) Convention Center, March 18-21.  more

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Combined Cycle Users Group

A new group focused on the integrated plant & staff, not specific equipment

>Planning for the Combined Cycle Users Group’s second annual meeting in Orlando, October 16-19, is well underway, reports Calpine’s Larry Small, the organization’s chairman. more

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501F Users Group

User, vendor technical presentations, safety discussion highlight program

> Chairman Russ Snyder, plant manager, Cleco Power LLC, called to order the first user-only technical session at the 2012 meeting of the 501F Users Group on the third day of the conference. He quickly passed the microphone to Vice Chairman Ray Martens, plant manager of the Klamath (OR) Cogeneration Plant, who led a robust discussion on safety. more

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Business partners