Q2 2008: Exclusive User Group Coverage

CTOTF: Group restructures, expands to address emerging needs of GT users

Up until the mid 1980s, give or take a couple of years, a plant manager’s job was one of the best industrial positions in America. Before deregu­lation, a respected manager with intimate knowledge of powerplant equipment and good rapport with execu­tives at headquarters essen­tially was king of his realm.

Onerous environmen­tal legislation at the fed­eral, state, and local lev­els was one of the first party-crashers. It turned the plant manager’s tra­ditionally clean desk into a swamp of paperwork. At one time, a PM could count on help from “uptown.” But deregulation brought with it investor-owners expert in squeezing the proverbial “blood from a turnip.” more

CTOTF: NDE, ‘met’ analysis, engineering study critical for true rotor life assessment

If you were unable to attend the Savannah meeting you missed several very meaningful presenta­tions and discussions. Summarized here are some important develop­ments from non-OEM experts for owner/operators of large frames—the GE 7F in particular.

The GE Roundtable section, orga­nized by John Gamble (he retired from TVA in June) and Dominion Energy’s Larry Rose, couldn’t have been better. Scheduled from 8 to 5, it ran nearly an hour long and only stopped then because participants were hungry. In sum, there were a dozen presentations by services pro­viders and users. more

501F Users Group: Proven value of participation drives record attendance

Chairman Paul Tegen called to order short­ly after lunch on Monday, January 17, the largest 501F Users Group meeting in the his­tory of the organization. It was winter and the Orlando venue is a lure for north­erners at that time of year, but the group had been to the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World before and never came close to attract­ing the more than 160 users it did this year. A vendor fair for attendees of the 501F and 501G annual meetings, held in separate rooms except for a couple of joint sessions, had the most exhibitors ever. more

WTUI: A changing of the guard

Vice President Mike Raaker shocked the largest lun­cheon audience in the history of the Western Turbine Users Inc (WTUI) Tuesday, April 8, when he announced that Jim Hin­richs was retiring as pres­ident of the organization after 17 years at the helm. Hinrichs, a man of relatively few words was true to form: A few “thank-yous,” a short good-bye, and he was gone. There was no curtain call. more

D5-D5A Users: Productive year: two meetings conducted, website launched, brainstormed with OEM on fleet R&D needs

The previous 12 months have been the busiest period in the history of the 501D5-D5A Users. Last October, Chairman Gabe Fleck and Vice Chairman Barry Mayhew headed an ad hoc user committee that par­ticipated in a first-ever ses­sion with Siemens Energy R&D personnel to exchange product/service ideas, with the goal of improving fleet performance (Sidebar 1). more

V Users Group: Availability, cost of critical components concern users

The V Users Group for the Americas, chaired by Robert S Pasley of Associated Electric Cooperative Inc, held its 2008 Conference in Niagara Falls (Canadi­an side). The formal technical meet­ing was conducted on June 25 and 26. more

Frame 6 Users Group: OEM’s rotor life assessment concerns many with high-hours machines

The 6B gas turbine (GT) is a durable workhorse that’s highly valued by many American refin­ers and chemical produc­ers. Typically, half of the attendees at a Frame 6 Users Group meeting man­age cogeneration plants “inside the fence” at large industrial facilities; most of the remainder serve at electricity-only generat­ing facilities often owned by independent producers. more

7F Users Group: A really big show

Okay, it’s a bite off Ed Sullivan and it’s real­ly not a “show,” but there may be no better way to describe the stature achieved by the 7F Users Group’s annual meeting in the gas-turbine-based sector of the electric power indus­try. The 2008 Conference in Greenville, SC, May 13-16, attracted more owner/oper­ators (254), more exhibitors (72), more sponsors (19), and more user speakers (15) than any frame user-group meeting in histo­ry—unofficially, of course. more

HRSG User’s Group: FAC, field hardness testing of P91/T91, piping issues dominate program

The HRSG User’s Group conducted its 16th Annual Conference & Expo­sition in Austin, Tex, April 7-9, hosting a record 357 attendees (including 170 users) and 69 exhibitors. A pre-conference seminar on chemistry-influenced HRSG tube failures and the opening reception/dinner dominated the first day. Four formal presentations anchored the open-forum discussions on second and third days which focused on heat-transfer equipment, water treatment, piping sys­tems, controls, ductwork, dampers, stacks, supple­mentary firing, valves and piping, environmental sys­tems and balance of plant. more

These baby boomers also deferring retirement

By David Lucier, partner, Pond and Lucier LLC

What is the lifetime of a land-based gas turbine? Is it 10, 20, 30, or pos­sibly even 40 years? The answer, of course, depends on how well the GT is operated and main­tained. Cumulative fired operating hours and fired starts, and mainte­nance practices, certainly will impact turbine condition and longevity. In today’s throwaway society, howev­er, you still find gas-turbine-based powerplants in operation that were installed in the 1960s, or even earlier. more

Performance service center: Remote eyes, ears that help you avoid failures

Jason Makansi, Pearl Street Inc

Knowledge management sounds like another one of those all-embracing corpo­rate initiatives that drive plant people nuts, but it nevertheless may be taking on a life of its own. As a recent example, I attended the Util­ity Working Conference last August, a meeting specifically focused on nucle­ar plant owner/operator issues, and knowledge management permeated the content. There are many aspects to knowledge management—some prac­titioners focus on the people aspect, some on what in an earlier time might have been called artificial intelligence. more

Professional Development: The foundation of leadership

Walter N Lockwood, Consultant

I have known a thousand scamps, but I have never met one who considered himself so. Self-knowledge isn’t so common.—Ouida more

Rusty Hersig: New riders of the silver sage

 Rob Swanekamp, PE

Rusty Hersig was traveling through the Dakota Bad­lands on a typical blazing-hot, Saharan-dry August afternoon. Despite the weather, he was feeling well. For one thing, he was homeward-bound, after a highly successful consulting gig at a refinery in Montana, where he completed the upgrade of a heat-recovery steam generator, whose acronym (HRSG) spawned the last half of his chosen professional name. more