2Q – 2012 Outage Handbook

FEATURES

INTEGRATING RENEWABLES

California clean energy, and the rest of the West
by Jason Makansi, Pearl Street

> Arguably, California is attempting to implement the nation’s most ambitious clean energy plan. But the state has never existed as an island in the context of energy. more

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SCR PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

AIG tuning, catalyst life forecasting
by T D Martz, L J Muzio, and R A Smith, Fossil Energy Research Corp (FERCo) 

> Many gas-turbine “bubble” units installed between 2000 and 2004 are operating with their original charge of SCR catalyst.  These units have outlived the original catalyst warranty. more

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PLANT SAFETY

Labeling equipment for safety, continuity of operation
by Thomas F Armistead, Consulting Editor 

> We had a retirement party for old Joe last week. When he started at the plant, the smell of fresh paint was still in the air. That was 26 years ago. Joe absolutely knew the main-steam, feedwater, and condensate systems—every valve, every pipe, every piece of equipment. He ate, drank, slept, and lived it. We’re going to miss Joe. No one knows those systems the way he did. more

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PERFORMANCE MONITORING

How to eliminate thermal losses, identify equipment deficiencies
by James Koch 

> In the early 1980s, performance monitoring gained emphasis in response to skyrocketing fuel costs following the 1970’s oil crises. At one of the first major heat-rate conferences, a presentation by an expert on ASME Performance Test Codes stressed the value of the PTCs this way: “We need accurate incremental heat rate for dispatch, daily monitoring to optimize operator-controllable losses, trending for prudent maintenance scheduling, and, of course, reports—we all need to write reports.” more

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HEAT-RECOVERY STEAM GENERATORS

Repair of tube leaks: the good, the bad, the ugly

> All owner/operators of combined-cycle and cogeneration plants will tell you they “want a good job,” especially when it comes to the repair of boiler pressure parts—tubes. However, many do not realize that job quality depends in large measure on their involvement in the repair project. more

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HRSG DRUM LEVEL INSTRUMENTATION

That’s not your father’s gage glass

> Drum-level gage glasses have been reliably protecting deck-plates personnel and the public at large against boiler failures since well before the industry’s oldest operator was born. But while today’s direct- and indirect-reading drum-level instruments may look like those installed on your ageing heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG), improvements have been ongoing. more

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LIFE EXTENSION

Maximizing the productive lifetimes of gas-turbine assets
 
by Ron Munson, PE

> During the 1980s and 1990s, many electric utilities were challenged to extend the lives of their power generation assets. Some units were rapidly approaching, or even beyond, their design lifetimes of 30 to 40 years and economic necessity demanded that these assets continue to operate safely and with a high degree of reliability. more

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GT INLET-AIR COOLING SYSTEMS

Respect for water quality first step in achieving top performance

> Cleanup and conditioning of compressor inlet air typically dominate the opening discussion sessions at most user-group meetings for gas-turbine (GT) owners and operators. Sometimes the caffeine-aided give-and-take on air filters can be relentless. more

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STEAM AND GAS TURBINES

Four ‘knows’ help identify a viable approach for dealing with casing cracks 
by Ron Munson

> A bad day for any plant manager is when a generating unit experiences a failure or circumstance that causes an extended outage. One serious, and increasingly common, issue that can force a unit out of service is cracking of a steam- or gas-turbine casing. more

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DISTILLATE HANDLING, FIRING

Learn from long-term experience in burning fuel oil
by Mike Hoy, Tennessee Valley Authority 

> With the US awash in relatively inexpensive gas, why an article on the storage, handling, and combustion of costly distillate fuel? Simple answer: There are many oil-only gas turbines under contract to support the grid, particularly in areas with large numbers of wind turbines. Most of these machines are relatively old and small by today’s F-class standards. more

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HRSG CYCLING ASSESSMENT

Identify, address potential weaknesses to mitigate cycling impacts on HRSGs
by Jonathan D Aurand, HRST, Inc. 

> Most combined-cycle plants were designed for base-load service. But must-take generation from renewable energy projects is forcing many gas-turbine assets to cycle and/or to follow load for a large portion of their fired hours. more

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2012 PACESETTER PLANT AWARD: SUGAR CREEK GENERATING STATION

Low gas prices dramatically shift facts on the ground

> In June, the Energy Information Administration reported that, for the first time since data collection began, megawatt-hours from gas-fired generation equaled that from coal-fired plants. more

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501F ROTOR OVERHAUL

Rotor disassembly basics, repair case histories

> Rotors have become a top discussion topic at user-group meetings as gas turbines rapidly add hours and starts in these days of must-take renewables and low-price gas, stoking end-of-life concerns for critical rotating parts. more

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SAFETY

Engaged, effective leadership critical to well-being of plant staff, contractors

> Safety has taken center stage in the electric power industry. It is now one of the top three discussion topics at virtually all user-group meetings serving gas-turbine (GT) owner/operators. more

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2012 BEST PRACTICES AWARDS

NAES plants land four Best of the Best awards

> Seven judges reviewed entries from more than three-dozen finalists this year, evaluating the submittals based on real and measurable achieved business value, complexity of the issue, operations staff involvement, degree of coordination across plant and headquarters engineering and O&M groups, and duration of impact. more

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ATTEMPERATORS

Continual vigilance required

> With apologies to E F Hutton, when Bob Anderson talks about heat-recovery steam generators most everyone listens. Now in private practice (Competitive Power Resources Corp, Palmetto, Fla), Anderson learned much of what he knows about  HRSGs first-hand as a combined-cycle plant manager for Progress Energy and later as the utility’s resident expert/troubleshooter on heat-recovery boilers. more

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USER GROUP ROUNDUPS

AUSTRALASIAN HRSG USERS GROUP

HRSG issues similar worldwide

> Make plans now to attend the fourth annual Australasian HRSG Users Group (AHUG) meeting, December 4 to 6, in Brisbane, Australia. more
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7F USERS GROUP

‘Please bookmark our new web location at www.7Fusers.org,’

> Reminded Outgoing Chairman Ben Meissner of Progress Energy Inc and Incoming Chairman Sam Graham of Tenaska Inc as the 2012 meeting of the 7F Users Group drew to a close in San Antonio, May 18. Earlier in the week, Meissner had walked attendees through the website, telling the assembly that the new online home for the organization is operated by the user group for its owner/operator members. more

7F USERS GROUP, HRSG SPOTLIGHT SESSION

> The half-day HRSG Spotlight Session that HRST Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, has conducted in conjunction with the 7F Users Group meeting for the last several years is designed for plant personnel who want a refresher on heat-recovery steam generators and an update on industry concerns with large triple-pressure units. more

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COMBUSTION TURBINE OPERATIONS TECHNICAL FORUM

A CORNUCOPIA OF INFORMATION, THE IDEAL MEETING FOR TIME-CHALLENGED MANAGERS

> The CTOTF™ Leadership Committee, chaired by Bob Kirn of TVA, consistently delivers on its promise to provide coverage of the entire plant at each of the organization’s semiannual meetings. more

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MISCELLANY

Shop tours increase the value of user group meetings

> Most of the user groups dedicated to gas-turbine owners and operators are getting out of the classroom for a half day or so at their annual meetings to see firsthand what’s going on in the manufacturing centers and repair shops serving the industry. more

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Business partners 

> Latest news from the user group scene including company and association news. more