7F Users Group, 2018 Conference, Atlanta, May 7 – 11. REGISTER TODAY!

The world’s largest meeting of frame gas-turbine owner/operators is hosted annually by the 7F Users Group. The organization’s conferences typically attract about 250 users and more than that number of commercial attendees representing the nearly 150 companies participating in the vendor fair over two evenings.

The group formed in November 1991, when there was only one 7F operating in the world. The first meeting attracted 14 users from four generating companies; there was no vendor involvement.

The 2017 conference in San Antonio, chaired by Clift Pompee of Duke Energy, was an unqualified success by every measure. Program improvements focused on GE Day. The steering committee worked collaboratively with the OEM to provide a more succinct general session in the morning and allow more time for the popular topical 45-min breakout sessions, which begin after the morning break on Thursday. The same format is used on Friday as well, but with a different lineup of topics. The breakout format of four topics addressed in parallel in each time slot allows users to attend half of the topical sessions available.

GE Day 2018. Positive feedback from attendees encouraged the same GE Day format for the upcoming meeting, which consists of opening remarks by OEM experts, Q&A, and open discussion. The 2018 conference chair, Luis Barrera of Calpine Corp, recently announced the lineup of breakout topics. For Thursday:

    • Fleet experience, new Enhanced Compressor options.

    • Fleet experience with the DLN 2.6+, operability best practices.

    • Fleet experience, including advanced gas path; post-repair third-stage bucket cracking.

    • Exhaust frame. Options for maximizing durability.

    • Lessons learned from flat-slot-bottom inspections, rotor life-management options.

    • Update on the most common accessories challenges, plus RCA results for the stainless-steel compressor bleed valve.

    • Controls challenges and how to deal with them, discussion of TIL 1622 (lube oil).

    • Electrical systems and generators. Maintenance best practices.

    • Parts and repairs. How to check parts status and stay informed during the repair process.

    • Outages/FieldCore. Outage preparation and execution best practices.

For Friday:

    • Overview of the technology, its applications, and how batteries could impact thermal generation.

    • Complexities of modern blade design. Airfoil design principles and why they’re relevant to an effective maintenance plant; plus, how modern design impacts plant operations.

    • Additive manufacturing. Overview of the technology, its applications, and impacts on supply chain and new product design.

    • Arming the digital worker. Interactive discussion on how new technology is enabling more effective outages from planning to execution.

    • Next generation GT technology (7FA.05 and HA). What owner/operators need to consider in running the latest gas turbines.

Training of plant O&M personnel is a top priority of many asset owners and operating companies today given the challenge in finding experienced applicants for jobs vacated by retirements of the industry’s most knowledgeable. Recognizing this need, the steering committee and GE collaborated to offer GT 101 on Monday afternoon: A four-hour deep dive on gas-turbine fundamentals spanning performance, combustion, controls, inspections and hardware considerations.

Industry newcomers—those with fewer than three to five years of deck plates experience—will benefit greatly from this concentrated program and be better prepared for the sessions to follow. For more experienced personnel, it is a very worthwhile refresher. Amazing how much one can forget in such a short time.

The user-only sessions, held in high esteem by plant personnel, begin Tuesday morning and run until the afternoon break, then pick up again on Wednesday morning. The user presentations and interactive discussions deliver unbiased O&M experience you can’t get anywhere else. Sessions on compressors, safety practices, performance and controls, auxiliaries, combustion, turbines, and generators run for one to two hours, depending on the subject. This portion of the program concludes with “7F Top Issues,” which includes discussion of best practices submitted by 7F owner/operators to CCJ’s annual program.

A dozen vendor presentations, invited and vetted by the steering committee, are on the program Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, following the refreshment breaks. Arrangement is two sessions each day with three presentations conducted in parallel in each session. Here are the topics:

    • Big data for turbine-oil condition assessment.

    • Fire protection: Upgrades required by NFPA 12 for CO2 systems, water mist suppression systems.

    • Rejuvenation heat treatment of single-crystal GT blades.

    • Generator diagnostics for asset management.

    • 7FA compressor offerings from a third-party supplier.

    • HRSG fast-start considerations (hot and warm).

    • Auto-tuning and optimization for improving efficiency.

    • Lawyer’s view of key considerations for performance upgrades and rotor exchanges.

    • 7FH2 stator deficiencies.

    • Failure mitigation of non-seg phase bus.

    • Advanced thermal-spray TBC.

    • Rotor lifetime extension.


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