WESTERN TURBINE BEST PRACTICES: GTAA Cogen

Instrument relocation promotes safe, easy access to vital data

GTAA Cogen Plant

Owned by Greater Toronto Airport Authority
Operated by SNC Lavalin O&M Inc
117-MW, gas-fired, 2 × 1 combined-cycle cogeneration plant located in Mississauga, Ontario
Plant manager: Don Tiffney

Challenge. The combined-cycle cogeneration plant serving the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) has two gas compressors, one for each of the plant’s LM6000s. Proper operation of the compressors is critical for achieving high engine availability.

Each compressor is equipped with a lubricator cycle-count display. It’s important for cycle count to be relatively constant too ensure against excess oil which could mix in with the natural gas being compressed. The display was in a location difficult for personnel to access and take readings. Plus, ever-present oil mist made for a slippery deck.

The safety hazard was exposed when an operator slipped and lost his balance while gathering data, hurting his back in the process. The injury was not a major one, but the incident provoked a thought process to mitigate this risk.

Solution. Plant staff initiated measures to ensure that the area is maintained clean and also installed anti-skid strips on the floor. But this was a temporary solution. Next step was to examine the feasibility of relocating the cycle-count display away from the unit in a location more accessible to operators. Personnel installed a limit switch next to the lubricator and wired it to a new cycle-count display mounted on the main panel, as shown in the photo.

Results. Relocation of the display mitigated the risk of injury to operators during their shift rounds. Also, the new location prevented oil mist from depositing on the display, making it easy to view the parameter displayed.

Project participants:

Socrates Furtado, O&M manager

Dolores Nicolica, electrician and H&S coordinator

James Chen, instrumentation engineer