Frame 6 meeting helps maximize the value of legacy assets; register today!

The Frame 6 Users Group moves its 2019 meeting location to the West Coast after conducting last year’s conference in Florida. The venue is the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa, Calif, June 10 to 13.

Not much changes in the organization of this group’s meetings year over year. Content always is technical, generally focusing on how to squeeze more life and better performance from legacy assets. Register now and come away with actionable ideas on how to improve availability, increase output, reduce emissions, extend maintenance intervals, etc. 

The steering committee remains the same except that Brian Walker, a major contributor to this forum for decades, has moved on because of new job responsibilities. Jeff Gillis and Sam Moots continue as co-chairmen, supported by veterans Robert B Chapman Sr, James C Rawls, Mike Wenschlag, and Zahi Youwakim.

For readers unfamiliar with this all-volunteer organization, be aware that its highly interactive conferences have five key elements:

Workshop. The need to do more with less should not surprise anyone in the electric power industry these days. Users groups are working diligently to make the next generation of engineers and technicians productive more quickly than, perhaps, ever before in peacetime. Mindful of the need for specialized training, the 6B steering committee integrated a frame-specific half-day workshop on engine design, operation, and maintenance into the 2018 meeting. It was an instant success with John F D Peterson as the instructor and discussion leader. He is one of the organization’s founders and has more than three decades of relevant engine experience.

Anyone who knows Peterson will tell you this session alone is worth the conference registration fee. Few know as much about this frame as he does.

The half-day course, Monday afternoon, June 10 (the day before the conference begins), will be fast-paced and conducted in four sessions of about 50 minutes each, with short breaks between them. Each attendee will receive a course workbook with descriptions of components, definitions of technical terms specific to the 6B, a listing of common operational and maintenance issues, etc. This document will be an invaluable aid for the meeting and at the plant afterwards.

Here’s a summary of the subject matter included in the course:

    • Brief history of gas-turbine technology and the Frame 6B.

    • Theory of gas-turbine operation; engine performance basics.

    • General description of the 6B gas turbine and the typical plant that it serves.

    • Auxiliary equipment and system descriptions.

    • Troubleshooting of critical systems—including lube oil, hydraulic oil, trip oil, fuel gas, rotor ratchet mechanism, etc.

    • Control systems.

    • Glossary of 6B terms and jargon.

Attendee profile. Frame 6B gas turbines are the heart of many cogeneration systems, and the O&M personnel responsible for them are a breed apart from most users the editors meet at industry meetings. The typical 6B user is a highly experienced “lifer” responsible for keeping steam flowing from his or her cogen facility to one or more process units.

The lives of 6B owner/operators rarely are controlled by a grid contract, by the need to “fill in” around must-take renewables, or by power prices. Electricity is simply a byproduct of steam production, a world where an empty steam pipe means you might well be looking for employment elsewhere tomorrow.

Such a challenging environment is conducive to a practical solutions-driven mindset. It’s not news that some cogen-plant owners consider power production a “necessary evil” and keep O&M budgets lean, opting to spend on process facilities first. Their belief is that end-product investments will produce a better return—at least until a gas turbine is forced out of service.

Adding to the financial challenge is that many cogen facilities are not supported by a corporate engineering staff, and instead rely heavily on the talents of very-capable deck-plates personnel. The Frame 6 Users Group contributes to success by providing a “technical solutions lifeline” for its membership and the reason many of these people continue to attend meetings year after year—some since the group was founded more than three decades ago. 

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