Session chair and discussion leader for the LMS100 sessions is Don Haines, plant manager, Panoche Energy Center, Firebaugh, Calif. In the Monday morning session for users, the need for sound operator training to assure reliable operation of the equipment was stressed. There was general agreement that training should be designed to help operators identify trends and to take appropriate action to prevent a significant event from occurring. This is not as simple as it might sound considering the newness of the engine.
Identifying issues before they become difficult problems is an absolute requirement, it was said. Remote monitoring by the OEM can help in this regard, particularly when operators have little experience on a particular engine. Feedback from the M&D Center contributes to operator education.
One plant using this service reported that the M&D Center identified a strut tube crack in the exhaust end before it became problematic. The crack created a step change in bearing temperature that was picked up by the experts equipped with diagnostic software. The finding triggered a borescope inspection which identified a piece of dislodged metal later identified as part of the strut. At least one other “catch” was noted during the discussion.
A presentation by an international user with one engine approaching 15,000 service hours pointed to several punch-list items demanding attention. These included the following:
Tubesheet warpage in air inlet house. The problem was traced to poor manufacturing quality, substandard welds in particular.
Issue associated with FOD sock and screen intended to protect the supercore. Sock wears prematurely in the range of 2000 hours and must be replaced.
Intercooler seal deterioration at 4000 hours required removal of both the upper and lower seals. Speaker reported that the OEM was working on a design change.
Hot spots on the IPT frame.
Deterioration of HPC midspan support shrouds.
Combustor crack at 14,500 hours.
The speaker summed up his plant’s experience to date this way: 23% of the outages were minor and packaged related; 25% of the outages were major and unplanned; 52% of the outages were attributed to logistical, transport, and tooling issues.
During the afternoon session, the OEM responded to user concerns and updated the group on action being taken on specific issues identified and the progress made thus far.
The LMS100 fleet is rapidly gaining experience. There are now 21 units in operation and the high-time engine is approaching 15,000 hours. Fleet totals are about 63,000 hours and 11,000 starts—numbers that include both commissioning and commercial operation.