7F Users Group opens registration for 2019 Conference

The world’s largest meeting of 7F gas-turbine users takes place this year at the Schaumburg Convention Center, May 20-24, just outside of Chicago. It is a must-attend event for owner/operators of this frame. Register today and arrange for a room in the Renaissance hotel, which is connected to the convention center. Recall that the 7F Users Group, hosts about 250 users at its annual meetings and more than that number of commercial attendees representing the nearly 150 companies participating in the vendor fair over two evenings.

The technical program for this conference is directed by an all-volunteer steering committee of 16 engineers with deep 7F experience. They represent 83 sites with a total of 246 engines. Bryan Graham of Entergy Corp is the 2019 chairman, Matthew Dineen of Duke Energy Corp is in the second seat. SV Events, headed by Sheila Vashi, manages the business side of the meeting.

The conference opens on Monday, May 20, at 2 pm with a four-hour workshop conducted by PSM. Key topics include the following:

    • Hardware reliability. A review of nagging fleet issues—for example, those associated with aft-compressor stators and fuel-nozzle end-cover insert cracking—and their root causes and solutions.

    • Rotor lifetime extension. Inspections, analyses, and repairs recommended for LTE. Plus (1) life-limiting considerations for hours-based and cycling engines, (2) replacement-wheel and swap-rotor options, and (3) a review of findings from multiple LTE inspections.

    • Operating reliability. Why variable natural-gas properties present tuning challenges for DLN2.6 combustors and how operators can mitigate this risk.

    • Startup and shutdown optimization. A review of what limits ramp rates and overall startup cycle times and the options available for faster ramping to more quickly bring assets online.

    • Upgrades to improve performance and extend maintenance intervals, including results from multiple user sites.

    • Outage best practices and lessons learned.

The Tuesday and Wednesday programs feature user presentations and discussions from 8 am until 3:30 on the compressor section, safety practices/lessons learned, controls, auxiliaries, combustion section, turbine, and generator. These sessions are held in high esteem by plant personnel, delivering unbiased O&M experience you can’t get anywhere else.

Vendor presentations, invited and vetted by the steering committee, follow on both days in 45-min sessions from 3:45 to 4:30 and from 4:45 to 5:30. Three presentations are conducted in parallel in each time slot, allowing participation by a dozen suppliers and consultants. Here are the topics:

    • 7FA.04 HGP design, manufacturing, material, and coating changes from 7FA.03 which redefine the ability to repair.

    • Reliability impacts of evolving operating profiles for cycling and baseload engines.

    • Load commutated inverter and exciter issues.

    • GT upgrades and their impact on HRSGs.

    • Contingency planning for 7F generator inspections.

    • Benefits of electromechanical valves and actuators.

    • Third-party S1B repair developments for the 7F.04.

    • NFPA 85 HRSG purge credit: Option selection, benefits, and economic evaluation.

    • Advanced NDT protocols for GT end-of-life assessments.

    • 7F DLN tuning guidelines (case studies).

    • Better integration of turbine health monitoring for gas and steam turbines.

    • How to use operating data for making catalyst O&M decisions.

Thursday is GE Day. It kicks off with a two-hour general session at 8 am and concludes with a second general session from 4 to 5:30. Sandwiched between them are a series of five 50-min breakout sessions (and lunch). The breakout themes are root cause analysis (RCA), advanced gas-turbine topics (GT 201), and operations. Here are the details:


    • Turbine and compressor sections. Open discussion on the latest compressor, turbine, and exhaust-frame RCA updates, new solutions, and Q&A with the OEM’s experts.

    • Combustion section. Up-to-date field experience with the DLN 2.6e and DLN 2.6+ combustors, plus combustion operability best practices and Q&A with the GE team.

    • Generator and electrical systems. Maintenance and inspection best practices, including what’s involved when pulling a field.

GT 201

    • Controls design considerations, evolution and advanced troubleshooting.

    • Compressor design considerations, evolution, and advanced troubleshooting.

    • Combustion section design considerations and advanced troubleshooting.

    • Turbine design considerations, evolution, and advanced troubleshooting.


    • Outage execution, beyond the procedures. What does it take to execute a world-class CI, HGPI, MI? Open discussion with GE and FieldCore experts who will share their experience and best practices.

    • Repairs. How the OEM’s repair team is improving quality and timeliness, how to check on your parts during the repair process, etc.

    • O&M best practices. What operators should be looking for on their rounds, how to troubleshoot leaks, trend deltaP to maximize air-filter performance, common leading indicators on the HMI—including exhaust-temperature spreads, bearing temperatures, and blower amperage.

    • Make my plant better. An interactive discussion of recent experience with mods and upgrades focusing on recent pain points across the fleet.

Friday’s program consists of three 45-min breakout sessions branded as GE’s “7F Grad School,” a conference segment that has steadily grown in popularity since its introduction a few years ago. You’ll be able to attend three of the following six programs:

    • Safety. An open dialog on outage and site safety—including often-overlooked problems.

    • Batteries in power generation. An overview of battery technology, its applications, and an open discussion on how batteries may impact thermal generators.

    • 3D printing. An overview of additive manufacturing, today’s applications, and how 3D printing is disrupting everything from the supply chain to new product design.

    • Troubleshooting off-normal performance. How the OEM’s performance team troubleshoots unexpected performance issues—such as loss of output following a major inspection.

    • Backgrounder on the 7F.05 and 7HA. Compare the design and operation of advanced frames to that of their predecessors.

    • Flange-to-flange upgrade considerations. What’s involved? How do the extractions change? What happens to the control curve? How will the BOP respond?

A compelling program from start to finish. Register today!

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