CCJ Archives: Fall 2004

7EA Users focus on repairs, upgrades to improve performance, reduce emissions

The 7EA Users Group, led by Chairman Paul Bruning who manages Calpine Corp’s Sumas plant in Washington state, is a gritty bunch. The nearly 80 plant personnel attending the annual meeting in New Orleans, October 19-22, absorbed material from 11 prepared presentations over two days of intense seminar activities, peppering speakers with well over a hundred comments and questions. more

CTOTF tackles user issues on a wide range of aero, frame machines

The Combustion Turbine Operations Task Force, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, has the richest history of the many gas-turbine (GT) user groups. Chairman John Lovelace (, a consulting engineer at Arizona Public Service Co, Phoenix, said a distinguishing feature of CTOTF (pronounced cee-toff) is that it addresses user issues on virtually all models of gas turbines—aeroderivative and frame—produced by the major manufacturers. more

Avoid desuperheater problems with quality equipment, proper installation, tight process control

By Scott A Wambeke, PE, HRST Inc

Problems with desuperheaters—attemperators if you prefer—have become more prevalent in recent years. The incident rate roughly tracks the industry’s increased reliance on combined-cycle units with F-class gas turbines (GTs) and large heat-recovery steam generators (HRSGs) operating at high pressures and temperatures. The majority of these units, designed for base-load merchant service, have been relegated to cycling duty because of changes in market conditions. more

Don’t underestimate the demands of storing powerplant equipment long-term

Afallout of the recent boom-and-bust cycle in gas-turbine-based merchant generation is new equipment on skids, paid for by owners who find themselves with no place to build a combined-cycle plant that can turn a profit. At least not now. And with no viable secondary market today for this equipment—including gas turbines (GTs), steam turbines (STs), generators, heat-recovery steam generators (HRSGs), auxiliaries, and consumables— the only real option for owners is to place it in long-term storage. more

Backup steam supply critical for merchant generators with thermal hosts

Mitigation of risk in the ruthlessly competitive merchant power business demands innovation and creative thinking in both equipment design and plant operation. To be successful, a generating company must have capable, determined, and dedicated employees from the highest rung on the organizational ladder to the lowest. To illustrate: In some areas of the country—the Gulf Coast, for example—a merchant plant capable of generating and selling only electricity can have difficulty in turning a profit. more