INDUSTRY NOTES, November 2018

Registration opens for three 2019 user meetings; sign up now and make good use of your 2018 budget surplus

In the last couple of weeks, registration opened for three high-profile 2019 conferences dedicated to the information needs of owner/operators: 501F Users Group, Western Turbine Users Inc, and HRSG Forum with Bob Anderson. The details provided below are intended to encourage your participation.

501F Users Group

Dates: February 17 – 22
Location: Paradise Valley (Scottsdale), Ariz
Venue: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton

The compelling program for this meeting will be posted online shortly. It will have many of the same elements as the information-rich 2018 conference, which ran four days and included the following:

    • User presentations on issues identified in the fleet and solutions implemented, as well as on experience with upgrades to improve unit performance.

    • User-only sessions promoting open discussions and short presentations by owner/operators on safety; compressor, combustion, hot-gas, inlet, and exhaust sections; rotors; auxiliaries; and generator.

    • Special closed sessions, ranging from two to four hours each, by the major products/services providers serving this frame: Siemens, Mitsubishi, Ansaldo Energia’s PSM, and GE.

    • Vendorama progam. At the meeting last February, 33 companies made 35 half-hour technical presentations to bring attendees up to date on products/services of interest to the 501F community.

    • Vendor fair, following the Vendorama program on the first day of the meeting, gives users the opportunity to peruse the offerings of nearly a hundred manufacturers and services firms.

If you have never attended a 501F Users Group meeting, make the 2019 conference your first. You will learn things vital to your plant’s future success that’s not available in one place anywhere else.

Western Turbine Users Inc

Dates: March 17 – 20
Location: Las Vegas, Nev
Venue: South Point Hotel & Spa

GE aero (LM2500, LM5000, LM6000, and LMS100) owner/operators from around the world will share experiences, both good and bad, at the 29th annual meeting of the Western Turbine Users. Get all the details at the group’s well organized, easy-to-navigate website—social events, agenda, special tours, exhibit hall, breakout sessions, etc. Then register and book your hotel room at the same website for the electric-power industry’s largest independent user group meeting. 

HRSG Forum with Bob Anderson

Dates: July 22 – July 25
Location: Orlando, Fla
Venue: Hilton Orlando

With two solid events under its belt, the HRSG Forum with Bob Anderson introduces an expanded program for the organization’s third annual conference and exhibition (diagram), making it the undisputed king of content in the world of heat-recovery steam generators. HRSG Week 2019 begins with a Make-up Water Workshop (July 22) the day before the traditional two-day HRSG Forum and concludes with the morning session of EPRI Technology Transfer Day (July 25).

You can register for the entire program now for only $650; or $475 for the two-day forum plus the EPRI session on Thursday morning. The user-driven program features technical presentations by HRSG experts, with significant time for group discussions and networking with peers. Plus, registrants will receive complete meeting minutes, copies of presentation slides, and up to 24 hours of continuing education units (forum + workshop + technology day).

Visit the website periodically for program details as they become available.

Ring eight bells for Frank Berté, 77

News of Dr Frank Berté’s passing on July 4, 2018 reached us only recently. He was the co-founder of Tetra Engineering Group Inc, perhaps known best by readers of CCJ for its solutions to problems associated with heat-recovery steam generators and high-energy piping systems.

Berté was a frequent participant at user group vendor fairs and an occasional presenter. He was easily distinguishable among the many exhibitors because of his calm, quiet nature in a sea of salespeople. Plus, he never arranged his table display without his funky air-powered simulated flame. You could spot him “a mile away.”

Peter S Jackson, PE, who succeeded Berté as president of Tetra, remembers Frank as an excellent engineer, inspiring leader, and genuinely friendly man. Everyone who knew Frank or worked with him, Jackson said, enjoyed his enthusiasm for work and love of life.

Berté’s career in the electric power industry spanned nearly five decades; it began in the mechanical engineering group at Commonwealth Edison Co’s Dresden Generating Station. Next step was a management position in the reactor design department at Combustion Engineering Inc. Berté founded Tetra with two other engineers in 1989.

Later he started Innovative Marine Technology to pursue, in his spare time, the design of sailboats and other things related to the sea. Accomplishments included the first ever Tridactyl sailboat, which he patented. Also, TankerProa, a modular sailing vessel using Tridactyl technology to help power transoceanic tankers.

Berté was a restless doer who kept his hands and mind moving non-stop—always receptive to professional challenges and to sharing his knowledge with industry colleagues. One example of the latter was an article he penned for the first issue of CCJ, “Assessing the true cost of cycling operation is a challenging assignment.” Things haven’t changed much on this in the 15 years since its publication.

Born in Brooklyn, Frank moved to the Bronx with his family before continuing his migration north to West Hartford, Conn, and later to Westford, Mass. He earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The City College of New York and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

IAPWS working group reports progress on four new documents

The Power Cycle Chemistry (PCC) working group of the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam gathered at the parent organization’s annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, Sept 2-7, 2018, to advance the development of several new Technical Guidance Documents (TGDs).

The annual IAPWS (pronounced eye-apps) conference was conducted concurrently with the International Conference on the Properties of Water and Steam (ICPWS), which is held every four or five years. The 2018 edition of the ICPWS was the seventeenth; the first was held in London in 1929.

The joint meeting attracted more than 100 papers from 140 scientists and engineers representing 27 countries. Purpose of the conference is to connect scientists with the engineers who use their information. Both groups of professionals benefit: The researchers/scientists learn about problems seeking resolution while the engineers gain access to the latest research results. The information exchange included experience with film-forming substances (FFS), which are of increasing interest to combined-cycle owner/operators.

IAPWS Executive Secretary Dr R Barry Dooley of Structural Integrity Associates Inc, well known to the global power-generation community, contacted CCJ’s editorial offices to say that four TGDs are in final draft form with planned release dates in 2019:

    • Guidance on air in-leakage.

    • Guidance on the use of FFS in industrial plants.

    • Guidance on generator-cooling-system chemistry.

    • Guidance for ensuring the integrity and reliability of demineralized makeup water supply.

Additionally, the PCC working group is preparing several white papers likely to be developed into TGDs at a later time. These include “Corrosion Products in Flexible (cycling, two-shifting) Plants” and “Guidance for HRSG Condensate Polishing Plants.”

Dooley reminded that there are eight TGDs currently available free-of-charge on the organization’s website at They offer a wealth of practical information on topics such as steam purity for turbine operation, phosphate and sodium hydroxide treatments for steam/water circuits of drum-type boilers, instrumentation for monitoring cycle chemistry, how to measure carryover of boiler water into steam, etc.

The next IAPWS meeting will be held in Banff, Canada, Sept 29-October 4, 2019.

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