Nine plants sharing best practices focus on safety, I&C, O&M

Best practices recently shared by owner/operators of 501D5-D5A, 7EA, 7FA, and V84.3A2 gas turbines are summarized below. Simply click on the links of interest to get the details.

Mid-Georgia Cogen upgrades logic to improve NOx emissions control during transients; there were no issues at base load. Inefficient use of ammonia was conducive to fouling of transmitter sensing lines and the cause of inaccurate flow readings used to maintain emissions within Title V permit limits. Manual operation of the ammonia control valve sometimes was required. Using the analog output of the CEMS NOx analyzer for control solved the problem.

Replacing the manual seal-water isolation valve for plant’s boiler-feed pump with an automated valve eliminated premature failure of the pump’s mechanical seal. Valve controls the flow of condensate for lubrication and cooling.

Ferndale Generating Station achieves 1-million work hours without a lost-time injury. Safety program goes beyond basic compliance, nurturing a culture conducive to eliminating at-risk behaviors and ensure the safety of all personnel—plant staff and contractors. Top 10 actions contributing to the success of this VPP Star site are identified.

Superheater reliability was improved by changing HP desuperheater control-valve logic to protect against over-spray, plus reducing GT exhaust temperature until steam-turbine permissives are met.

Walton County Power improves safety, reliability by automating drains. Heat tracing on fuel-gas headers reduced the accumulation of condensate which had been tripping the unit when transitioning from premix to diffusion mode. Solution: Rout drain piping outside the package and install an air-operated ball valve with control logic enabling the DCS to automatically open the valve l0 minutes prior to a transition and drain the line for five minutes.

Jack County Generation Facility’s wintertime readiness program boosts asset reliability. A formal organization and deep division of responsibilities assure success. Program, conducted with military precision, has a single point of contact for the facility, and incorporates detailed procedures, reporting, and record-keeping. ERCOT monitors compliance. Problems that have impacted operational reliability in the past are listed and serve as a starting point for others interested in developing a similar program. A planning schedule that identifies departments responsible for critical tasks is also of great value to plants starting from scratch.

Hartwell Energy Facility improves access to generator terminal enclosure by replacing a ladder with a wide staircase—facilitating the safe handling of tools and other equipment for troubleshooting and reducing the number of safety “near misses.” Forced-outage time has been reduced. Plant also takes advantage of fleet-wide initiatives in training and knowledge transfer to reduce unit trips, runbacks, and equipment challenges.

Michigan Power conducts detailed NDE investigation of HP boiler drum to assure long-term reliability. Experience analyzing and repairing an indication offers guidance for others.

Nueces Bay Energy Center operators make digital rounds, benefit from one-click historical trending. Latter helps prioritize maintenance/repair activities.

Paris Energy Center slashes time required for annual inventory counts and reduces the variance in overall inventory. Discipline and bar codes contributed to success. Noise in steam-turbine area was a safety hazard corrected by determining the sources of noise and vibration and taking corrective action.

MEAG Wansley personnel came up with a simple solution to prevent air accumulation in the gas-turbine lube-oil-pump discharge line, which interfered with pump operation. It involved installation of an excess-flow valve in an instrument sensing line that enables air to escape from the pump when it is not running; valve closes when the pump starts.

Plant safety was improved by reducing the ergonomic risks associated with handling mixed-bed bottles. Solution was fewer, much larger bottles (two replaced 16). The new bottles can be exchanged by one employee in 30 minutes; previously it took two employees six hours to exchange the 16.

Lighting upgrade from high-pressure-sodium to LED fixtures facilitated relamping, doubled the service hours. Safety benefits are significant.

Inspection of emergency eye wash and showers revealed startling findings. Learn how you can check compliance of these critical safety devices at your plant by reviewing this experience.

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