OEMs inundate turbine users with details on products, services, procedures, upgrades, shop capabilities, experience

STUG_Logo_FINALAny generation executive who has not done time on the deck plates and believes user-group meetings are of questionable value should consider attending one of these annual conferences. Here’s brief summary of what you would have experienced at the Steam Turbine Users Group (STUG) 2015 meeting in Orlando, August 24-27, which was conducted in parallel with the Combined Cycle Users Group (CCUG) conference. There were some joint sessions and crossover was permitted between the two meetings.

The STUG conference started easy enough Monday afternoon (August 24) at 2 p.m. with a four-hour workshop on heat-recovery steam generators (HRSGs) conducted by HRST Inc’s Lester Stanley, PE, Bryan Craig, PE, and Bryan Grant. The well-attended, highly interactive session featured three presentations jammed with technology, best practices, and lessons learned to help owner/operators extract world-class performance from their steam supply systems:  

      • Maintaining HRSG economizer and evaporator performance and reliability.

      • Superheater and reheater performance and reliability.

      • HRSG operations and component failures impacting steam turbines.

The more than 200 informative and easy-to-navigate slides in these presentations can be accessed by registered users in the conference archives section on the Power Users Group website. The editors believe they are of considerable value for in-plant training, both for new hires and experienced personnel.

A two-hour welcome reception and dinner followed the HRSG workshop, enabling attendees to renew old acquaintances and make new ones, and glimpse the content-rich program planned for the next three days.

STUG and CCUG pooled attendees for half an hour of introductory remarks, housekeeping items, hotel safety procedures, etc, early Tuesday morning and then split—the STUG registrants headed for a highly regarded day of user presentations [link to opening article on user presentations] and open discussion while and the CCUG attendees focused on safety management, maintenance best practices, and combined-cycle optimization.

The two groups reconnected for third-party vendor presentations following the afternoon break. There were two 45-minute sessions, each having three concurrent presentations. A three-hour vendor fair closed out the Tuesday program. It was a full day with a great deal of material to absorb.

Wednesday was challenging for STUG participants who had to choose between tracks developed by Siemens and MD&A/Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, each running nearly six hours (divided into three segments). There were six additional vendor presentations in the afternoon, following the same format as on Tuesday. A three-hour open house sponsored by GE at an offsite location closed out the day, which started at 8 a.m. and ended at 9 p.m. Thursday was not much easier with a full day of formal presentations and roundtable breakouts by GE from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  


STUG is a relatively homogeneous group and you might think an OEM should have no problem developing a technical program that would hold the interest of steam-turbine users for six hours. Not true, not by a long shot. First, and perhaps most importantly, plant personnel are not used to sitting for a couple of hours at a time, let alone six. And for many, “formal coursework” is under-appreciated. Then, too, every individual has specific interests given their position in the plant; information outside those interest areas will not get the attention it might deserve.

The STUG steering committee and the three turbine OEMs put a great deal of effort into compiling information for the 2015 meeting that collectively amounts to what you might get in a college course over a semester. If you were at the conference, perhaps you missed portions of presentations of value to you. If you were unable to attend the meeting you’re probably unaware of what was presented. In either case, there’s a lot to gain by spending some time on the Power Users website reviewing presentations of value.

Below, the editors offer thumbnail sketches of the presentations—with some “nuggets” inserted here and there—so you can locate content specific to your information needs without clicking through hundreds of slides; speakers’ names are in italics. You are sure to benefit from a visit to the Power Users “library.” Click through on the links below to access each OEMs presentation thumbnails:

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