2011 Outage Handbook – Best Practices Best Practices recipients – Combined Cycle Journal

2011 Outage Handbook – Best Practices Best Practices recipients

O&M Balance of Plant

Mill Creek Combustion Turbine Station

To ensure high starting reliability and availability when turbines are operating on oil, personnel implemented a design modification where demineralized water recirculates from storage tanks through the reverse osmosis system resulting in significant cost savings for pre-filters, membranes, and unit filters (Fig 9).

Armstrong Energy

Installation of various instrumentation system sensors and their incorporation into the plant’s digital control system allow personnel to more effectively and efficiently operate and monitor the plant’s processes from the control room (Fig 10).

Decatur Energy Center

Installation of an ammonia-dilution-air duct heater eliminates moisture freeze-up and ammonia-salt buildup on piping orifices during winter operations, allowing normal air distribution and flow rates to the selective catalytic reduction system (Fig 11).

Walter M Higgins Generating Station

Development and implementation of a condition-based maintenance program for the plant’s 40 ACC gear reducers employs bi-annual sampling and filtering of lubricating oil, resulting in more efficient maintenance scheduling and significant savings.

Blackhawk Station

Hands-on troubleshooting of chronic thermocouple failures allowed an experienced plant staff to pinpoint and correct issues in the control system’s instrumentation cabinet resulting in a significant increase in unit reliability.

Klamath Cogeneration Plant

Faced with rapidly rising sewer rates from the local water treatment facility, innovative plant staff designed a piping system that saves both water and money by capturing discharge from the evaporative cooler for reuse as boiler makeup (Fig 12).

Michigan Power

The plant’s decision to retrofit and replace all existing lighting fixtures with higher efficiency lighting results in a significant reduction of total consumed energy and relamping frequency, along with increased light intensity and a two-year project cost payback (Fig 13).

O&M Business

Osprey Energy Center

Fully configuring generator automatic voltage regulators to the plant’s digital control system increases operator control and monitoring capability while effectively maintaining NERC compliance (Fig 14).

Tenaska Virginia Generating Station

Development and execution of a “Winterization Checklist” details the appropriate actions personnel must take before, during, and after a severe winter storm to dispatch the plant safely and without interruption (Fig 15).

Granite Ridge Energy

The potential for increased cold-start frequency made it prudent to reduce the time required for cold starts. Partnering with a local engineering firm, the plant designed and installed additional hot-reheat warm-up lines, enabling faster starts and reducing fuel consumption (Fig 16).

New Harquahala Generating LLC

Plant staff’s determination to improve operating reliability through the implementation and improvement of key initiatives and procedures produced enviable performance statistics, including a remarkable 100% starting reliability factor for 2010.

O&M Major Equipment

Central de Ciclo Combinado Saltillo

Redesign and relocation of the gas turbine’s problematic flashback thermocouple ring successfully eliminates incipient failures and greatly improves unit availability and reliability (Fig 17).

Tenaska Lindsay Hill Generating Station

Installation of borescope ports to inspect the plant’s erosion-prone steam-turbine stop and control valves reduces the cost of inspection by 90% and the length of plant outages by several days.

Blackhawk Station

In response to an over-fuel event caused by a drop in instrument-air supply pressure, plant personnel performed and implemented a comprehensive engineering review, repairs and upgrades, and enhancements to the plant’s digital control system, thereby significantly improving reliability.

Central de Ciclo Combinado Saltillo

Use of blade-path footprint tracking to measure combustor spread and variance allows plant staff to identify potential thermocouple failures before they occur.

Whiting Clean Energy

Installation of a new generator brush rigging system reduces the time required to replace an individual brush from 30 minutes to 5 minutes and eliminates the requirement to take the unit out of service during brush change-out.

Safety Equipment & Systems

Arlington Valley Energy Facility

Heat-stress safety concerns for plant personnel working outside prompted the development and implementation of cautions and alarms based on real-time meteorological data built into the digital control system (Fig 18) .

Armstrong Energy

Reliability improvements to the plant’s hazardous gas detection system enhance personnel safety with the installation of multiple layers of alarm protection and real-time monitoring for expanded detection capabilities.

Beatrice Power Station

Replacing the existing solid floor with steel-deck grating eliminates a hazardous environment to plant personnel by allowing snow to fall out of the gas-turbine inlet-filter house with no significant accumulation.

Green Country Energy

Installation of two strategically placed tornado shelters with a total capacity of 38 people, critical updates to plant emergency procedures, and tornado-specific training enhances the safety of plant personnel in the event of a tornado (Fig 19).

Klamath Cogeneration Plant

A plant-wide initiative to eliminate staff entry into secondary containments effectively enhances personnel safety while performing routine monitoring and servicing. Areas of improvement include the ammonia tank, transformers, and the demineralized water building.

Safety Procedures & Administration

Armstrong EnergyComprehensive procedures for preparing gas turbines for their annual borescope inspection ensure personnel safety and task efficiency with proper planning and preventive-maintenance actions.

New Covert Generating Facility

The plant’s integrated fire and rescue training program fosters collaboration with local emergency responders and includes annual on-site drills to familiarize all stakeholders with the facility’s geography and the most probable rescue scenarios (Fig 20).

Walter M Higgins Generating Station

Comprehensive outage safety procedures from the preplanning stages through major maintenance highlight the site’s attention to detail for personnel safety and environmental compliance, and ensure a safe and efficient outage.

Selkirk Cogen

Based on the safety requirements for high-voltage equipment specified by the National Fire Protection Association, personnel undertook a plant-wide initiative to update all arc-flash warning labels for electrical equipment and implemented a mandatory, high-voltage safety training course for the entire staff (Fig 21).

Hopewell Cogeneration Facility

Development and implementation of a comprehensive confined-space safety program using Microsoft Access™ significantly mitigates risk of injury by documenting all confined spaces on site and including all relevant paperwork and photos (Fig 22).

MEAG Wansley Unit 9

Installation of viewports in critical areas eliminates technician exposure to live electrical components and potential for an arc flash, thereby allowing safer, more efficient conduct of infrared surveys (Fig 23).

Rathdrum Power Plant

Improvement of the plant’s “close call” program effectively mitigates potential safety risks by allowing personnel to more easily report safety concerns, which are reviewed, investigated, and resolved by the Safety Committee.


Arlington Valley Energy Facility

Plant personnel developed and implemented a customized intranet site using Microsoft SharePoint™ to effectively plan, collaborate on, and organize important documents, work schedules, and standard procedures.

Arrow Canyon Complex

Established a standard job description and development plan for Plant Engineer duties and responsibilities, allowing plant management to effectively analyze and evaluate the progress of engineering assignments and activities (Fig 24).

Tenaska Virginia Generating Station

The plant’s dedication to developing and fostering a proactive leadership initiative focuses on improving the triple bottom line: investing in human capital, contributing to the community, and protecting the environment.


Jasper Generating Station

Plant personnel modified and configured the plant’s instrument air system to allow gas turbine compressor discharge air as backup in case of a low air-header pressure condition (Fig 25).

Klamath Cogeneration Plant

The plant experienced a high rate of W501F igniter cable failure caused by excessive heat around the igniter. Personnel implemented a design change to surround the igniter connection with a mounted steel box surrounded by insulation, effectively extending cable life.

Whiting Clean Energy

Installation of a treated makeup-water line and control valve to the hotwell effectively reduces the dumping of excess steam by nearly 130,000 lb/hr and saves 175 million Btu/hr of natural gas.

Environmental Stewardship

Armstrong Energy

Vigilant deployment of inexpensive spill-preparedness strategies to avoid groundwater and soil contamination includes properly covering potentially harmful products and utilizing an inflatable pipe plug to stop migration and assure containment.

Faribault Energy Park

In an effort to organize both hazardous and flammable wastes to prevent accidental spills, plant staff installed a two-tier weather- and spill-proof containment building on-site which effectively reduces spill and fire hazards (Fig 26).

Jasper Generating Station

Implementation of an oil-spill preparedness and response program that exceeds EPA standards protects the local ecosystem and an adjacent National Wildlife Refuge in the unlikely event of an oil release.

(Click on an image below to see the photos in a slide show.)

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