Update on experience with combustion dynamics monitoring systems

The user controls expert who last year offered an objective evaluation on the pros and cons of combustion dynamics monitoring systems (CDMS) installed on 7F engines in the fleet he serves returned to the podium in San Antonio. The speaker believes the following three CDM systems acceptable for powerplant use:

• PSM’s AutoTune.

• WoodGroup’s (formerly Gas Turbine Efficiency’s) Ecomax™.

• The OEM’s OpFlex™ AutoTune.

Last year most of the engineer’s experience was with AutoTune; only two engines had been equipped with Ecomax. OpFlex was not considered for deployment because of its cost. What a difference a year makes. Here are the highlights of what he had to say in San Antonio:

• PSM’s AutoTune now has more than 30,000 hours of operating experience in his fleet. Recent upgrades included firing-temperature optimization up to 2420F (going higher still this summer) and an events counter for reporting how many times the system has tuned and what’s been tuned.

• GE’s OpFlex now is offered at various levels to suit specific requirements and pocketbooks.

• Ecomax has been commissioned on six engines in the speaker’s fleet with six more being installed. Experience is now coming in from more than 16 units. He reported the following:

+ The system is user configurable and offers control-curve optimization—that is, it optimizes base-load output.

+ Post-outage tuning is not required.

+ Fuel temperature and firing curve knobs are provided to facilitate tuning.

+ Operation is flexible. Example: Ecomax will still tune for NOx when the CDMS is down.

+ System’s ability to prevent lean blowout (LBO) seems apparent.

+ Monthly reports are provided on low-NOx tuning events that likely have prevented LBO.

+ Power optimization is noticeable.

+ Installation requires minimal downtime and proceeds in a relatively smooth manner with only minor issues.

Posted in 7F Users Group |

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