Value proposition of the 7EA Users Group meeting extends to owner/operators of most GE frames

7EAlogoThere are compelling reasons for owner/operators of most GE frames to attend the 7EA Users Group’s 2015 conference and vendor fair, November 9-12, in Santa Fe, NM.

First and foremost, much of the subject matter incorporated into presentations and discussion forums applies to engines in the Frame 6 and 7F fleets as well as B-EA. Clashing is one example.

Second, this is the last user forum focusing on heavy-duty GE engines until CTOTF™ next April.

Third, it’s the industry’s least expensive user meeting, with a registration fee at this late date of only $250. Most meals are included in the fee, bringing the total price of attendance (including hotel and airfare) to about $1000 for the majority of participants.

How could any 7B-EA owner/operator justify not sending someone to this meeting? It would be difficult to return without one idea that could save your plant at least $10,000 over the next year. Register now!

Pat Myers, plant manager, AEP’s Ceredo Generating Station, has put in place a steering committee (sidebar) that supports both his no-frills philosophy and belief that presentations by owner/operators are critical to the organization’s success. Result: Attendance continues to grow year over year.

A high achiever in both the gas and electric-power industries for four decades, Myers was recognized for his many successes by the Combined Cycle Users Group with its 2013 Individual Achievement Award. Recently, with retirement likely in 2016, Myers passed the 7EA leadership baton to Jason Hampton of EthosEnergy Group. Both will participate in the Santa Fe meeting.

The 2015 program is solid, featuring presentations by owner/operators on bus-duct failure, contractor safety, compartment roof sealing for CO2 fire protection, DLN-1 fuel-nozzle failure, 9E design issues, rotor life assessment, secondary IBH valve, wrapper leak-mitigation options, and 3D training program.

Vendor presentations focus on key user interest areas, including: circular non-segregated bus duct, clashing mitigation, liquid-fuel-system reliability, aft radial diffuser mods and repairs, evaporative cooling, generator life extension, exhaust retrofit, and others.

The OEM session, confined to the afternoon of the meeting’s first full day, is noteworthy. It begins with an update on R1/S1 clashing mitigation solutions and then covers the following additional topics requested by the steering committee: forward compressor operability, No. 2 bearing, improving starting reliability, bleed-valve reliability, plant reliability, load-tunnel healing, case slippage, fast start, inlet-bleed-heat valves and control, and uprate opportunities.

If you haven’t been to a 7EA meeting lately, you’re sure to appreciate the recent improvements. One example: The GE team, guided by Tom Freeman, Power & Water sales director for North America, is characterized by a more open approach to discussion of issues, and of progress in developing solutions, than had been the case previously.

Editorial observation: Freeman’s positive influence over the last two years has been welcomed widely by participants in users groups supporting owner/operators of GE engines—including 7EA, 7F, Frame 6, and CTOTF™. Evidence, unscientific as it may be: A higher percentage of users is participating in the entire OEM session than only a couple of years ago, and less skepticism is in evidence at coffee breaks.

Steering committee

Jason Hampton, senior project engineer, EthosEnergy Group
Pat Myers, plant manager, Ceredo Generating Station, AEP
Syed Mehdi Ali, GM operations, Karachi Electric Supply Co
Tracy Dreymala, facility manager, San Jacinto Peakers, East Texas Electric Co-op
Ronald Eldred, plant manager, Rosemary Power Station, Dominion
Michael Johnson, powerplant supervisor, Turlock Irrigation District
Guy LeBlanc, supervisor, Consolidated CT Plants, First Energy Corp
Tony Ostlund, combustion turbine technician, Puget Sound Energy
Lane Watson, account engineer, FM Global
Mirza Hossain, plant engineer, TransAlta Corp
Randall Rieder, mechanical engineer, ATCO Power

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