It happens every spring
No, this is not about the fictional baseball movie starring Ray Milland and Ed Begley, but rather the annual meeting of the Western Turbine Users Inc (WTUI), held just in time to prepare you and your colleagues for upcoming spring outages. Owner/operators of LM2500s, LM5000s, LM6000s, and LMS100s don’t want to miss this opportunity to get the latest information on what to look for during engine inspections and how to better plan overhauls.
Among the various user groups serving the gas-turbine-based powerplant sector, Western Turbine offers, perhaps, the most thorough learning experience. Each engine has its own series of breakout sessions—typically five—totaling more than eight hours of rigorous presentations and group discussions.
The presentations are well planned by the group’s steering committee (Sidebar 1) working collaboratively with the five OEM-licensed depots that perform most of the engine overhauls: TransCanada Turbines (TCT), Calgary; MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, Ludwigsfelde, Germany; Air New Zealand Gas Turbines (ANZ), Auckland; Avio SpA, Rivalta di Torno, Italy; and IHI Corp, Tokyo, Japan.
In terms of deliverables, no user group in this industry sector compares to Western Turbine. Each registered user receives a notebook which may have 100 slides—sometimes more—developed by the depots for the breakout session you have selected. A typical depot notebook contains the following material:
- Engine fleet statistics, manuals, and definitions.
- A review of recent service bulletins and service letters issued by the OEM.A summary of depot findings since the last meeting. This information is invaluable for anyone planning an outage.
- Causes of performance loss and how to correct them.Critical parts-life management.
- Engine preservation, handling, and transportation.Expectations with regard to maintenance intervals.
Session book in hand, it’s easy to follow the presentations and jot down additional notes where necessary. And if you step out of the room to take an important call, WTUI has you covered. President/CEO Sal DellaVilla and his colleagues at Strategic Power Systems Inc, Charlotte, attend every session to take notes which then are posted in the user-only portion of www.wtui.com.
SPS’s notes form the basis for the summaries of the 2010 breakout sessions included here. Other aspects of the 20th anniversary meeting, held last March in San Diego, were covered in the 1Q/2010 issue, which can be accessed in CCJ’s archives.
WTUI President Jon Kimble of Wellhead Services Inc told the editors in December that the 2011 conference program would be similar in arrangement to last year’s. The conference will officially start on Monday morning and run until noon Wednesday. Unofficially, the event begins early Sunday morning when the gofers tee off for the annual Western Turbine tournament. Tennis competition is scheduled to start around noon.
WTUI conducts one or more orientation sessions for newcomers; these are held after Sunday’s sporting events. The LM engine familiarization workshop, which runs for about an hour and a half in the late afternoon, always gets high marks from newcomers. Typically, one-third to one-half of the user attendees at the annual meeting are first-timers, many unfamiliar with one or more engines supported by the group. The crash course is excellent preparation for the breakout sessions beginning Monday morning.
Almost certainly, newcomers find themselves lost in the alphabet soup of acronyms this group uses in casual discussion (see sidebar below). Morse code might be easier to understand.
Tuesday afternoon typically is reserved for one last visit to the exhibit hall and special technical presentations by industry consultants and equipment suppliers. Topics are carefully selected by the WTUI officers and board of directors. Program details are published on www.wtui.com as they become available.
Kimble reminded that the group’s mission is to provide a forum for the exchange of technical, operations, and maintenance information and experience, with the goal of improving the reliability and profitability of generating facilities using GE aeros.LM-engine users who have never attended a WTUI conference probably cannot imagine the value associated with participation. It is the rare attendee who returns to his or her plant without an idea for saving several thousand dollars in maintenance and/or operations. Comradery is a defining characteristic of this group, enabling the helpful exchange among delegates.
Western Turbine officers, directors
- President: Jon Kimble, Wellhead Services Inc
- Vice Presidents: Bill Lewis, PPL Edgewood Energy and Jim Bloomquist, Chevron USA IncSecretary: Chuck Casey, City of Riverside
- Treasurer: Wayne Kawamoto, CAMS Juniper CA LLC, Corona Cogen
- Directors:Mark Breen, Wood Group Power Operations Inc
- Alvin Boyd, City of Pasadena
- David Merritt, Kings River Conservation District
- Tony Skonhovd, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Groton Generation Station
- Don Haines, Wood Group Power Operations Inc, Panoche Energy Center
- John Baker, Calpine Corp, Bethpage Energy CenterBradley Hans, PE, Lincoln Electric System,
- Terry Bundy Generating Station
- Technical Consultant: Mike Raaker, Raaker Services LLC
- LM2500. John Baker, Calpine Corp, Bethpage Energy CenterLM5000. Chuck Toulou, Ripon CogenerationLLCLM6000. Bryan Atkisson, City of Riverside, David Merritt, Kings River Conservation District
LMS100. Don Haines, Wood Group Power Operations Inc, Panoche Energy Center
- Wayne Feragen, webmaster
- E I Colton LLCJoella Hopkins, conference director, Simply Mumtaz Events Inc
- Charlene Raaker, conference assistant
Acronyms to remember
- AGB—Accessory gearbox (also called the transfer gearbox)
- AVR—Automatic voltage regulator
- CCM—Condition maintenance manual
- CCR—Customized customer repair
- CDP—Compressor discharge port
- CFF—Compressor front frame
- COD—Commercial operating date
- CPLM—Critical-parts life management
- CRF—Compressor rear frame
- CWC—Customer web center
- (GE)DEL—Deleted part
- DLE—Dry, low emissions combustor
- DOD—Domestic object damage
- EM—Engine manual
- FFA—Front frame assembly
- FOD—Foreign object damage
- FPI—Fluorescent penetrant inspection
- FSNL—Full speed, no load
- GG—Gas generator (consists of the compressor and hot sections only)
- GT—Gas turbine (consists of the gas generator pieces with the power turbine attached)
- HCF—High-cycle fatigue
- HGP—Hot gas path
- HPC—High-pressure compressor
- HPCR—High-pressure compressor rotor
- HPCS—High-pressure compressor stator
- HPT—High-pressure turbine
- HPTN—High-pressure turbine nozzle
- HPTR—High-pressure turbine rotor
- IGB—Inlet gearboxIGV—Inlet guide vane
- IPT—Intermediate-pressure turbine (LMS100)
- IRM—Industrial repair manual
- LM—Land and marine
- LCF—Low-cycle fatigue
- LO—Lube oil
- LPC—Low-pressure compressor (not on LM2500; just LM5000 and LM6000)
- LPCR—Low-pressure compressor rotor
- LPCS—Low-pressure compressor stator
- LPT—Low-pressure turbine
- LPTR—Low-pressure turbine rotor
- LPTS—Low-pressure turbine stator
- NGV—Nozzle guide vane
- OEM—Original equipment manufacturer
- PN—Part number
- PT—Power turbine (turns a generator, pump, compressor, propeller, etc)
- PtAl—Platinum aluminide
- RCA—Root cause analysis
- RFQ—Request for quote
- RPL—Replaced part
- SAC—Single annular combustor
- SB—Service bulletinSL—Service letter
- SUP—Superseded part
- STIG—Steam-injected gas turbine
- TA—Technical advisor
- TAT—Turnaround time
- TAN—Total acid number (lube oil)
- TBC—Thermal barrier coating
- TGB—Transfer gearbox (also called the accessory gearbox)
- TMF—Turbine mid frame and thermal mechanical fatigue
- VBV—Variable bleed valve (not on LM2500; just LM5000 and LM6000)
- VIGV—Variable inlet guide vanesVSV—Variable stator vane