Running Condition Assessment Services
TGM® can employ an arsenal of cost-effective testing equipment and experience to glean a wealth of information about the actual operating condition of the turbine, the generator, and all the ancillaries
- Identify Intermittent Conditions – The Running Condition Assessment can identify problems which are only present while the system is subject to all the mechanical, thermal, environmental, and electrical forces encountered while producing power. (Click HERE for an explanation of these forces.)
- Identify Imminent Failures – Results can indicate major problems such as wiped journal bearings, loose foundations, contact between rotating and stationary parts, split joint leaks, turn-to-turn coil-to-coil-and pole-to-pole shorts, loose windings, loose wedges, loose connections, and deteriorating dielectric. Minor examples are noisy bearings, overheating motors and fans, dirty lube oil, ineffective coolers, and sticking or leaking valves.
- Identify Heat Losses – Thermal imagery can identify heat losses from steam leaks or poor insulation which rob efficiency. Inadequate insulation can also be a personnel safety consideration.
- Prep For Planned Outage – Identification of possible repairs allows you to secure spare parts or sources for remanufacturing, develop contingency plans, better estimate outage duration, schedule appropriately, and secure contingency funding.
- Pre- and Post-Outage Benchmarks – Assessments before and after the outage confirm that the problems were solved and efficiency was restored.
The TGM® Running Condition Assessment (RCA) is performed while the unit is on-line and subjected to all the rigors of mechanical, thermal, environmental, and electrical aging.The assessment looks at the condition and performance of the unit while it is running, which means there is no loss of generating capacity and the assessment is easy to schedule.
TGM® analyzes this data and generates an informative report which assesses potential failure modes and weighs their effect on generating capacity and potential outage duration. Remedies are ranked from “easy to implement with maximum benefit” to “hard to implement with minimum benefit”. Operators can then make the most informed and economically-sound maintenance decisions possible.
The program allows plant management to better predict maintenance and capital costs, enhance unit availability and efficiency, and allow better decision making when scheduling major and minor inspections. The Running Condition Assessment is a cost-effective diagnostic and planning tool for any maintenance philosophy.
While it is key to the latest Condition Based Maintenance approach, it can help reduce maintenance costs for Predictive-Based programs, the traditional Planned Maintenance philosophy, and even a Run-To-Failure approach.
A traditional turbine generator outage inspection is like a crime scene investigation. It is a static-state inspection. The actual stressors (mechanical, thermal, environmental, and electrical forces) are not present, and their impact must be deduced from the evidence they may leave behind. These effects can only be revealed during an unproductive outage, and minimizing the potential impact of critical conditions means increasing the frequency of outages.
The Running Condition Assessment is a dynamic-state inspection based on real-time observation and information gathering. It occurs while the unit is in operation, making the inspection easy to schedule while still maintaining production. All the “usual suspects” (mechanical, thermal, environmental, and electrical stressors) are in play. Working from a standard checklist of inspection points, the technician conducts a thorough examination of your turbine, generator and auxiliaries using visual, thermal, ultrasonic, vibration, tribology (lube oil dynamics), rotor flux, partial discharge, and electromagnetic interference analyses. (Click links to see examples of each methodology.)
The recorded data points and observations may imply a condition or defect, and the technician gathers and compares data to either confirm or deny the hypothesis. This additional information may come from additional measurements, conversations with plant operators and supervisors, current and past operating data and the Final Reports from past outages.
An investigation of one anomaly may result in another hypothesis or identify another potential defect. This iteration continues until the technician is satisfied that all the observations can be explained by a list of potential problems. Although the methods are presented as separate examinations, they all interact to provide a comprehensive analysis of your total generating system.
The potential problems within each subsystem are then graded to determine the failure potential for that subsystem, and the potentials for each sub-system are consolidated to determine the combined failure potential for the entire turbine generator system. Individual remedies are ranked according to “the most bang for the buck”. (Click HERE for more info on the consolidation process.)
Turbine Generator Maintenance has developed a Running Condition Assessment program which can reduce unscheduled outages, identify future repairs, shorten planned outages through contingency planning and increase the overall reliability of the equipment. The program allows plant management to better predict maintenance and capital costs, enhance unit availability and efficiency, and allow better decision making when scheduling major and minor inspections.
Maximum benefits are achieved through regularly scheduled assessments which incorporate trend analysis to track the decline of the unit and better predict outcomes. An ongoing Running Condition Assessment program is the key to Condition Based Maintenance. This can allow TGM® and plant management to develop an ongoing and adaptable multi-year outage plan which reduces the number and duration of outages.
It is possible to postpone planned outages or turn majors into minors. In addition, remediation to multiple subsystems can be planned and performed concurrently during a single outage. This will minimize the total impact on plant operations and maximize profitability.
Trust TGM and its experience in serving any of your power generation needs. Contact us today for more information.
While an individual Running Condition Assessment can reveal substantial cost-saving opportunities and increase productive availability, the greatest benefits are achieved through trend analysis. We recommend scheduling Running Condition Assessments about once per year. Assessments are planned for consistent data gathering to reduce external variables which can affect the analysis. Factors include ambient temperature, turbine generator load, extraction volume and steam temperature and quality. Multiple assessments will mark the decline of the turbine generator characteristics over time.
If the decline seems to accelerate, the turbine generator is headed towards failure. The next outage should be planned and scheduled accordingly. Additional assessments can be scheduled to more closely monitor the decline. If conditions indicate, management can accelerate a planned outage or turn a minor into a major.
As assessments and inspections accumulate, TGM® can build a relationship between external measurements and the internal condition of the turbine and generator. Understanding this relationship will allow TGM® to more accurately anticipate failure modes, resulting in better management planning and increased profitability. This is the key to Condition Based Maintenance. With this increased understanding, management can confidently plan and schedule outages based on the actual condition of the generating system. It is possible to postpone planned outages or turn majors into minors. In addition, remediation to multiple subsystems can be planned and performed concurrently during a single outage.
Turbine Generator Maintenance can incorporate the results from the Running Condition Assessment into a Pre-Outage Planning package which management can use to obtain “apples to apples” bids on a Request for Quote. TGM® will prepare a Statement of Work for the outage with contingent repairs in sufficient detail to be quoted separately. TGM® will also prepare summary schedules which incorporate various repairs so that management can schedule plant operations accordingly. The planning package will include a list of recommended spares and can also include a review of existing spares to see if they are still usable. TGM® will locate and review the required OEM tooling and recommend replacements or repairs. For more information, please Contact Us.