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.