Archive: O&M

Hill Backing New FERC Powers on Grid Cyber Attacks

Spurred on by a recent audit showing widespread utility noncompliance with voluntary recommendations meant to protect the grid from cyber attacks, key lawmakers have unveiled plans to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) broad powers to enact new mandatory measures to close vulnerabilities in the U.S. bulk power system to potentially devastating computer-launched assaults.

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Focus on O&M (September 2008)

Tackling substandard water sources / Control abrasive wear in scrubber piping / Sensors and final control elements

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Deaerator degradation: Managing remaining life and component replacement

Proper attention to dissolved oxygen levels in feedwater is fundamental for long-term equipment reliability, especially in a combined-cycle plant. When equipment approaches its design life, proper use of new analytic tools and technical expertise can identify impending corrosion and erosion problems and provide you with an estimate of remaining equipment life.

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Put a lid on rising chemical costs

News reports tell us that rapidly growing economies, such as China’s, are importing more oil and raw materials each year, thereby pushing up commodity prices on the world market. One of the side effects of rising commodity prices is considerable increases in the cost of water treatment chemicals. Don’t be tempted to skimp on chemicals to save a buck but risk catastrophic damage. In the words of NASA’s former flight director, Gene Kranz: “Failure is not an option.”

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Field application of compressor coatings saves big dollars

Over time, turbine compressors and other driven compressors suffer from corrosion, oxidation, and, in many cases, severe fouling, which in turn can cause in-service breakdown and premature overhaul. Today’s innovative protective coatings can be applied on-site to rotors and individual components to replicate the surface finish, corrosion resistance, and antifouling properties of new components.

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Condensate polishers add operating reliability and flexibility

Many of today’s advanced steam generators favor either an all-volatile treatment or oxygenated treatment chemistry program, both of which require strict maintenance of an ultra-pure boiler feedwater or condensate system. Those requirements are many times at odds with the lower-quality water sources, such as graywater, available for plant makeup and cooling water. Adding a condensate polisher can be a simple, cost-effective solution.

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Focus on O&M (August 2008)

Assess your cooling tower’s condition / Proper technique for vertical-up stick welding / Move material with a sonic horn

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How to Measure Flyash Levels

Measuring the level of flyash in your silos is not an easy task, in part because the flyash collected at one plant can be remarkably different from that collected at another plant, even if both fire the same coal. Such variability means that selecting the right instrument for your application is important.

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Focus on O&M (July 2008) 

Protection against arc flash more important than ever; Laramie River Station uses new coating technology; Protecting power plant pipes: Basics you must know

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Boiler optimization increases fuel flexibility

Burning spot market fuels can reduce plant fuel costs, but it can also introduce unexpected operational problems throughout the boiler island. Orlando Utilities Commission’s Stanton Energy Center optimized its Unit 2 combustion system and improved O&M practices as part of a project to increase the unit’s fuel flexibility without degrading reliability or heat rate. OUC’s attitude: If you can measure it, you can manage it.