Archive: O&M

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Practical guidelines for determining electrical area classification

A century ago, boiler explosions were an all-too-familiar event. But with the universal adoption of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Codes in 1914, explosions caused by poor design or manufacturing became relics of history. Electrical classification codes had the same effect on safety. This article explains how designers and operators practically apply those standards. Code details and samples of area classification drawings for a gas turbine plant are included in an online supplement (see end of story).

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Water hammer and other hydraulic phenomena

The term "water hammer" encompasses a handful of hydraulic and thermohydraulic mechanisms. They include water hammer in steam and water piping, water piston, water induction, flash condensation and evaporation, and shock waves generated by transonic flow. All can lead to failures of steam and water cycle components and put plant operators and workers at risk. Proper design and O&M practices can keep water hammer and similar phenomena under control.

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SO3 Control: Dominion Demonstrates CleanStack Technology

Dominion Generation (DG) has installed selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems on many of the large coal-fired generating units it operates. The catalyst used has an SO2 to SO3 oxidation rate of about 1%, which roughly doubles the SO3 concentration at the outlet of the boiler economizers. The magnitude of the increase was proportional to the […]

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SO3 Control: How Many Coal Plants Might Have Opacity Issues Due to SO3 Emissions?

Flyash and condensed sulfur trioxide (SO3) are the major components of flue gas that contribute to the opacity of a coal plant’s stack emissions (stack opacity). Estimates are that 75% to 85% of bituminous coal-fired plants with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and/or wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems are likely to produce enough SO3 vapor […]

Speaking of Coal Power: Coal in a Carbon-Constrained World

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) have elbowed their way into the nation’s lexicon with the rise in concern over climate change. But few of the journalists who are hyping global warming have taken the trouble to learn the ins and outs of producing affordable electricity from coal. Citizens of the industrialized world now wring their […]

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Coal Plant O&M: Continuous On-line Monitoring Cuts Downtime, Costs

As gencos seek to improve plant reliability and availability, many are turning to on-line condition monitoring for help. Huge advances in the capabilities of on-line diagnostics have occurred over the past five years. By using this technology, plant personnel can spot early warning signs of impending equipment failure and take action to correct the underlying […]

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SO3’s impacts on plant O&M: Part II

Part I of this three-part series (POWER, October 2006) explored the negative impacts of sulfur trioxide (SO3) on the operation and maintenance of back-end plant equipment. In this issue, we list and quantify the likely and potential benefits of limiting the concentration of SO3 in flue gas to 3 ppm at the entrance to the air heater. Part III—to appear in the April 2007 issue—will describe the characteristics of an optimal SO3 removal technology and present the technical details and operating experience of one patented process that has worked successfully at a half-dozen plants for up to three years.

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Finding and fixing cracks in high-temperature headers

The welds on superheater and reheater headers are arguably the most stressed parts of a modern steam plant. For that reason, it’s surprising that they also may be the most under-inspected. Cracks are rare, but they can be repaired if found early. One plant avoided a long forced outage to replace a reheater outlet header by using the correct condition assessments and welding techniques.

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To optimize performance, begin at the pulverizers

A systematic, performance-driven maintenance program for optimizing combustion can achieve great results. The challenge for an O&M staff is deciding which proven strategy and tactics for reducing NOx and improving plant reliability to adapt and implement. The structured approach presented here has proven its worth at several plants that have wrestled with problems similar to yours.

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Focus on O&M (February 2007)

The compliance clock is ticking / First-class maintenance in a developing country / Bypass losses squander big bucks / Revised operating procedures