Archive: O&M


Focus on O&M (June 2007)

Ready for your NERC close-up? / Synthetic oils for industrial applications


Focus on O&M (May 2007)


Cyber security and the grid; Harnessing the Yangtze;

Hydraulic system overhaul;

O&M problems not caused by cycling;


Pollution Control: LCRA Fayette Lowers NOx Below 0.10 lb/mmBtu

The Fayette Power Project (FPP, aka the Sam K. Seymour Power Station) is a three-unit, coal-fired generating plant sited near La Grange, Texas (Figure 1). Units 1 and 2, each with a nominal rating of 600 MW, are co-owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and Austin Energy (AE). LCRA is a conservation and […]


Coal Plant O&M: River Locks and Barges Are an Aging Workforce, Too

During 2005, about 150 million tons of coal were transported to power plants by hopper barges plying U.S. inland waterways. With coal-fired plants expected to continue producing 50% of America’s electricity, coal barge traffic is not likely to fall off. In fact, it may increase, for two reasons. One is cost. Shipping coal by barge […]

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Pollution Control: Low-NOx Combustion Retrofit Options

Reducing NOx emissions from large utility coal-fired boilers has been a primary focus of the U.S. power generation industry since passage of the 1970 Clean Air Act and subsequent legislation. By the early 1990s, nearly all such boilers had installed some form of low-NOx burner (LNB) technology and/or overfire air (OFA) — the least expensive […]


Focus on O&M  (April 2007)

Control pollution and slagging on a shoestring / Keeping HRSGs young, cool, and clean / Natural air conditioning


Blades, better than new

The challenge for suppliers of aftermarket turbine blades is that their starting point is an existing blade and nothing else. There are no CAD models, drawings, measurements, tolerances, or inspection data associated with it. However, thanks to the latest in computer tools, a blade now can be digitally recreated to exact specifications and built using the latest design and manufacturing practices. Here’s an inside look at how turbine blades are captured, reconstructed, inspected, and remade to be better than the originals.


SO3’s impacts on plant O&M: Part III

Part I of this three-part series (POWER, October 2006) explored the negative impacts of sulfur trioxide (SO3) on the operations and maintenance of back-end plant equipment. Part II (February 2007) listed and quantified the likely and potential benefits of limiting the concentration of SO3 in flue gas to 3 ppm at the entrance to the air heater. This final part describes the characteristics of an optimal SO3 removal technology and details the operating experience of a patented process that has worked successfully at a half-dozen plants for up to three years.


Utilities surpass other industries in asset maintenance practices

Want some good news about your predictive maintenance program for a change? A recent research report by the Aberdeen Group found the electric utility industry benchmarks exceptionally well against other industries in its PDM practices. In fact, the research found that best-in-class companies outperformed industry peers in improving asset availability by up to a three-to-one margin. In a web exclusive, the Aberdeen Group has provided its report for download from as a service to our readers.


Getting to the root of lube oil degradation problems

Doctors and engineers realize that solving a health problem is better done by identifying and eliminating its cause than by treating its symptoms. For machinery, the class of multidisciplinary methods known as root cause analysis (RCA) is an important tool for addressing chronic reliability problems. But RCA often is improperly applied to lubrication-related problems. Read on to learn how to use the technique correctly.