Archive: O&M


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


Digital radiographic systems detect boiler tube cracks

Boiler water wall leaks have been a major cause of steam plant forced outages. But conventional nondestructive evaluation techniques have a poor track record of detecting corrosion fatigue cracking on the inside surface of the cold side of waterwall tubing. EPRI is performing field trials of a prototype direct-digital radiographic system that promises to be a game changer.


The aging workforce: Panic is not a strategy

Leaders in the utilities sector talk a lot these days about talent. On one hand, they express concern about facing a shortage of knowledgeable staff as 76 million baby boomers exit the workforce. On the other, they worry about where they’ll find enough qualified people to remain competitive in light of the fierce battle for engineering talent that globalization has created. The antidote to these worries lies in reconfiguring HR practices.