Archive: O&M


Desuperheating valves take the heat

Hot reheat steam bypass actuators are some of the most critical, yet least understood components in a typical combined-cycle plant. If you’re using pneumatic actuators to stroke your main steam or hot reheat bypass valves in a cascading bypass system, you’re behind the times. Here’s a way to get better control of the bypass process, shorten unit start-up and train blending times, and decrease your plant’s heat rate—all at the same time.


Maintaining water sample panels improves plant availability

Even comedian Rodney Dangerfield got more respect than many plant water sample panels do. But power plants ignore sample panels at their peril. Those sample panels, and readings of the on-line analyzers they support, identify when multi-million-dollar systems have a problem that demands immediate attention.


Who’s doing coal plant maintenance?

POWER has reported on several EUCG benchmarking studies over the past several years. This month we examine the maintenance staffing of 45 coal plants reported by 13 EUCG member utilities. If you benchmark your plants or fleet, as you should, some of the study’s results challenge what is considered conventional wisdom.


Alliant Energy sweeps EUCG Best Performer awards

The Fossil Productivity Committee of the EUCG conducts an annual analysis of its member plants’ operating results and selects the Best Performer in the categories of small and large coal plants. For 2007, Alliant Energy’s Lansing and Edgewater Generating Stations took the top spots—the first time in recent history that a single utility claimed both awards.


TVA’s Shawnee Fossil Plant Unit 6 sets new record for continuous operation

Shawnee’s new 1,093-day long-run record is a testament to the plant’s highly qualified and trained staff, excellent operations and maintenance processes, and the quality leadership required to keep all the moving parts pointed in the right direction. If running a power plant is a team sport, then the staff of Shawnee are in a league of their own.


Focus on O&M (February 2008)

Survey captures industry’s carbon concerns; Sequestering coal plant emissions; Comparing mercury measurement methods


The case for cathodic protection

All fossil fuels carry some risk with their reward of an energy density that’s sufficient for producing electricity economically. For coal and natural gas, that threat is a fire or explosion. However, the risk of an explosion isn’t limited to gas-fired plants. Gas poses a threat to any plant that uses the fuel, even in small quantities for heating. Here’s an overview of what you should be doing to keep gas pipelines from corroding and exploding.


Protecting plant equipment from voltage sags

Immunity from voltage sags is vital for reliable operation of our ever-more-sophisticated electronic controls and equipment. Every electrical product should be able to ride through typical voltage sags, but in many cases the first sag test occurs after equipment is installed and in operation. Select the appropriate sag immunity specification and equipment compliance testing, and you’ll be glad you did.


Eliminating oil whip–induced vibration after a steam turbine retrofit

Nobody expected driveline vibration to occur after a flawless retrofit of a 200-MW steam turbine. But when it did, Mitsubishi Power Systems and Exelon vibration specialists identified the symptoms and rapidly narrowed the list of possible causes. Confounding factors made the root cause difficult to identify, but the experts pinpointed the problem, made necessary hardware modifications, and placed the turbine back in service in a week.


Focus on O&M (January 2008)

Single-window control of CHP plant’s energy converters / Safety stuffers entertain as they inform / Doubling up for a heavy load