Archive: O&M

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SO3’s impacts on plant O&M: Part I

The visible consequences of sulfuric acid aerosol emissions—opaque stack emissions called “blue plumes”—are merely the tip of an iceberg. In sufficient concentration, SO3 also can increase corrosion and fouling of equipment and components downstream of the furnace while decreasing their efficiency and penalizing overall plant heat rate.

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Meeting utility industry challenges through innovation

In 2005, Xcel Energy fully implemented its unique Utility Innovations initiative to encourage its IT vendors to work together. One pilot project completed under the UI umbrella confirmed that tighter integration of predictive and analytical systems and data can optimize preventive maintenance intervals, reducing costs and downtime while increasing profits and productivity.

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Apply the fundamentals to improve emissions performance

The O&M staff of AES Westover Station wisely took a holistic approach to optimizing combustion within Unit 8’s boiler in order to reduce its NOx emissions while maintaining acceptable levels of carbon-in-ash content. The results of major modifications—centered on the addition of a fan-boosted overfire air system—were a 60% reduction in NOx levels, improved unit reliability, and a project payback period measured in months rather than years. As this project proved, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

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Focus on O&M (October 2006)

Upgrading to digital–twice / Lower-cost turbine monitoring / Pros and cons of remote process control / Nuts about Superbolt

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How to conduct a plant performance test

Performance testing after initial start-up has value well beyond the short-term goal of validating equipment guarantees—it’s your only opportunity to establish the baseline performance of the overall plant and many of its major systems. Corporate bean counters may be interested in short-term results, but a good plant engineer understands that a thorough performance test will be useful for many years. Here’s your guide to each facet of a performance test—plus pitfalls to avoid.

 

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Focus on O&M (September 2006)

Level measurement in harsh environment;

Designing insulation for structures;

Shockingly clean boiler

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Case Histories: Co-Firing Coal and Oat Hulls Reduces Emissions at University Power Plant

The University of Iowa (UI) Biomass Fuel Project has produced significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, regulated boiler stack emissions, and purchased energy costs. The project utilizes a renewable, biomass fuel source and provides an opportunity for UI to partner with a local industry. UI was approached by Quaker Oats Co., Cedar Rapids Facility in […]

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Boiler Conversion: Converting a Boiler from Burning Bituminous Coals to PRB Coals Can Be a Challenge

Design techniques and operating experience with Powder River Basin (PRB) coals have advanced significantly over the past 35 years for boilers that were originally designed for this fuel. Today, boiler installations looking to effectively utilize PRB coals fall into two primary categories: units that were initially designed for bituminous or other coals and units that […]

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Case Histories: Synthetic Oil and Enhanced Filtration Reduce Wear and Extend Gear Life

A coal-fired power plant operating in the western U.S. was experiencing short gearbox life in its coal-pulverizing operation. After an annual gearbox inspection, oil analysis results indicated that the AGMA 6EP (ISO 320) gear oil recommended by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) had failed to provide adequate lubrication and protection. This conclusion was based on […]