Archive: O&M

Keeping condensers clean

There’s a relatively easy way to make a steam plant more efficient and reliable: keep the tubes of its condenser(s) clean. According to George Saxon, Jr., VP of international sales and marketing for Conco Systems Inc. (Verona, Pa.)—a company whose specialty is cleaning and maintaining condenser tubes—"There are two major problems that result from dirty […]

How important is IR detector resolution?

Stretching meager maintenance dollars is a way of life for most maintenance staff. In past years, the cost of an infrared (IR) camera usually came down to a choice between a low-resolution 160 x 120-pixel camera or no camera at all. If the camera was chosen, it usually became clear before long that low resolution […]

Wireless vibration monitoring shows benefits

The 1,768-MW Baldwin Energy Complex in Illinois was the site of a joint-venture pilot project to demonstrate a wireless vibration-monitoring system for a coal pulverizer. The partners in the project were EPRI and the plant’s owner, Houston-based Dynegy Midwest Generation. A key objective of the project was to identify a reliable wireless system capable of […]

SWAT team helps shorten forced outage

Calpine Corp.’s South Point Energy Center in Mohave County, Ariz. (Figure 1) is a 520-MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility with two Siemens Westinghouse 501FD gas turbines and one steam turbine-generator with a BB33 high-pressure (HP) section, a BB65 intermediate-pressure section (IP), and a 65CC intermediate/low-pressure (LP) section. The plant entered commercial service in June 2001. […]

Include generators and exciters in your outage inspections

Generators and exciters don’t get much respect during scheduled outages. If yours fall into that category, a strategy that includes regular inspections and routine maintenance is all the more important for identifying incipient problems that could bring a plant down. Read on to learn how to keep your generator or exciter from suffering any of the problems shown in the dramatic photos.

O&M staff keep their cool at Alaskan plant

Operating a combined-cycle power plant profitably is no walk in the park, even under ideal conditions. But the extreme conditions at the Beluga Power Plant—from isolation to volcanoes—challenge its staff every day in ways that operators in the lower 48 can only imagine.

Focus on O&M (February 2006)

CFB refractory repair; Upgrading conductivity monitoring; Low-cost maintenance of spinning reserve

Duck and cover!

FACILITIES MAINTENANCE Duck and cover! Tippi Hedren learned the hard way—in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, "The Birds"—the damage that a flock of angry seagulls can do. But what do you do when 6,000 starlings suddenly invade your power plant? Hide the birdseed and run for cover! Like any conscientious company, PacifiCorp works hard at keeping its […]

Focus on O&M 

Using a pump as a hydraulic turbine; Insulation and lagging fundamentals; A new way to repair concrete pipes