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Operating Surveillance

Mechanical Dynamics & Analysis’ (MD&A) experts performed a steam turbine and generator Operating Surveillance for a customer where various issues and leaks were identified for the operating unit. The Operating Surveillance service is typically performed while the unit is online and takes 2-3 days depending on the size and complexity of the unit.

These results and recommendations allow our customers to help ensure the continued reliability of their equipment through an independent expert evaluation. Additionally, the findings and recommendations of MD&A’s engineer are reviewed as part of the exit interview with the owner. Maintenance plans and priorities are reviewed and adjusted, as necessary, based on findings.

After reviewing documentation from the owner/operator to establish a unit-specific checklist and datasheets, MD&A’s engineer conducts initial discussions with operations and maintenance personnel to gain a better understanding of unit history and any known issues or particular areas of focus. Then, MD&A’s expert collects operational data up to 4 different times throughout the visit using a variety of instruments and records it in a Turbine Performance Data Log that is part of the final report.

Our Experts also collect and record the following information (as applicable):

  • Generator operation surveillance data
  • Auxiliary systems surveillance data by recording collector ring brush vibration and collector ring condition.
  • MSV’s and NRV’s test information
  • Lube oil system surveillance data and lube oil pump/ vapor extractor vibration data
  • Bearing operation surveillance data (lube oil temp at each bearing and bearing metal temp or bearing cap temp data)
  • Hydrogen system surveillance data by recording data from the cabinet and conducting hydrogen leak checks
  • Seal Oil System surveillance data (seal oil data, CE seal and bearing insulation, and seal oil pump data)
  • Battery system data
  • Sound surveillance data
  • EHC system surveillance data from components & cabinet data

Results and recommendations
Results of all component operation, vibration, and system surveillance tests were reviewed, along with the service history of the unit, to identify points of concern. Taking into account the planned outage timing, the customer is provided with recommendations for both ongoing operation and inspection.

As an example, the surveillance program resulted in the following findings:

  1. The HP packing casing is leaking steam. Packing should be inspected and replaced as needed.
  2. Two hydrogen leaks were found on the ground level. Leak locations were: A fitting on the rear side of the hydrogen display manifold and the inlet valve on the hydrogen supply header connecting to the left hydrogen supply bottle.
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3. The collector end brushes should be replaced as they had worn into the holder, and the springs are not supplying sufficient pressure on the brushes. Consideration should be given to inspect the collector rings and contingency plans made to grind the collector rings if necessary.

4. The Insulation should be replaced around the control valves because it is running hot. This could result in an increased chance of camshaft bearing failures.

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5. The T3 oil deflector should be inspected/replaced and set to design clearances. It appears to be leaking oil.

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6. The coupling covers on both gland exhauster pumps should be replaced because they are rusted and deteriorating.

7. Several pressure gauges on the unit are cracked. As a result, the gauges may not be reading correctly. Our expert recommended cleaning and replacing all malfunctioning gauges during the next inspection.

MD&A prides itself on providing expert advice & recommendations to our customers through our Operating Surveillance program. Our recommendations include a clear and objective roadmap for future operations, realistic unit expectations, future component inspection advice, and specific operating suggestions.

All findings are summarized in a written report that is left with the customer at the completion of the service.  Of course, MD&A’s easy to reach experts will be available after leaving site to support further discussion and provide operational and /or outage planning support.

MD&A is available 24×7 for our customers. We provide turnkey maintenance and repairs, as well as, turbine services ranging from outage planning to thermodynamic analysis. Our experts lead the power generation industry with real-world engineered solutions that address issues found in an aging turbine fleet.

Call MD&A today for our Operating Surveillance Program or any specialized service needs at +1 (518) 399-3616 or use our Contact form.

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Mechanical Dynamics & Analysis LLC   |   19 British American Blvd., Latham, NY 12110   |   P (518) 399-3616   |   F (518) 399-3929