This guidebook exclusively features plant operations and maintenance articles, including full charts, photographs, graphs and step-by-step instructions previously featured in POWER magazine.
Available in a PDF format. 42 pages.
Grid Resiliency: A Strategy for Keeping Transformers Safe
Grid resiliency has become a widely discussed topic recently. Experts have been called before congressional hearings to testify on the
topic, and close calls—including a massive solar storm that missed Earth by a matter of days in 2012—have been highlighted in the
news. Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, and physical attacks, such as the rifle assault on the Metcalf substation near San
Jose, Calif., have also brought to light grid vulnerabilities.
Coal Ash Mapping Using Electromagnetic Technology
The identification and containment of coal ash has risen to the top of the priority list for plant managers across the U.S. after inadvertent
releases of coal ash into unintended areas resulted in adverse environmental impacts and negative publicity. Increased scrutiny and
changing regulatory requirements are forcing plant operators to work aggressively to manage coal ash.
Using Steam Turbine Warming Blankets to Reduce Startup Time and Rotor Stress
Steam turbines have to be warmed slowly to avoid excessive differential expansion of the various components, rotor stress, and potentially
reduced service life. For that reason, startup times must be extended under certain conditions to allow gradual heating of components, which
can prevent plants from starting swiftly and seizing spikes in real-time market prices.
Covered Piping Systems O&M Programs for CCGT Plants
A great level of risk is present when operating pressurized systems. Over the years, industry safety concerns have increased with the
occurance of catastrophic events. To help prevent further loss and damages, expanded requirements for operations and maintenance
(O&M) were added to the ASME Code for Pressure Piping, B31.
Battery-Monitoring System Improves Safety, Reliability, and Efficiency
When management decided to purchase and install a new, vented lead-acid battery system at the Dogwood power plant, decision-makers
also investigated the benefits of adding a continuous batterymonitoring system. The reasoning behind the research was simple: In spite of
the battery’s static presence in the plant, and (hopefully) infrequent use, power plant battery systems require a great deal of labor to monitor
and test. But monitoring and testing is necessary due to the critical importance of battery systems when an emergency situation arises.
Use Near-Miss Incidents as a Preventive Tool
Broadly put, today’s power plant operations are a mix of automated operations and manual or procedural steps. A plant may have
hundreds of control loops, interlocks, permissives, and safety systems. In addition, there are procedural steps, which rely on operator
interaction, such as opening or closing a valve, slow rolling a turbine, or taking grab samples. In view of the large number of operations,
it appears reasonable to anticipate that something will go wrong someday.
Eskom operates 23 power stations in South Africa with a total capacity of more than 42 GW. It supplies about 95% of all the electricity
used in the country. One of its coal-fired power stations was experiencing frequent boiler tube fatigue failures in the hopper section—
the bottom part of the boiler—of all six units.
Efficient Use of Power Plant Process Data Improves Asset Management
Asset data is crucial in the power generation industry. Without it, utilities are forced to speculate about how long their assets will last,
when they will need repair, and which strategies will maximize plant efficiency. With it, plant owners have the tools to drive down
operational and maintenance costs while ensuring highly reliable power delivery.
Using Radar to Improve Security and Counter Drone Threats
Security is taken very seriously at most power plants. Fences and other barriers are usually installed before construction of a plant
even begins to keep curious busy-bodies, thieves, protestors, and—at the far end of the spectrum— saboteurs and terrorists out of
sensitive locations. Some plants have dedicated security staff patrolling areas both inside and outside of the fence, inspecting deliveries,
and maintaining around-theclock surveillance.
Understanding Boiler Code Compliance and Magnetic Level Gages
A magnetic level gage may be an excellent addition to a power plant boiler’s drum-level instrumentation. However, before any changes
are made, owners must first understand the specific minimum requirements for water level instrumentation defined by the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.
Boiler Cleaning with Shock Pulse Generators
Increasing plant efficiency and reducing maintenance costs is important for economic power plant operation. One part of the task involves
keeping the boiler heating surfaces as clean as possible, which increases heat transfer, reduces maintenance, and avoids unplanned
standstills of the plant. Shock pulse generators (SPGs) are an innovative and efficient way to manage boiler cleanliness.