Data development enables erosion detection

Rowan Technologies Ltd, a UK based company, has recently developed a range of scanner systems for monitoring corrosion/erosion and thermal behaviour over small or large areas of power plants.

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Data can be presented in the form of multi-dimensional plots. The systems are non-intrusive, using electrodes connected externally to the plant at the monitoring location. The scanners are maintenance-free, allowing lifetime monitoring in potentially inaccessible areas.

These systems have been installed for over three years at AES Drax power station in the UK. They are able to monitor the thermal characteristics of the boiler walls, enable the station to monitor boiler fireside tube wall corrosion whilst the boiler is on-line; something the company has previously been unable to do.

Drax is switching to imported coals, and AES plans to trial other fuels, in the near future. It intends to use the system to monitor the effect of some of these fuels on boiler fireside corrosion. The systems can also be used in pipelines and storage vessels and can map entire surfaces rather than monitoring at point locations.

Launch of HLR 750 series

Macro Sensors has introduced the HLR 750 series of UL/ULC listed AC- operated LVDTs for operation in gas or steam turbines and other hazardous environments.

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These 19 mm diameter, hermetically sealed sensors offer reliable contactless position measurement for critical applications in power plants using gas or steam turbines such as vane pitch servo controls, fuel valve position feedback, governor controls, shaft end play and runout, as well as generator shell expansion measurement.

The environmental robustness of the units also make them ideal for position measurement in petrochemical process plants, gas transmiss.ion pumping stations as well as auxiliary power generators.

Available in full-scale measurement ranges from ±1″ to ±10″, the HLR 750 Series feature high resolution, excellent repeatability typically better than 0.01 per cent of full scale and non-linearity of less than 0.25 per cent of full range output..

Cogeneration installation for Italian landfill site

UK-based Centrax Gas Turbines has .been awarded a contract to supply an outdoor CX501-KB5 generator set for a Landfill gas extraction site near Naples.

The Centrax package was sold to Termomeccanica Ecologia (TME) which is the main contractor for the project – a joint venture between the Naples local authority and Naples University.


The Rolls-Royce 501-KB5
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The Rolls-Royce 501-KB5 powered package will start-up initially on bottle gas (CNG), and then run continuously on the available gases extracted from the site, supplying a minimum of

3 MW of electrical power. The Centrax unit is set for delivery and installation by the summer 2003.

Geislinger launches two power friendly products

Geislinger, the Austrian coupling and damper specialist has introduced two new products: the Gesilco Disc and Monitoring GMS Mark 4.

Main applications for the Gesilco Disc will be in power plants, compressor packages, excavators and trucks. The Disc was specially developed for the transmission of high torsional vibratory torques and radial forces, which is necessary to support an alternator rotor.

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The second development is the Geislinger Monitoring GMS Mark 4. This is the fourth generation of an instrument designed to continuously monitor torsional vibration amplitudes. The system gives an alarm signal when safety limits are reached or exceeded.

This instrument has three monitoring functions for which the software is tailored to the specific requirements: detection of engine misfiring, monitoring of the Geislinger Damper and, monitoring of the coupling.

For processing the calculated values the system unit can be connected to a PC and the data can be sent directly to Geislinger via e-mail for analysis.

Swagelok modular platform eases analytical sampling systems

Swagelok’s has introduced what it calls its ‘modular platform components’, with configurator software to enable easier development of process analyzer and sample-handling systems. The configurator identifies all additional flow connectors needed to build the fluid system and generates a bill of materials and assembly diagram to simplify ordering and assembly.

This allows system designers to reduce size, weight, and flow path volume of process analysis and sampling systems, while reducing design costs.

Power cable order complete

Kvaerner Markham, part of Kvaerner E&C, has completed an order for the design, build and installation of a series of storage and degassing turntables for power cables manufacturer, Pirelli.

Forming part of the cable production process and measuring up to 12 m in diameter with a 1000 t capacity, the turntables are dedicated to the manufacture of submarine cables used for power transmission and distribution. The contract is valued in excess of £1m ($1.5m).


Kvaerner Markham has designed a series of cable storage and degassing turntables for Pirelli
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Each horizontal turntable featur.es a slew bearing-mounted, central hub providing axial support and location, to which are connected a series of spokes. These spokes vary in size and number according to the specified load, and are linked together at the outer edge. There are two sets of support wheels fitted to these radial spokes, which run on concentric inner and outer rails fixed directly to the foundations. The turntable is powered by peripherally-mounted epicyclic geared DC motors, driving a gear ring running around the edge of the table.

For each turntable, Kvaerner Markham additionally built and supplied a switchgear panel, containing DC converters, heat regulators and associated controls. Floor mounted and protected to IP45 environmental requirements, the panels provide for local manual operation, with forward, reverse stop and emergency push-buttons or remote automatic control – the mode being selected by switch.

PDMS sets performance benchmark

Aveva solutions, the product development division of Aveva Group, has announced the next generation of its 3D design solution, Vantage PDMS.

It was demonstrated as a prototype in 2001, following specification and partnership with established PDMS customers. Since its move onto desktop computers, PDMS has enabled plant designers to work continuously with real-time 3D visualization of the plant model. This capability, says Aveva, has eliminated designer error and greatly improved the quality of layout and detailed design. The next generation builds on this by adding powerful, interactive 3D graphical facilities including manipulation devices, plant object browsing and enhanced discipline interaction.

Aircogen is flying high

Airbus has chosen Stiell Facilities, an Alfred McAlpine Group Company in partnership with combined heat and power (CHP) suppliers Brotherhood Aircogen, to design, manufacture and install energy centres.

The deal includes six AirCHP systems, for three new buildings at the Airbus site at Broughton, north Wales. The buildings will be used to manufacture wing components for Airbus aircraft including the new Airbus A380, a double-deck giant that will seat 555 people and is one third bigger than the largest aircraft in operation. The aircraft is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2006.

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Airbus selected a distributed CHP system based on the unique Aircogen AirCHP concept to benefit from peak efficiency of up to 95 per cent and flexible energy conversion. The units provide a combination of power, hot air and hot water to serve the space heating and process requirements of the individual buildings. Two 400 kWe AirCHP systems have been installed at the Stringers manufacturing centre, supplying air heated to the manufacturing spaces, and hot water for process use. The large paint booth is to be provided with heated air from three 1 MW AirCHP units, whilst medium temperature hot water will be supplied to the building heating system.

Motor control for reliable starting

Two EN 60947-compliant, manual motor starters from Chint have been launched by Rowe Hankins Components.

The starters can be used with three- phase cage asynchronous motors, which are suitable for rail mounting in cabinets or clean environments. An impact resistant, enclosure is available for protection from the hazards of normal industrial use.

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The NS2-25 is rated from 0.16 A to 25 A, while the NS2-80 meets needs from 25 to 80 A. Both models have key safety features including overload and short circuit protection. Phase failure is integral to the design and a convenient test switch is located on the front of the starters. There is also a facility to padlock if needed. The starter is designed for ease of installation and wiring. A coloured tab warns when the starter is not locked in place. Pre-moulded cut outs in the enclosure allow for wire access from above, below, sides or back.

Fire-resistant lubricant passes 100 000 h test

Great Lakes Chemical Corp. has .announced that its Reolube Turbofluid 46XC, a fire-resistant hydraulic fluid and lubricant for steam and gas turbines, has been used successfully in an industrial gas turbine. The lubricant has been used for more than 100 000 hours since commissioning without any significant change in condition.

The trial phosphate ester lubricant was initially filled into a 5.5 MW Sulzer (now MAN Turbo) Type 3 gas turbine back in January 1986 at Novartis’ Klybeck plant in Basel, Switzerland. This is currently operated by Valorec Services AG.

At the same power station in Basel, a single charge of Reolube Turbofluid 46XC has also been in use in a 10 MW Siemens steam turbine since 1983.

In service, Reolube Turbofluid 46XC has proved its worth. It almost certainly prevented two fires from breaking out after fluid escaped from the gas turbine following a coupling failure and a shaft seal leak.

Power management at the click of a mouse

A PC-based design tool from Silicon Concepts offers a different approach to designing, integrating and programming power supply management circuits.

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Released to support Lattice’s ispPAC devices for power management, the PAC-Designer 2.0 tool available from silicon controls all functions within the ispPAC-POWR1208 through a Windows-based software development tool.

The devices support single-chip programmable power supply sequencing and monitoring. It offers a robust single chip solution to the support of multiple power supply voltages on a single PCB, while minimizing power consumption.

New flue gas analyzer

E Instruments has launched the GreenLine Model 8000 flue gas analyzer. The unit incorporates electrochemical technologies with NDIR to monitor combustion efficiency, safety, and environmental emissions in process applications.

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A detachable, hand-held remote control unit communicates with the main gas sampling unit via an RS422 link and can operate from more than 762 m away. The RCU is used to display data, store the analysis in memory, to print the data, and transfer the data to a PC. The RCU can store up to 9000 complete sets of data analysis in memory.

Microturbine certified to meet emission limits

Capstone Turbine announced that its C60 product is state-certified to meet California’s strict emissions standards for distributed generation which came into effect on January 1, 2003.

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The new requirement covers smaller scale generators, which have been exempt from the permitting requirements of the Air Quality Management Districts of the California Air Resources Board. The only other commercially available power generator certified to meet the distributed generation requirement is a fuel cell manufactured by the UTC Fuel Cells business unit of United Technologies Corp.

Capstone and UTC, four months ago, entered into a strategic alliance that includes distribution in North America and Europe of Capstone MicroTurbine systems.

Active Power launches protection solutions

Active Power will launch its CleanSource flywheel Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs).

These power protection systems deliver the highest level of power availability, conditioning, and harmonics cancellation for sensitive digital broadcast systems. Combining a rugged steel flywheel with solid-state power electronics, Active Power’s CleanSource technology incorporates a flywheel motor-generator that stores kinetic energy in its constantly spinning, low-friction steel disc.

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Stored energy from the flywheel is instantly converted to electricity to power the critical load during short power fluctuations. During prolonged power outages, the UPS seamlessly transfers to a standby generator for continuous power. In addition, the CleanSource units’ power electronics shield transmitter tubes against faulty power and easily handle “crowbar” events – automatically switching to bypass and supplying the desired current for constant and stable operation.

New alliance formed

ABB, Accenture, Intel and Microsoft announced an alliance to help manufacturers bridge the gap between plant floor operations and enterprise IT systems. The alliance aims to help manufacturers by simplifying integration.

The four companies will provide a full range of computing diagnostics, solution design, development and integration services for manufacturers. The team’s joint development work will help customers gain access to manufacturing automation technology that will work seamlessly in a plant environment and integrate with a wide range of enterprise IT systems.

Bently Nevada announces asset management software

Bently Nevada has announced the release of version 4.0 of its System 1 Plant Asset Management software. The software features the integrated interface to ‘Maximo’ from MRO software.

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System 1 provides condition monitoring, document linking, decision support and other mechanical thermodynamic condition assessment tools. Maximo provides asset-related maintenance management, procurement, and sourcing functionality, vital to the overall equipment lifecycle management function in industrial enterprises.

The bi-directional interface allows pertinent data, information and transactions to be interchanged between the systems. Conditions-based criteria in System 1 can thus be used to trigger a work order request in Maximo, and System 1’s user interface can be used to access maintenance-related information in Maximo to assist with root cause assessment when diagnosing asset problems.

Fuel cleaning process improves fuel utilization

An ultrasonic nuclear fuel cleaning system has been developed by EPRI. The system, that removes deposits from reload fuel, allowing higher fuel utilization, has been used at the Callaway nuclear plant in Texas, USA.

Nuclear operators can use higher-enrichment fuel assemblies and longer burn-up cycles to increase megawatt-hour output from reactor cores. However, extended fuel duty can increase the buildup of corrosion-product deposits, shifting the power profile toward the bottom of the core – a phenomenon known as axial offset anomaly (AOA). Severe AOA can require derating of a plant.

While AOA has not been a problem at Callaway, ultrasonic fuel cleaners were purchased for its two units as a proactive measure for corrosion product control after replacing steam generators and uprating both units. All reload fuel for the Unit 2 reactor was cleaned in October 2002. Reload fuel for Unit 1 will be cleaned this month.

Megger launches lightweight Ohmmeter

Megger Ltd, manufacturer and supplier of electrical test equipment, has introduced a lightweight DLRO600 digital low-resistance testing Ohmmeter.

The lighter design will mean that on-site resistance testing of circuit breaker contacts and busbars no longer requires the use of “portable” equipment which is too heavy to be carried by one perosn.

At under 15 kg, the DLRO600 is around half the weight of a typical high-current low-resistance ohm-meter, yet it offers a test current which is continously variable, from 10 A to 600 A.

Megger claims this wide current range means that users of the DLRO600 can perform all of their tests with a single instrument, rather than having to use separate test sets with fixed operating currents of, for example, 100 A, 200 A and 500 A.


The new lightweight ohmmeter from Megger
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There are three modes that the DLRO600 operate in. There is a continiuous mode which is provided for users who wish to monitor resistance over a period of time. In this mode, the test current is passed through the circuit continiously, and the results are captured every two seconds.

In normal mode, the instrument carries out a single test, which takes around five seconds, when the test button is pressed.

The third mode, auto, is useful where several tests are to be performed in succession, as the instrument automatically performs a test every time that the test leads are connected, without requiring the user to press the test button for each test.