Power Generation

Power plants can be divided into two categories – conventional and non-conventional power plants.

Conventional power plants are:

  • Fossil fuel power plants: Generates electric power by burning fossil fuels like coal, natural gas or diesel.
  • Nuclear power plants: Controlled nuclear reaction is maintained to generate electricity.
  • Hydroelectric power plants: Electricity is produced by building dams on suitable rivers.

Non-conventional power plants are:

  • Wind power plants: The kinetic energy of wind is used to create power.’
  • Solar power plants: Generates power by collecting solar radiation.
  • Geothermal power plants: Uses the natural heat found in the deep levels of the earth to generate electricity.
  • Biomass power plants: Natural organic matter is burnt to produce electricity.

Unplanned Downtime Is Costly

When an equipment in the manufacturing line fails, production is down. It may take days or even weeks for repair and replacement to be completed. Workflows are interrupted, there is a loss in output capacity and revenue.

One study found that in the USA, generators are unavailable on average for 15% of the time due to outages and maintenance.

One estimate discovered that forced outages cost a power plant from 3 to 4.5 times more than planned outages.

Preventive Maintenance Is Important

Systems breakdown due to a number or combination of factors, rarely just one. This results in devestating loss of equipment and life in Power Generation Industries.

Lacking or irregular maintenance procedures also increase the likelihood of equipment failure or human error. Combine this with inconsistent processing situations, the result can be costly with unplanned outages.

Unplanned outages negatively affect production capacity and increase operating expenses. The damaged equipment must be inspected properly and repaired fast before beginning operation again.

Preventive maintenance increases the reliability of equipment which is critical to achieve long-term profitable operations and tackle rising materials costs. This entails having detailed site-specific maintenance shcedules, procedures, and training.

Maintenance procedures should include five phases:

  1. Initial Survey of Process
  2. On-Site Study
  3. Development of Schedule and Training
  4. Implementation of the Maintenance Plan, and
  5. Follow-Up to Determine Success Rate.

Heat Exchangers in the Power Generation Industry

Safe operation of Power Plants require the steady cooling of bearings, lube oils, and rotor blades of diesel, gas motors, steam turbines, or gas turbines.

Proper cooling and condensing of process steam is also critical in the safe operation of a power. This is where Heat Exchangers in Power Plants come in, making them important to be properly maintained to prevent unexpected failure.

Minimise Tube Failures

Three main areas for improvement to minimise future in-service tube failures are:

  • Tube Testing
  • Re-Tubing Strategy During Turnarounds
  • Design Improvements in Heat Exchangers
For the first point of tube inspection, we recommend using a suitable tube inspection device. This device needs to have the ability and accuracy to detect the common flaws found in the Heat Exchangers. 

Common Problems

  • ​​Process Corrosion
  • Stress-Corrosion Cracking (SCC) of Tubes
  • Steam or Condensate Corrosion
  • Process Fouling

Tube Inspection with APRIS

Technologies for inspecting Heat Exchanger tubes are constantly changing and improving rapidly. With increased sophistication and complexity of today’s Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) techniques, the operator’s skill level is becoming more vital.

To correctly identify the flaws and tube failures, a reliable technology and technician is needed.

APRIS is a smart tube inspection device that doesn’t compromise the ease-of-use with higher complexity and sophistication.

A typical tube inspection tool would require a user to have years of experience. But with APRIS, any technician can accurately find flaws with little training.

APRIS

Heat Exchangers to Inspect with APRIS

  • Air Cooled Condenser
  • Atomising Air Cooler
  • Compressor Cooler
  • Evaporator
  • Gland Steam Condenser
  • High or Low Pressure Heater
  • Interstage Cooler
  • Lube Oil Cooler
  • Pre Heater
  • Process Heater and Cooler
  • Raw Water Heater
  • Surface Condenser

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