Transalta Energy's O&M Practices For LM6000 Plants Highlighted In Power-Gen International Paper
High Availability and Reliability
ORLANDO, Florida - TransAlta Energy Corporation's (TEC) solid operations and maintenance (O&M) practices have translated into high reliability and availability for their initial three GE LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbines.
"Operating Experience With GE Industrial Aeroderivative Gas Turbines," by Richard Langhammer of TEC, Ronald Pinder of GE Marine & Industrial Engines (M&I), and Kellie Byerly of Stewart & Stevenson Operations, Inc., is being presented on Thursday, December 5 , 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. during Session C2-Fossil Fuel Technologies II "Aeroderivative & Small Gas Turbines."
The paper discusses how TEC's O&M strategy has helped improve peak effectiveness, maximize revenue and minimize costs at its two power plants: The Ottawa Health Sciences Centre (OHSC) and the Mississauga Cogeneration Plant (MCP). The OHSC uses one LM6000, and the MCP uses two LM6000 gas turbines. These were the world's initial two LM6000 plants. In the four years since they begancommercial operation, the units have accumulated 25,000 fired hours and each has undergone a hot section refurbishment.
One reason TEC believes the gas turbines have such outstanding performance is due to the close cooperation among TEC, GE M&I, the LM6000 manufacturer, and Stewart & Stevenson, the gas turbine packager. TEC does not have an O&M contractor in place at any of its plants; the entire O&M function is composed of TEC employees. They have total control of all aspects of plant maintenance -- another factor TEC attributes to the gas turbines' overall performance.
The LM6000s at the OHSC and MCP have exceeded TEC's expectations with their reliability and ease of maintenance. As a result of this performance, TEC has purchased five more LM6000s for its plants in Australia (three LM6000s in Kalgoorlie) and New Zealand (two at the Southdown Cogeneration Station in Auckland).
The LM6000s have run extremely well following some initial problems and one setback in 1995, all of which have been ironed out. TEC knew that, as with any new engine, there would be technical O&M challenges. GE's commitment to finding a long-term solution has positively impacted the operating statistics of these plants, and have enabled the gas turbines to run essentially trouble free.
TEC believes that the broader the capabilities of the plant staff, the more efficient the maintenance function. Heavy emphasis is placed on the following:
- preventive maintenance
- continuous improvement
- spare parts management
OEM Maintenance Features
Like its parent flight engine, the LM gas turbines' modular design allows quick field maintenance action. Externally mounted controls, accessories, and piping for easy access, coupled with the ability to inspect the internal static and rotating parts, allow the adoption of an "on-condition" maintenance concept: Maintenance is not performed until it is needed.
Level 1 maintenance typically refers to corrective or preventive maintenance including replacement of external parts, adjustments and other work. Level 1 is done on the engine in the package up to and including removal and replacement of the gas turbine.
Level 2 maintenance provides operators with an option to expand the on-site repair activity beyond that provided by Level 1, and to eliminate the need for additional shop visits. The following replacements can be performed on-site as part of a Level 2 maintenance program:
- Low pressure compressor blades, vanes and cases
- Variable inlet guide vanes module
- High pressure compressor blade, vanes, and casesVariable stator vanes
- Variable bypass valve components
- Combustor fuel system
- HP turbine blades, nozzles, and rotor assembly
- LP turbine assembly
- All instrumentation sensors
- Accessory gearbox
GE and others also offer Level 3, 4 and 5 maintenance programs which are all performed at a permanent shop where space, specialized tooling and special services are available.
Richard Langhammer is the director, plant operations for TEC. TEC is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ronald Pinder is the regional director, Latin America market development for M&I, which is headquartered in Evendale, OH. Kellie Byerly is the vice president, operations support services at Stewart & Stevenson Operations, Inc., and is located at the company's Houston, TX headquarters.