Structural Integrity Associates | News and Views, Volume 51 | High Temperature Ultrasonic Thickness Monitoring

News & Views, Volume 51 | High Temperature Ultrasonic Thickness Monitoring

TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION – THICK FILM SENSORS

By:  Jason Van Velsor and Robert ChambersStructural Integrity Associates | News and Views, Volume 51 | High Temperature Ultrasonic Thickness Monitoring

The ability to continuously monitor component thickness at high temperatures has many benefits in the power generation industry, as well as many other industries. Most significantly, it enables condition-based inspection and maintenance, as opposed to schedule-based, which assists plant management with optimizing operations and maintenance budgets and streamlining outage schedules. Furthermore, it can assist with the early identification of potential issues, which may be used to further optimize plant operations and provides ample time for contingency and repair planning.

Over the last several years, Structural Integrity has been working on the development of a real-time thickness monitoring technology that utilizes robust, unobtrusive, ultrasonic thick-film sensor technology that is enabling continuous operation at temperatures up to 800°F. 

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Attemperator Monitoring with Wireless Sensors - Risk and Cost Reduction in Real Time

News & Views, Volume 49 | Attemperator Monitoring with Wireless Sensors: Risk and Cost Reduction in Real Time

News & Views, Volume 49 | Attemperator Monitoring with Wireless Sensors - Risk and Cost Reduction in Real TimeBy: Jason Van Velsor, Matt Freeman and Ben Ruchte

Installed sensors and continuous online monitoring are revolutionizing how power plants manage assets and risk by facilitating the transformation to condition-based maintenance routines. With access to near real-time data, condition assessments, and operating trends, operators have the opportunity to safely and intelligently reduce operations and maintenance costs and outage durations, maximize component lifecycles and uptime, and improve overall operating efficiency.

But not all data is created equal and determining what to monitor, where to monitor, selecting appropriate sensors, and determining data frequency are all critical decisions that impact data value. Furthermore, sensor procurement, installation services, data historian/storage, and data analysis are often provided by separate entities, which can lead to implementation challenges and disruptions to efficient data flow.

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News & View, Volume 44 | Strategic Internal Corrosion Monitoring for Gas Pipelines

News & Views, Volume 44 | Strategic Internal Corrosion Monitoring for Gas Pipelines

By:  Lance Barton and Tom Pickthall (EnhanceCo)

REGULATORY OVERVIEW
News & View, Volume 44 | Strategic Internal Corrosion Monitoring for Gas PipelinesA March 16, 2017, advisory bulletin (Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0131 – “Pipeline Safety: Deactivation of Threats”) gave guidance on the deactivation of pipeline threats, including the threat of internal corrosion.  On April 8, 2016, PHMSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines”. Section §192.478 “Internal Corrosion Control: Onshore transmission monitoring and mitigation” of the NPRM would increase the scrutiny and requirements for monitoring and mitigating the threat of internal corrosion for the gas industry.

This bulletin and NPRM reinforce the requirements of CFR part 192-subpart O, Section 192.937, requiring gas pipeline operators to continuously assess their pipelines for the threat of internal corrosion as part of their overall integrity management program.  One of the requirements is to determine if the gas entering the system is corrosive or not corrosive.  The optimal way to prove that the gas is not corrosive is to build a thorough continuous monitoring program that considers guidance from the NPRM and the advisory bulletin.

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News & View, Volume 44 | Real-Time Damage Tracking with SI Technology and GP Strategies’ EtaPro Expanding Capabilities in Condition-based Pressure-part Integrity Management

News & Views, Volume 44 | Real-Time Damage Tracking with SI Technology and GP Strategies’ EtaPro

By:  Matt Freeman

Expanding Capabilities in Condition-based Pressure-part Integrity Management

News & View, Volume 44 | Real-Time Damage Tracking with SI Technology and GP Strategies’ EtaPro Expanding Capabilities in Condition-based Pressure-part Integrity ManagementStructural Integrity and GP Strategies recently announced an agreement to bring SI’s technology for calculating, tracking, and trending life consumption of piping and boiler components to GP Strategies EtaPRO real-time monitoring platform (Press release here).  SI has a long history with creep and fatigue damage monitoring applications, most recently with the suite of applications available as part of SI’s PlantTrack platform.  The partnership with GP Strategies brings that technology to EtaPRO, which is used worldwide by power-generating organizations to monitor the performance and reliability of their generation assets.

EtaPRO users will benefit from easy integration of SI’s leading-edge Boiler and Piping Component Reliability (BPCR) modules to quantify damage to high-pressure, high-temperature components such as tubing, piping, headers, and desuperheaters. The BPCR modules track and trend accumulated creep and fatigue damage in real time using SI’s proprietary algorithms that combine actual operating data and material condition with a plant’s specific configuration. Plant operators can use the resulting life consumption estimates to guide asset management decisions, such as changes in operating procedures, targeted inspections, or off-line analysis of anomalous conditions.

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News & View, Volume 43 | Attemperator Damage Prevention A Case Study Using Online Monitoring

News & Views, Volume 43 | Attemperator Damage Prevention A Case Study Using Online Monitoring

By:  Fred DeGrooth and Ulrich Woerz

News & View, Volume 43 | Attemperator Damage Prevention A Case Study Using Online MonitoringAttemperators (aka desuperheaters) are used in fossil and combined cycle plants to protect boiler/HRSG components and steam turbines from temperature transients that occur during startup or load changes. The attemperator sprays water droplets into the superheated steam to ensure that the downstream, mixed, steam temperature will not adversely affect downstream components.  While there are a number of attemperator designs and configurations (Figure 1 shows a schematic of a typical arrangement), all of them are potentially vulnerable to damage, making attemperators one of the most problematic components – particularly in combined cycle plants. If the causes of damage are not identified (and addressed) early, then cracking and steam leaks can occur leading to costly repairs and replacements. 

The frequent cycling and wide operating range of combined cycle plants impose particular demands on attemperator functionality.  Spraywater demand to the attemperator can fluctuate greatly within a startup where heat input to the boiler and steam flow are changing rapidly.  At part load operation spraywater may be required continuously to moderate steam temperatures because of high exhaust gas temperature from the combustion turbine.  Spraywater may also be demanded when duct burners are fired. 

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