As a power plant manager, you must ensure that all your steam turbines are running optimally so you can generate maximum power. Steam turbines are effective in power production and have been used in electricity production since the 1880s. Well-maintained steam turbines can serve you for over five decades. Proper maintenance means regular steam turbine testing, borescope inspection, turbine support services, and steam turbine repairs.
Steam turbine testing inspectors will detect the following flaws in your steam turbines.
1. Damaged Steam Turbine Blades
Steam turbine blades are important components of steam turbines because they’re responsible for extracting energy from high temperature and high-pressure steam. After steam is produced in the combustor, it enters the turbines in three different sections: low-pressure zones, high pressure, and intermediate pressure zones. Each of these zones relies on turbine blades to extract energy from the pressure delivered. The blades are the busiest components of the steam turbine because they are always in rotation as they convert high pressure, low pressure, and intermediate pressure steam into electricity.
For that reason, they’re more vulnerable to wear and tear. In fact, 50% of blade failure is caused by corrosion fatigue, erosion, and stress corrosion cracking. Without steam turbine testing services, it’s impossible for you to detect these defects, but generator testing companies will. Professional turbine inspectors use a borescope to conduct a non-destructive inspection of your steam turbine.
The borescope is equipped with high-definition cameras, which enables inspectors to spot blade corrosion, erosion, and developing cracks. The inspectors will then issue you a complete borescope inspection report that will outline the defects extensively and recommend the appropriate steam turbine repairs.
2. Misplaced Parts
Due to general wear and tear and poorly done installations, it’s possible for some turbine parts to fall off. This mostly happens with cracked blades that are not fixed in good time. Since the borescope has a nimble and flexible cable, inspectors can access all the interior parts of the steam turbine. This enables them to spot any loose parts and those that are already misplaced. They then organize for part retrieval. Mostly, this will require the turbine inspectors to disassemble your turbines and retrieve parts. While at it, turbine inspectors will also conduct parts removal where they find excessive corrosion, and wear and tear.
3. Accumulated Debris and Dirt
While in operation, your steam turbines may slowly accumulate dirt and debris. Over time, the accumulated dirt and debris will impede the operations of your turbine and may in the long run lead to turbine failure. To avoid this undesirable outcome, you should conduct extensive turbine inspections at least once per year. Borescope inspectors will detect even the slightest accumulation of dirt and debris inside your turbines. You can then arrange for a convenient day to have the debris removed so your steam turbines can operate at maximum efficiency.
While corrosion and erosion on the turbine blades are caused by fatigue from constant high-speed rotation, or by foreign particles inside the turbines, abrasion is caused by stationary surfaces in the turbine. These surfaces may be the fixed support components, or the turbine’s casing scrapes material. Abrasion also occurs because of poor installation of turbine blades and other components.
Additionally, other turbine blade defects such as wear and tear, fouling, corrosion, creep, vibration, and fatigue can cause and accelerate abrasion. When any of these blade damages go unrepaired, the blades will start scraping other parts of the turbine such as the compressor. When you enlist steam turbine testing services, the inspectors will detect and fix any conditions that can trigger abrasion in the steam turbines.
When even one of your steam turbines fails, your power plant will experience lengthy downtimes that can lead to serious losses in your business. To keep your steam turbines in mint condition and avoid surprise breakdowns, seek steam turbine testing services. The experienced inspectors from a top generator testing company will detect and help you repair turbine flaws in a short turnaround time.