Category: Turbine


When It’s Hot Outside, Make More MW

Your Gas Turbine Can Increase Output and Revenue with Adjustable Peak Firing

The reports say that June was the hottest month ever in Texas, however, August may have blown that record away. As an example, ERCOT reported that on Tuesday, August 13, over 73,000 MWh were generated largely in support of every air conditioner in the state running full out. For a short period that day, Reuters reported real-time prices briefly soared to $9,000 per megawatt-hour as consumers cranked up air conditioners to escape the brutal heatwave.

Turbine Technology Services offers DynaFlex Performance™ tools that take advantage of this situation and help gas turbine operators produce more MWh and revenue.

Extra Power When You Need It

Depending on their power purchase agreement, gas turbine operators may receive payment based on their maximum generation capacity, or they may need to hold a certain amount of generation in reserve as a percentage of their maximum capacity. For these reasons, adding peak firing capability to both simple and combined cycle units can bring economic benefits without a substantial impact on maintenance costs when the peak fire capability is used strategically at times of high demand.

Traditional peak firing is commonly a fixed, incremental amount of firing temperature above the rated baseload firing temperature. This increase can equate to at least a 2.5 percent increase in the output above baseload for newer GE units and potentially more for vintage GE units.  Increasing firing temperature also increases NOx emissions – which means operators must take into account NOx emission limits as they incrementally increase firing.

Adjustable Peak Firing Keeps NOx Emissions in Check

Adjustable peak firing is a valuable tool in cases where emission values exceed allowable limits before the unit reaches its standard peak firing limit. It allows the operator to increase the load to take advantage of periods of high electricity prices while staying within the maximum allowable NOx emissions dictated by their emissions permit. This mode is especially useful for merchant plants with simple cycle units or with combined cycle units with SCRs.

With TTS’s adjustable peak option, operators slowly and incrementally increase output in steps of 0.1-0.2 MW, monitoring NOx emissions as load increases.

Operators continue increasing the load until they reach a NOx value that they decide provides an acceptable degree of margin in their situation. The adjustable peak option maintains an upper firing temperature limit equal to the standard unit peak firing temperature.

Implementation of adjustable peak firing requires control system logic modifications, HMI modifications (to select adjustable peak fire) and combustion tuning necessary to install peak firing capability.  Take advantage of this hot weather, keep your air conditioner running and make more MWh and revenue in the process.

How Can We Help You?

Contact TTS and speak with a gas turbine engineer for a custom-tailored solution that addresses your unit’s operating parameters, plant requirements, and business objectives explicitly.

Leave us a message or call (407) 677-0813 to speak with an expert today.

Modernizing Vintage Gas Turbines in the Natural Gas Pipeline

Efficiently manage your assets to improve the bottom line

Modernization involves more than migrating from an old vintage system to its modern equivalent. It requires rethinking applications and upgrading multiple technologies. But in the end, it can transform a compression station’s processes and help reposition its operations for the next 20 to 30 years.

To demonstrate, in 2012, TTS was involved in the conversion project of a legacy GE Frame 5001 gas turbine.  The PLC-based turbine control system had become obsolete due to mechanical wear and outdated manual calibrations in the field.  TTS simplified the gas turbine fuel control system by eliminating the unnecessary pre-control valve pressure regulation.  The upgrade allowed for a more efficient, innovative fuel control system by reducing preventative maintenance costs from $5,000 to $10,000 per year to under $1,000 per year.  Furthermore, updating critical gas turbine instrumentation allows production machines to adapt to modern demands and ensures a reliable, productive service life.

The full benefit of a system upgrade is achieved if you do the upgrade in conjunction with a rewire and some device upgrades to support the new control systems and optimize its available features.  The primary benefit of a system upgrade is the availability of information that can be gathered, logged, and stored.  This information is paramount for operations and maintenance performance trending, predictive maintenance programs and troubling shooting problems.

There are, essentially, two types of system upgrades – drop-in and retrofit.  Read on to find out more about these system upgrades and their benefits:

Drop-in Upgrade

In a drop-in upgrade, there is no need for wiring changes, drawing changes, or engineering beyond specifying the equipment.  Examples would be:

  • Battery Systems – Charger and Battery
  • Motor Control Centers – where the control circuits are maintained

Retrofits

Complete retrofits, on the other hand, require detailed design engineering and the provision of new design documentation – specifications/drawings/software, etc. These include those above and the following:

  • Turbine Control Systems
  • Station Control Panels
  • Emergency Shutdown Systems
  • Compressor Controls
  • Motor Control Centers: Intelligent centers with control over Ethernet or DeviceNet
  • Electronic Valves applied to Fuel systems or replacing hydraulic actuators of any sort – IGV, for example.

By restoring old or obsolete automation systems that make up only a fraction of plant capital costs, pipeline operators can more efficiently manage their assets to help improve their bottom line.  Furthermore, they can leverage advanced analytics to monitor and optimize multiple stations across their pipeline fleet.

Making Obsolete Systems Operational Again

Gas turbines have recently become the technology of choice for new U.S. compressor stations, but a lot of Frame 3 and Frame 5 gas turbine units have been in service for decades and are still in operation. Modernization presents an opportunity to mitigate the risks of vintage systems and help improve business performance long term.

The need for station and unit control reliability is critical in these decades-old facilities. But their aging or obsolete systems, combined with the lack of operational and diagnostic information available in those vintage systems, can make reliability elusive.

As a result, these compression stations experience a greater risk of production stoppages and downtime. They are more likely to face support challenges and difficulty with maintaining regulatory compliance. Likewise, they spend valuable time and resources performing manual data collection and reporting.

Modernizing to a contemporary balance of plant control systems can alleviate these challenges and facilitate tighter integration between unit control and associated subsystems.

TTS: We Know Gas Turbines

Turbine Technology Systems (TTS) is an alternative to the OEMs with 36 years of experience and gas turbine expertise. We currently serve six out of the top ten largest pipeline operators in North America with services including commissioning, fuel system upgrades, the balance of plant controls, control upgrades and control panels.

Learn more by visiting our website or contact Frank Hoegler, 407-902-1344

Turbine Technology Services Partners with Voith Establishing Actuator Test Stand

New Workshop at TTS Houston Facility Provides Greater Convenience to Voith’s Local Oil & Gas Clients

Houston, TX (09/04/2018) – Turbine Technology Services (TTS) and Voith recently joined forces to add an actuator, governor and turbomachinery (AGT) test stand at the TTS Houston facility. This development brings a support network of trained technicians to the Houston area, offering greater convenience for Voith’s local oil & gas clients.

TTS opened its facility in Houston in 2016 in conjunction with its sister company Reciprocating Technology Services (RTS). RTS has been working closely with Voith in a joint development effort to provide a new starting technology for large reciprocating engines that provide zero emissions and many other benefits.

“We loved the idea of bringing Voith into our shop,” said Frank Hoegler, TTS Vice President. “This partnership provides us the opportunity for a closer relationship with Voith and its Houston-area customers. What’s great is that TTS doesn’t compete with Voith, but we share a lot of mutual clients, so it’s a win-win situation for us and our customers.”

The AGT test stand has been up-and-running for over a month, explained Thad Berry, sales account manager at Voith Digital Solutions, Inc.

“We’ve had people knocking on our door since day one,” Berry said. “Having a local, certified team of trained technicians means a lot to our Houston customers. They want a local support network that understands the actuators and their applications with the proper equipment, tools, and expertise to perform critical maintenance and emergency repairs.”

Berry continued, “Actuators can be delivered directly from the field to Voith and its trained technicians – reducing the workload and time involved with shipping. That, in turn, means that repairs and maintenance can be completed faster, allowing for shorter outages.”

About TTS

TTS is an OEM alternative that offers agility, innovation and experience delivering industry leading aftermarket parts, modernization, optimization, upgrading and custom services for our power generation clients. With over 35 years of experience providing technical solutions in the power generation and gas compression industry, TTS has managed hundreds of gas turbine installations and modernization projects. Based in Orlando, Florida, our team of 40+ engineering professionals has traveled millions of miles to over 90 countries serving more than 400 clients.

About Voith

Voith is a global technology group. With its wide range of plants, products, services, and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets for energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials, and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith today has more than 19,000 employees and earns $4.7 billion in sales. It has locations in over 60 countries and is one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. For more information, visit www.voith.com.

Contact Information:

Scott Muster, Marketing Director, TTS Energy Services
9848 Windfern Rd Houston, TX 77064
TTSEnergyServices.com
832-341-9341
smuster@TTSEnergyServices.com

Black Start – The Driver is Reliability

The solution is TTS’ Operational Excellence



The United States would face severe economic consequences if there was a serious disruption to the electricity supply. The cost could easily run into billions of dollars. While the likelihood of such an outage is low, the concerns regarding the possibility and impact of electricity blackouts is increasing. The leading concerns? Weather, aging infrastructure and cyber-attacks.Regardless of the cause, there are no yardsticks available to compare the cost of infrastructure investment to the cost of power outages. Just know, that it is all expensive. Add the potential for physical harm and injury to people effected by the blackout and there is no calculation that applies.

What is a “Black Start”?

A “black start” is the process of restoring an electric power station or a part of an electric grid to operation without relying on the external electric power transmission network. Needless to say, it’s a very complicated process. The controls and instrumentation used during a black start must operate dependably and with the utmost precision and speed.

A black start unit is one that can start its own power without support from the grid in the event of a major system collapse or a system-wide blackout. In the U.S., every region within the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) has its own black start plan and procedures. Each region also designates certain plants as black start units.

TTS Answers the Call

One of these plants recently contracted Turbine Technology Services (TTS) to work with them and other contractors to upgrade the plant’s controls and systems to meet the current technology and reliability standards. Black start operations are conducted in compliance with NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards. Black start resources are linked to the CIP EOP-005-2 standard, and any cyber asset that is essential to the operation of a black start resource is a “Critical Cyber Asset” by definition, according to NERC.

 

The Scope of the Project

TTS is very proud to be awarded this prestigious project based on TTS’ wide collection of skills and experience. The project’s gas turbine reliability improvement scope description included a detailed engineering design package for all materials to be provided for this project.

Those materials include:

  • Complete Control Building (PEECC) for two (2) units including installation of EPWS equipment and FAT testing.
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Air-Start Compressor Skid
  • Fuel Oil Forwarding Skid
  • Transmitter Panels
  • Cable Tray
  • Conduit and Cable
  • Installation engineering
  • Test packages
  • Connection drawings

In addition, the scope entails the following site installation and commissioning activities:

  • Demolition of Complete Control Room Equipment
  • Equipment Installation
  • Complete project installation and commissioning
  • PEECC
  • Fuel Skid
  • Compressors
  • Fuel Valves
  • Cable Tray
  • Conduit and Cable

TTS is excited to announce that the project is well under way. We’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening both here and on LinkedIn, so be sure to follow us online. You’ll be the first to hear all the latest details from TTS. To Be Continued…

Do you have a project that needs a TTS technical solution?
Contact us to see how we can help you meet your goals for operational excellence.

The State of Safety in Oil & Gas Industry – 2018

Abridged from DNV Report 05/07/2018

We work safer now than ever before, but: “You can’t take anything we do for granted… “

Recently, a horrible accident happened at a small welding shop behind our offices here in Houston. In this shop worked two or three welders, each one an experienced hand with 20-30 years of welding experience. While one of the welders was heating up a sealed pipe, something went terribly wrong: the pipe exploded.

When the pipe blew, we heard a loud bang and screaming. In the pipe’s sudden explosion, the welder tragically lost his arm just below the elbow. The EMTs arrived by emergency helicopter and took the injured man to the hospital to be treated. Fortunately, the man would live; unfortunately, he might not weld ever again.

Our safety lead at RTS, Tom Anderson, called an Emergency Safety Meeting. “You can’t take anything we do for granted—we work in a dangerous environment,” he said.

The oil and gas industry has become considerably safer over the past two decades according to data from several industry bodies, such as the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), as well as national associations, including those in the UK, Norway, US and Australia.

Despite this, any time you work in a high-risk environment, accidents like the one at the welding shop behind us can occur. So, is enough being done to further improve safety in the oil and gas industry? Have recent market dynamics negatively affected investments in enhancing safety performance? And how aware are industry leaders of safety risks and incidents?

You just can’t be too safe.

Key Issue – Increased Risk Due to Reduced Maintenance Investment

According to the results of DNV GL’s 2018 Industry Outlook research, close to half (46%) of the 813 senior oil and gas professionals surveyed believe that too little has been invested in maintenance and inspection of installations and equipment in recent years. Some 38% said that safety management in the oil and gas industry is effective and does not need to change – 26% disagree, while 31% are neutral. This clearly shows that the industry is divided on the need to change safety practices.

It is also interesting to note that safety performance and investment increased during the strong growth years to 2014, but only risk increased through the challenging years that followed. We have heard where some companies inadvertently increased safety risk because of incentive programs that rewarded maintenance managers for being under budget on maintenance.

Certainly, many in the industry don’t believe that their business has made any compromises on safety. “The risk that we’ve got now, in the recovering market, is that companies forget about the underinvestment that they made,” says Graham Bennett, vice president, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “Ramping up operations to take new opportunities can result in a worrying picture if companies don’t recognize the underinvestment made in the last few years. There is always a lag between periods of underinvestment and any associated safety impact.”

Downstream Sector Set to Invest More in Safety

In our survey, respondents from the downstream sector currently expect the highest increase in safety spending (41%) this year, compared with other parts of the industry. We also find the downstream sector to be more concerned about safety than other areas of the value chain. For instance, only 12% of respondents overall say that cost cutting over the past three years has increased health and safety risk, but this figure is nearly double (23%) in the downstream sector.

Digital Safety Measures Increasing

Many new investments in safety will be aimed at digitalizing safety monitoring, processes and responses this year. A clear finding from our survey is a significant increase in the proportion of respondents (54%) who intend to boost spending on digitalization in 2018 – up from 39% expected for 2017. Looking further ahead, over the next five years, 76% of respondents say they will invest in digitalization.

Already, even where cutbacks have been widespread, 40% say digitalization has improved safety over the past three years. “The industry has been a quick adopter of new technology and digitalization,” says Mr. Lu Nianming. “Technology has helped us improve safety monitoring systems, data analytics helps us determine which processes, areas and equipment are more accident-prone, while we have wearable equipment to monitor workers in case they faint or fall.”

A key advantage of digitalization in the safety context is that it can allow for the integration and transparent communication of hundreds of key indicators from across an organization. For example, DNV GL’s MyQRA service draws on data from quantitative risk assessment (QRA) reports to create a single source of safety data that can help all stakeholders generate deeper safety insights, better understand important safety signals, make decisions and predict future outcomes.

Senior Executives are More Positive About Safety Than the Field Engineers

Encouragingly, most survey participants (85%) say that safety risks and incidents are reported to senior management, and this figure rises to 91% among those working for companies with an annual revenue over USD500m. But how do perspectives on safety differ between those closer to the boardroom and those closer to the hazards?

Our survey found:

  • Senior management (45%) are more likely than engineers and technical specialists (32%) to say safety management is effective and does not need to change.
  • Nearly twice as many engineers/technical specialists (28%) as business leaders (15%) say that a focus on profitability has had a negative impact on safety performance.
  • Most business leaders (65%) say that senior management understands the impact of cost cutting on safety, while just 50% of engineers and technical specialists say the same.

This indicates that those in the boardroom are, to some degree, more optimistic about safety than those in the field. While further research is needed to understand why this is the case, it suggests that senior leaders in the oil and gas industry could benefit from spending time better understanding the risks faced by those on the front line.

The Right Mindset: Perpetual Improvement

Overall, long-term trends indicate a strong improvement in the safety of oil and gas industry workers over time. The industry appears to be largely continuing this path, increasing investment and modernizing safety procedures and equipment. However, there are reasons to caution the optimism – from lower investment in safety in recent years, to the relatively higher concerns identified in the downstream sector, and by more junior and technical employees.

“Operators cannot afford not to maintain safety – they are aware, of course, that they can’t compromise in this area – I don’t really believe they are allowing maintenance or safety standards to slip,” says Frank Ketelaars, regional manager, Americas at DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “In fact, in many places the pressure to raise standards has increased.”

In Closing

While zero risk is not achievable, much more can be done to stop preventable incidents. “We are in an industry that involves risks,” says Tom Anderson, Operations Director, RTS. “Safety incidents will happen no matter how much we do, but we can work to get the rate of incidents as low as possible. And to do that we must constantly focus on the need for improvements. Safety Matters Most.”

Turbine Technology Services Showcases Fast Start at 2016 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference

Industry-leading gas turbine technology company provides flexible enhancements for gas turbines

Turbine Technology Services, a world leader in 7EA gas turbine expertise and technology, will be showcasing its Fast Start program at the 2016 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference at booth #45 from November 1 – 3 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Gas turbine plants are challenged to provide the necessary fast response to maintain grid stability. TTS’ Fast Start program helps power plants reach full load for power generation in as little as just a few minutes. This flexibility can be applied to units through major upgrades or routine enhancements. TTS consults with clients about the unit’s capabilities and then recommends the appropriate strategies to achieve fast start on their turbines.

“TTS has an array of products and services targeted to the 7EA market,” said Pat Begley, TTS Vice President. “We are excited about the opportunity to discuss our Fast Start program with the 7EA attendees because by integrating this program, power plants will have the ability to change output rapidly, start and stop with short notice, and achieve a low minimum turn-down level.”

The 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference attracts industry leaders, engineers, operators and innovative thinkers from around the world. Attendees use this time to discuss ideas and solutions for 7EA gas turbine best practices, problems, upgrades, challenges and solutions.

TTS provides gas turbine technology expertise and turbine engineering and construction services worldwide. The company’s experience and ability to provide technical solutions has led to the successful management of numerous gas turbine installations and modernization projects, and the provision of innovative and unique engineering solutions to gas turbine customers.

To explore the full benefits of Fast Start, visit TTS at booth #45 during the 2016 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference. Mention Fast Start at the booth to collect an exclusive HomingPIN.

To learn more about the program, visit http://www.ttsfaststart.com/7ea/.

Turbine Technology Services Introduces LODESTAR™ Turbine Parts Management

Industry-leading gas turbine technology company launches new software to increase performance

Turbine Technology Services (TTS), an industry-leading gas turbine technology company, introduces LODESTAR™ Parts Management, a new software that gathers and organizes large amounts of plant operational and unit component life data, then presents that data in actionable reports.

“Lodestar is defined as a star that shows the way,” said Dave May, Parts Group Manager for TTS. “Our new software guides the management of turbine parts. LODESTAR is an easy-to-use, cloud-based software empowering users to make informed decisions and accurately plan.”

LODESTAR tracks the full maintenance history and calculates remaining component useful life using online operational data, inspection data, TILs, and component life standards and experience. The software provides tools that manipulate this data to eliminate operational surprises including:

  • Simulator-based future planning (“what if” scenarios).
  • Graphical representation of maintenance timelines.
  • Cost and value reports and budget planning.

“We project that digital systems and processes like LODESTAR will generate 16 percent cost savings,” said Tony Thornton, President of TTS. “With today’s budget sensitivity, that is significant.”

Cost savings aren’t the only driver for adoption, additional benefits include:

  • Accommodates a more fluid workforce. LODESTAR is licensed by the unit and not by the seat. Train the entire maintenance team at no additional cost.
  • Provides consistent data visibility to all stakeholders.
  • Improves levels of innovation and transparency through sophisticated forecasting models.
  • Allows engagement in an ecosystem with technology partners.
  • Provides a clearer picture of parts life, minimizing unplanned downtime.

By weaving systems, data and people together, LODESTAR creates solutions that increase performance across many levels.

Accenture research indicates that nearly 90 percent of utilities anticipate that technological advances will rapidly and significantly change the industry over the next three years. The industry is now poised to take advantage of emerging technologies with LODESTAR.

TTS has the engineering expertise and over thirty years’ experience providing support and counsel to help client’s make LODESTAR an integral part of their gas turbine’s parts management platform. Follow the star to better decision making and planning.

Explore the in-depth capabilities of LODESTAR and TTS by visiting www.ttslodestar.com.

Outage Kits for Convenience and Cost Control

In our outage kits, you pay only for the parts you use.

Consumables are typically 10% of a gas turbine’s maintenance costs. That’s a significant number in the budget in of itself, but greater still are the associated soft and hard costs for placing multiple PO’s to multiple vendors, receiving, identifying and logging hundreds of small parts into inventory, storage costs, stocking excess inventory and inventory holding costs. … [Read More]

CyberSecurity: “The single biggest threat out there is cyber.”

7F Users Group Conference: CyberSecurity… Options for Gas Turbine Control Systems

Turbine Technology Services (TTS)  is delivering a presentation at the 7F Users Group Annual Conference being held in Orlando, FL, May 9-13 that is focused on the compliance and threat issues that gas turbine control systems face. “In the past, many owners and operators haven’t focused very much on security and staying current with their cyber assets.” Said David Donnaruma, Project Engineer, TTS. … [Read More]

Establishing Cybersecurity Compliance Position to Support Power Plant Customer NERC/FERC Requirements

Turbine Technology Services adds cybersecurity compliance support to its existing suite of plant control system design and support services. 

(ORLANDO, FLORIDA) —Turbine Technology Services (TTS), a full-service turbine engineering firm based in Orlando, Florida, is solidifying its focus on supporting customer cybersecurity compliance efforts by appointing Mark Ring as its Senior Compliance Coordinator. … [Read More]