Our upgrade solutions

OpFlex* Steam Turbine AGILITY

Steam turbine start-up can be a significant contributor to overall combined-cycle start time and variability due to complex processes with multiple operator touch points and conservative operating limits. OpFlex is an integrated, plant-level control approach. This level of automation provides enhanced combined cycle start times, reduced variability, and reduced fuel consumption.

Steam Turbine AGILITY is a comprehensive system solution to improve start times of combined-cycle plants. It includes a combination of controls upgrades with expert plant-level operational analysis and recommendations to deliver significant improvements in combined-cycle start performance.

Key features**

  • One-button start
  • Enhanced rotor stress control
  • Flexible hot start
  • Automatic temperature ramping
  • Modified reverse flow
  • Inlet Pressure Control (IPC) Setpoint Tracking

*Trademark of General Electric Company
**Control system limitations may apply

Increased HP/IP efficiencies

Steam path warming

GE has developed a robust system to allow customers the flexibility during start-up by ensuring temperature uniformity across shells.

Shell warming

This upgrade is intended for the HP/IP shell (single-shell configuration), and is designed to enable the unit to maintain a set temperature for the turbine shell, and to reduce transient shell deflections, also targeting reduced seal wear corresponding to longer sustained HP/IP section efficiencies.

When combined with GE AGILITY™ offering, there will be added benefit in reduction of start times (cold, warm, and hot). The offering consists of a heating blanket system, junction boxes, cabling, thermocouples, and a stand-alone control system.

Benefits:

  • Faster start up times (e.g. 0.5 – 1 hour reduction)
  • Works with OpFlex*
  • Longer sustained HP/IP section efficiencies
  • Reduces likelihood of rub induced vibration events

Steam turbine heat conservation system (STHCS)

The STHCS uses heated air to keep the high-temperature rotors warm during periods of standstill and prior to re-start. This solution reduces start-up times by eliminating cold start conditions as well as providing preservation of the steam turbine and condenser by maintaining humidity control when the unit is in stand-still mode.

Implementing the ST heat conservation system will prevent the steam turbine from entering a cold condition after the shutdown. The warm-keeping of the ST leads to the following benefits:

  • Improved availability through reduced start up times
  • Improved start-up efficiency
  • Enhanced flexibility by shorter response time upon demands from grid
  • Avoidance of penalties for late delivery to the grid
  • Steam turbine lifetime improvement
Solutions

Turbomax 7+ Stress Controller

The power generation industry is rapidly changing, and turbines originally manufactured for base-load operation are now required to respond quickly to grid demands. The modern requirements for steam turbine power plants (including combined-cycle installations) are faster and more frequent start-ups, combined with longer phases of low load operation (LLO).

Our solution for a new energy environment

GE has developed a modern rotor stress controller called Turbomax* 7+—available for units running older versions of Turbomax*—that is built around the following modules:

  • Steam Turbine Rotor Stress Calculation Model
  • Calculates the thermal stresses for the steam turbine rotors based upon existing measurements typically available in the turbine supervisory instrumentation suite.

  • Lifetime Usage Indicator
  • Accumulates lifetime consumption during operation caused by thermal low-cycle fatigue and creep. This indicator adapts to the changing use of the asset over time.

  • Steam Turbine Limiter and Control Functions
  • Keeps the operation of the steam turbine within the permissible limits for protection of the asset.

Benefits

Turbomax* offers several benefits for operating and maintaining the steam turbine:

  • Improved availability and reliability
  • Improved flexibility
  • Cost savings during start-up and load ramps
  • Visibility of lifetime consumption
  • Improved maintenance planning
  • Enhanced optimization with digital add-ons

*Trademark of General Electric Company