RETROFITTING STEAM TURBINES WITH MODERN CONTROL PLATFORMS
Ronald HitzelGlobal Business Development Manager Instrumentation & ControlsSiemens Westinghouse Power Corporation4400 Alafaya Trail, MC 250, Orlando, FL 32826-2399Telephone: (407) 736-2553; Fax: (407) 736-5025; E-mail: email@example.comFred BlockI&C Engineer Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation1345 Ridgeland Drive, Suite 116, Alpharetta, GA 30004Telephone: (678) 256-1606; Fax: (678) 256-1558; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Better performance throughout the steam turbines operational life improves costefficiency. Today, better control is even more important then before, as older turbinesoperate beyond their original life expectancy. Since the early 1980’s digital controlshave been the accepted standard in many North American and Europeanmanufacturing and process industries. Recent developments in digital processingtechnology (i.e. faster processing speeds, lower cost, and smaller sizes) make digitalturbine control the preferred technology of power plant operators.Traditional steam turbine controls were accomplished with a fly-ball governor for speed indication, mechanical linkages, and low-pressure turbine lube oil. Althoughthese systems are fairly reliable, they are becoming costly to maintain, as many of theoriginal control devices are now obsolete. Replacement parts, if available, are becomingexpensive with long delivery times. Maintenance of these systems required a certaindegree of familiarity and knowledge of the instrumentation of its era. The knowledgebase involving implementation of controls on mature steam turbines has diminishedover the years, which directly affects unit availability and reliability.
Turbine Control Philosophy
The modern digital turbine control system (TCS) is designed to control the mainsteam flow to the steam turbine in all operational conditions by means of the turbinethrottle, governor, admission, and or extraction control valves. The control functions areconducted through the use of simplex or redundant electronic functions incorporatedwithin the TCS software and hardware, integrated through the use of servo coilactuators.
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