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Christoforos Romesis Laboratory of Thermal Turbomachines National Technical University of Athens, Greece

CONDITION-BASED MAINTENANCE FOR GAS TURBINES PLANTS
Yi-Guang Li Department of Power and Propulsion Cranfield University, Bedford England

Abstract Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) is a maintenance approach for machinery and industrial equipment, where decisions are made based on the current condition of the asset, the operation of which is monitored. A CBM program consists of three parts: Data Acquisition, Data Processing and Decision Making, where the last one can further be divided into a Diagnostic part and a Prognostic part. This paper attempts an overview of the concept of CBM in the field of Gas Turbines. A review of certain key methods and techniques is provided, along with some existing commercial tools. Through this review, the benefits of incorporating CBM policies into Gas Turbine plants are revealed and the areas where future research should focus on are highlighted.

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INTRODUCTION

One of the major challenges for Gas Turbine users is to ensure high level of engine availability and reliability, and efficient operation during their complete life-cycle. For this purpose, various maintenance approaches have been introduced over the years. Historically, the earliest maintenance approach of machinery equipment is the socalled Breakdown Maintenance or Run to Failure, according to which maintenance actions are taken only after breakdown. A later and more advanced maintenance approach, the Preventive Maintenance or Scheduled Maintenance, involves maintenance actions after specific time intervals of operation, regardless the condition of the engines. Nowadays, due to increased complexity of Gas Turbine plants along with higher safety standards and lower profit margins, a move from traditional maintenance approaches to more reliable and costeffective maintenance approaches, is required. This leads to Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM), where maintenance actions are taken according to the actual condition of the operating engines, which is assessed through appropriate condition monitoring procedures. According to Jardine et al. [1]: “CBM is a maintenance program that recommends maintenance actions based on the information collected through condition monitoring. CBM attempts to avoid unnecessary maintenance tasks by taking maintenance actions only when there is evidence of abnormal behaviors of a physical asset”. In general, a CBM program consists of three main parts [1], [2]: • The Data Acquisition part, where data are acquired from engines under monitoring; • The Data Processing part, where the acquired data are validated and transformed properly according to the requirements of the decision-making techniques that follow; • The Decision Making part, where a number of methods and techniques are applied to

2 BRIEF REVIEW ON CBM METHODS AND TECHNIQUES This section provides a brief review of existing methods and practices covering all aspects of CBM. the structure of the paper is as follows. discussions. However. The aim of the paper is to provide a comprehensive review of existing CBM tools. repairs. temperature measurements through thermocouples and/or resistance temperature detectors. Condition Monitoring Data are normally collected by using available instrumentation on gas turbine engines: vibration measurements through accelerometers. This review tries to reveal both the importance of incorporating CBM approaches into gas turbine plants and the fields where relevant future research should be focused on. such as history of faults. temperature and relative humidity. ambient conditions measurements. breakdowns. temperature. Event Data and Condition Monitoring Data. [2] and [3]. Event data include all historical data and records of the targeted gas turbine engines. methods and techniques related to CBM is given in Section 2. while Condition Monitoring Data consist of all acquired measurement along the operating engines. namely ambient pressure. conclusions and potential future research in the area are provided in Section 4. Some existing commercial CBM programs are described in Section 3. sensors and sensing strategies are given in [1] and [4]. a summary. shafts speed measurement. Methods developed by the research teams in the Laboratory of Thermal Turbomachines of National Technical University of Athens (LTT/NTUA) and the Department of Power and Propulsion of Cranfield University (CU) are also described in the same Section. corrosion through corrosion probe).the available data to obtain the current health condition of the engine and recommend maintenance plans. A more detailed description on gas turbine condition monitoring measurements. 2 . A more in-depth review can be found in [1].1 DATA ACQUISITION The first part of a CBM program is related to Data acquisition. There are two types of data that can be acquired. Although the majority of available CBM methods and techniques rely only on Condition Monitoring Data. overhauls etc. velocity pick-ups and displacement sensors. which can be divided into two main processes. 2. techniques and procedures.2 DATA PROCESSING The second part of a CBM program is data processing. which is the process of collecting and storing useful information from engines for CBM purposes. as stated by Jardine [1]. organized into sections representing the three parts of a CBM program. corrosion probe. Data Cleaning and Data Analysis. torque measurements. lube oil measurements (pressure. exhaust gas analysis. Thus. 2. indicative of its current operating and health condition. Event Data are not acquired usually in an automated way and therefore. pressure measurements at various gas path stations of the engines through pressure transducers. fuel system measurements through water capacitance probe. A brief review of existing tools.. Finally. Event Data are equally important to efficient CBM. and Btu detector. manual data entry is required.

through appropriate sensor validation techniques.2. temperatures and pressures along the engine gas path during operation are all value type data. b. Firstly.1 Data Cleaning Data cleaning is the first step of data processing. called noise filtering. Data analysis approaches strongly rely on the nature of available data. These techniques aim at detecting and isolating any possible sensor fault. Existence of a sensor malfunction may mislead a CBM program. Measurement noise can be significant and can alone lead to wrong assessment of engine health condition. the Delta () is defined as follows: = − The use of Deltas has advantages over the use of raw measurements for two reasons. 2. while more modern techniques allow also an estimation of the underlying sensor bias.2. specific Gas Turbines fault conditions result in distinct measurements Deltas and therefore Deltas can act as patterns of specific engine health conditions. Value Type data Feature extraction on Value Type data depends mainly on the problem in concern. 3 ∙ 100% (1) . where data of a condition monitoring variable is acquired in the form of time series. vibration data and acoustic emissions data are waveform type data. approaches related to Kalman filter [6] or Fuzzy Logic methods [7] and Artificial Neural Networks [8]-[12]. Value type. Thus. A typical approach applied on aerothermal data –which is the majority of Value Type data of Gas Turbines condition monitoring variables –is the estimation of the percentage deviation of a measurement from its nominal value. this step can also be found in literature under the term ‘feature extraction’.2 Data analysis The second step of data processing is Data analysis. Waveform type. A good summary of state-of-the-art noise filtering techniques and related signal processing processes is given in [2]. For example. Thus. For example. Over the years. At this step acquired measurements are further processed in order to extract useful information that can be used at the Decision Making part of CBM for diagnostic and/or prognostic purposes. where its nominal value during a fault-free operation of the Gas Turbine at the same operating conditions is . the dependence of Deltas on the operating point is very weak when neighboring operating conditions are considered. For an acquired measurement of a condition monitoring aerothermal variable. For this reason.2. also called time waveform. Secondly. should always be applied. The main principles of data analysis and signal processing techniques usually applied are described in [2]. the co-called Delta of a measurement [13]. where data of a condition monitoring variable is acquired in the form of single values. At this step the acquired measurements are filtered to reduce measurement noise and validated. data processing to reduce measurement noise. application of appropriate sensor validation techniques is common to CBM. such as analytical redundancy methods [5]. several types of Sensor Validation techniques have been proposed by many researchers. Condition monitoring data are versatile and can be grouped into two main categories [1]: a.

during which the affected component is still operational even though at a degraded mode. which is very common during Gas Turbines operation at the presence of faults [1]. More traditional approaches rely on the principles of statistical analysis and involve the estimation of parameters.3. This is the part of CBM where the assessment of the health condition of gas turbine plant takes place and also maintenance plans are proposed. In the last few years it has attracted a lot of interests of researchers in CBM practices and therefore it is mentioned separately. peak-to-peak intervals. among others. such as Auto-Regressive (AR) models and Auto-Regressive Moving Average (ARMA) models [16] . etc. The most commonly used technique for Spectrum Analysis is Power Spectrum. skewness. Time-Frequency analysis allows feature extraction from Waveform Type data in both the time and frequency domain. As stated in [2]. standard deviations. Waveform Type data There are three main categories of Waveform Type data analysis in the literature: Time-Domain analysis. while an example of application is given in [15]. kurtosis etc. [17]. although other techniques have also been developed. A review of Data Reduction techniques can be found in [14]. [21] . although sound simpler than Waveform Type data. such as Cepstrum. isolating and identifying an impending or incipient failure condition. isolating and identifying a component that has ceased to operate. such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and its extension. there is no consensus on the terminology related to Diagnostics. However the following definitions have been adopted by the military and other sectors of industry: Fault diagnosis is defined as the procedure of detecting. such as: mean values. Value type data.1 Diagnosis Diagnosis can be described as a procedure of reasoning to interpret the heath condition of machinery equipment using data acquired during its operation. is the Data Reduction. Frequency-domain analysis and Time-frequency analysis. [1] . The most popular analysis is the Spectrum Analysis by means of Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Fusion technique is highly associated with both Diagnosis and Prognosis. can be applied. More advanced approaches involve time-series models. Wigner–Ville distribution [20] and Wavelet Analysis [20].3 DECISION MAKING The third part of a CBM program is Decision Making. along with a review on approaches related to Information Fusion. Data Reduction Techniques. 2. Independent Component Analysis (ICA). This part of CBM covers two areas: Diagnosis and Prognosis. High-Order Spectrum. The most commonly used techniques. [18]. 4 . each of them having different degree of correlation with the phenomena of interest. In these cases. This is particularly useful for transient data analysis. usually involve large number of variables.Another issue related to Value Type data. Failure diagnosis is defined as the procedure of detecting. A brief review of available methods and techniques on both areas is given in this paragraph. 2. are: Short-time Fourier Transform (STFT) and Spectrogram [19]. In Time-Domain analysis features are extracted directly from the waveform timeseries. In Frequency-Domain analysis features are extracted through signal processing in the frequency domain. which is the power of STFT.

which is a classification method.Fault (failure) detection. In actual diagnostic problems. These methods are suitable in cases where a large amount of historical records are available or where various health conditions of the engines can be reproduced (e. A good example of Kalman Filter-based diagnostic methods is described in [31]. where the alternative hypothesis is H1: ‘Fault A is not present’. In all these cases useful diagnostic information can be extracted through appropriate application of statistics. etc. . The simplest statistical approaches can deal with fault detection through a classic Hypothesis Test. Stamatis et al. Existing diagnostic methods can be grouped into three main categories and are reviewed in the following: Model-based approaches This category includes diagnostic methods where the core tool for diagnostic reasoning is based on engine thermodynamic models. Statistical approaches In this category all methods in which diagnostic conclusions are derived mainly through the use of the principles of statistics. [29]. [27]. which is a method based on the Markov Process of probability theory and Support Vector Machines (SVM) [33]. This is a classification method where an examined case is classified into one of a number of predefined known health conditions of the engine. [23]. statistical approaches are also able to handle the inherent stochastic nature of the diagnostic problem. isolation and identification can further be given the following meaning: . There is an extent bibliography on gas turbine diagnostics. where engine health condition is estimated through a recursive statistical processing of measurements time series. Voponi [24]. Another popular approach that fall into this category is Kalman Filters.g. .Fault (failure) detection: An abnormal operating condition is detected and reported. Moreover. through an engine performance model). with null hypothesis H0: ‘Fault A is present’. The most popular approach is Statistical Pattern Recognition methods. For example.Fault (failure) isolation: Determining which component is failing or has failed. Doel [25] and [26]. Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches AI methods for gas turbine diagnosis have become very popular since more than a decade ago due to many reasons. where the relationship among the involved parameters is determined through explicit mathematical and thermodynamic equations. A typical Pattern Recognition method is described in [29]. Li [30].Fault (failure) identification: Estimating the nature and extent of the fault (failure). GPA and many of its derivatives were introduced by Urban et al. many AI methods are capable of reasoning and revealing the cause-effect relationship among observable measurement and non5 . Escher and Singh [28]. containing a large number of methods that have been proposed by many researchers over the years. Aretakis et al. where the acquired set of measurements from an operating engine is compared with measurements sets that result from known engine faults. Different model-based gas path diagnostic methods have been developed since GPA was first introduced by Urban [22] around 1967. For example. however. model-based diagnostic approaches rely on engine thermodynamic performance models. Other statistical approaches used for gas turbine diagnostics are Hidden Markov Models (HMM) [32]. more advanced statistical approaches are required. In the field of gas turbines gas path diagnostics.

In addition. Genetic Algorithms (GA) that mimics natural evolution processes is also a popular AI method [40]. The fault propagation process is usually estimated through forecasting models and techniques given available historical measurements and health conditions of the engine. There are many AI methods that have been developed for gas turbine diagnosis. Stochastic AI methods widely used are Bayesian Belief Networks (BNN) [41]. for example. The concept of incorporating prognostics into maintenance plans is discussed in [1] while some early work in this area is described in [47] and [48]. [45] and AI approaches [46]. availability etc. which are a combination of probability Theory with Graph theory and Fuzzy-Logic that measure the degrees of truth of the involved parameters value [42].3. which is the remaining safe operating time before failure. The large safety margin imposed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to ensure safety operations makes the engine’s life estimation too 6 . Radial Basis Function (RBF) networks [37]. A nested neural network approach was introduced by Ogaji and Singh [39]. i.3. Model-based approaches [43]. such as safety.2 Prognosis Prognosis can be considered as the procedure of estimating the future health condition of an engine based on past and present information acquired from the engine and/or assessment of its current health condition. Maintenance plan optimization is practically a problem of optimizing some key factors.e. One of the most popular AI methods is the Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). The ultimate goal of any Prognostic approaches is to suggest maintenance actions and optimize maintenance plans. Prognosis is practically expressed through the estimation of the Remaining Useful Life (RUL). The failure mechanism. Statistical approaches [44].3 Lifing Analysis Life assessment has always been a major concern to the gas turbine users for both safety and economy considerations. Auto-Associative Neural Networks (AANN) [36].g. reliability.observable health parameters when the functional relationship between them is unknown or incomplete. the literature of Prognosis is much more limited. Overestimating the engine’s life could lead to catastrophic incidents and economic losses while underestimating the engine’s life will cause the premature removal of the engine. Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN) [12] and Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) which are unsupervised ANN [38]. can be expressed in many ways varying from a simple set of hard limits of selected engine parameters to more sophisticated models (e. Nevertheless. mathematical model of crack growth). Compared to Diagnosis. Different architectures and algorithms of ANNs have been introduced for gas turbine gas path diagnostics. RUL estimation requires estimation of the fault propagation process and knowledge of the failure mechanism. existing prognostic methods are grouped into three categories. on the other hand. some AI methods offer higher efficiency in handling stochastic phenomena like those encountered in diagnostic problems. diagnostics using Feed Forward Back-Propagation (FFBP) ANN [35]. risk. 2. 2. Additionally. cost. The most traditional approach is the Expert Systems (ES) where an inference engine consisting of a set of IF-THEN type of rules [34] is used. but the whole calculations may be divided into smaller actions taking place in parallel. Another reason is their ability to deal efficiently with large systems where lots of parameters may be involved and vast amount of calculations may be required.

An example of a Feature-Level Fusion technique is presented in [53]. it will help the users to make informed maintenance decisions. inaccurate diagnostic conclusions made from a specific diagnostic method) or unreliable condition monitoring (e. maximise operation effectiveness and thus cut down operating costs.g.g. ‘operation’ or ‘change of engine health’ points of view. but a methodology that can be applied to all parts of it. A description of the techniques on Data-Level Fusion is given in [2]. At the DecisionLevel Fusion. While most of them focus on investigating creep life from the ‘material’ point of view. [50] used a lifing model to investigate the degradation effect on the HP turbine blades’ creep life of a turbofan F404-GE400 engine. the guidelines do not always address the specific operating environment and requirements of each operator. Feature-Level Fusion refers to techniques that combine different signal processing approaches and result in a feature extraction incorporating valuable information for the Decision making part of CBM. Therefore.conservative. it is described as follows. Naeem et al. which leads to a waste of engine life during engine life span. combining many diagnostic methods. combining many sources of information may expand the capability of a CBM program (e.4 Information Fusion In the last few years more and more researchers recognize the need of combining multiple sources of information for the CBM needs as relying on a single source of information may lead to inaccurate conclusions (e. have introduced a “Creep Factor” to estimate the creep life consumption of HP turbine of a helicopter engine using a model based approach [51] and an artificial neural network approach [52]. Since it gains a lot of interest lately by the research community.g. Some research focusing on engine creep life consumption due to varying engine operation and health conditions has been published. Additionally. each perform better than the others on diagnosing specific fault conditions). refers to techniques that combine diagnostic/prognostic methods aiming at a more accurate and/or more reliable diagnostic/prognostic conclusions. measurement acquired from a single sensor that may fail or malfunction). less information is available in the open literatures that discuss the creep life from the ‘performance’. as the life limits provided by the OEMs are normally calculated on the basis of a design envelope of expected base load. having the knowledge of how engine life responds to changes in the ambient. on the other hand. there are techniques that combine the results of independently acting methods 7 . For example. Moreover. Feature-Level Fusion and Decision-Level Fusion. Fusion is not a specific part of a CBM program. operating and health conditions becomes very important as these changes will affect the engine performance parameters and hence alter the engine life. This combination of information sources is described by the term Information Fusion. Tinga et al. Techniques allow Information Fusion can be grouped into three categories depending on the part of CBM they are applied. [49] examined the degradation effect on the high pressure (HP) turbine blades’ creep life of a turbofan F100PW-220 engine using an integrated lifing model. Decision-Level Fusion. Data-Level Fusion refers to techniques allowing fusion of the readings of multiple sensors and resulting in a single value of the measured quantity. These are Data-Level Fusion. Abdul Ghafir et al. calculated mechanical and thermal stresses as a function of the operating condition and the capability of the materials within those conditions.3. 2. Many studies have been conducted in order to understand how these changes affect the creep life. If the changes can be quantified.

lifing and maintenance planning). prognosis) . prognosis. but also be able to measure the combined impact of the CBM program. A more detailed discussion on the concept of CBM performance metrics is attempted in [2] where the lack of standards is mentioned and also a number of approaches that can be used as starting point in filling the gap are described.Prognosis performance metrics . Performance metrics involve well established. These approaches involve: . Another example of a Decision-Level Fusion approach applied to both diagnosis and prognosis is [56] where an information fusion system for engine diagnostics and health management developed for the P&W F117 engine is described [57]. who are discouraged in investing and incorporating CBM systems into their plants [2]. Such procedures should not only allow validation and evaluation of incorporated methods and techniques at all parts of a CBM program (ranging from data acquisition and processing.Feature-evaluation metrics . Fuzzy Logic [59] and so on. This question is important since neither commercial nor military standards exist to support a systematic and consistent approach to assessing the performance and effectiveness of CBM technologies and this is recognized as one of the main barrier between research community and engine users.Fault diagnosis performance metrics . Information fusion techniques are based on methods like Dempster-Schafer theory [54].(see. So far. to fault diagnosis. The EHMIR provided references or theme problems to aid technology development and evaluation.Effectiveness metrics (diagnosis. generally accepted and independently acting procedures that are able to assess both the technical and economic feasibility of CBM systems. 2.5 Contribution of the LTT/NTUA research group The research group of the Laboratory of Thermal Turbomachines of the National Technical University of Athens (LTT/NTUA) is active for nearly 25 years in the field of gas 8 . [35]. [61]. [40]. efforts are limited in a number of few benchmark cases proposed by several researchers to allow the evaluation of available diagnostic methods [60]. including evaluating both costs and performance of the whole CBM system. where a set of benchmark fault cases have been considered and used by many researchers for diagnostic methods evaluation [62]. as in [55] for example. Artificial Neural Networks [58].4 CBM performance metrics One question that the CBM community should answer is how the performance and effectiveness of CBM systems can be assessed. This idea has been further supported by the Engine Health Management Industry Review (EHMIR).Cost/benefit analysis of CBM 2. for example. [54]) and techniques where one method feeds another. A gas path diagnostic theme and associated metrics for benchmarking the performance of diagnostic solutions resulted from the EHMIR effort is described in [63]. [55]. Evaluation of diagnostic methods has been studied in a more systematic way during the OBIDICOTE project conducted by European Research Community.

Additionally. In the area of prognostics incorporating maintenance policies. The research activities of LTT/NTUA group expand to the whole range of the CBM area and they have resulted in the development of a large number of methods and techniques. as well as complete monitoring and diagnostic systems that are on use. including design and off-design performance modeling [84] with the 9 . LTT/NTUA has developed a number of methods allowing sensor validation and sensor fault diagnosis. More details of the relevant technologies developed at Cranfield are described as follows. One of the key technologies for gas turbine gas path diagnostics is the capability of accurate performance modeling of gas turbine engines. Deterioration Tracking methods [13] allowing the estimation of engine performance parameters during gradual deterioration of its components performance. CBM software allowing condition monitoring. prognostic and lifing techniques have been developed by the Cranfield team. It has been supported and funded by several industrial partners. Suggestively. a large number of technical papers have been published. varying from Adaptive Performance Modeling methods [65]. including Pattern recognition Methods [70]. In recent years fusion approaches have also been developed incorporating principles of the Dempster-Schafer theory [54]. 2. LTT/NTUA has developed a number of model-based diagnostic methods. Among them. several patents [81]-[83] have been filed and computer software has been developed. a combinatorial approach [67] and an optimization technique [60]. implemented in the J-79 jet-engines test cell. The aforementioned methods have been applied successfully for the diagnosis of benchmark fault cases [41] and real implanted faults [79] and a number of CBM software have been developed by LTT/NTUA.6 Contribution of the CU research group Research in gas turbine gas path diagnostics at Cranfield University was initiated by Prof. even at the simultaneous presence of engine component faults. along with a performance model ‘zooming’ for in-depth component fault diagnosis [69]. Wavelet analysis [21] and Stochastic approaches [71]. Rigorous gas turbine performance modeling techniques. A condition monitoring software has also been developed for the Hellenic Air force. A number of developed diagnostic methods have been applied in cases where Waveform Type data were available. isolation and identification of sensor faults. Probabilistic Neural Networks [76] and Fuzzy logic [77]. like methods based on Bayesian Belief Networks [40]. Different gas path diagnostic. is EGEFALOS software [80] that allows condition monitoring and fault diagnosis and so far is in operation on a FIAT TG-20 and an ABB-GT10 gas turbine. Model-based methods through appropriate optimization techniques [64] and Probabilistic Neural Network based methods [12] that allow the detection. [66].turbines condition monitoring and diagnostics. Among them. is under development. LTT/NTUA has recently proposed a procedure for compressor washing economic analysis and optimization [78]. Probabilistic Neural Networks [72]. A wide range of developed methods falls into the category of AI approaches. Fuzzy Logic [73] and Neural networks based methods for diagnosis through engine emissions [74]. [75]. Currently. Riti Singh and has been carried out around 30 years. Manx Electricity Authority (MEA) in the UK and China Aviation Powerplant Research Institute of AVIC in China. diagnosis and prognosis for a 334MW CCGT comprising two PG9171 GE gas turbines and one SST-900 Siemens steam turbine. [68] that both handle efficiently the problem of estimating engine performance parameters from a limited set of measurements. there are Pattern Recognition Methods [29]. including Rolls-Royce.

The importance of the measurement selection was analyzed in [100] and a measurement selection approach to improve the quality of gas path diagnostics has been developed [101].consideration of a variety of gas turbine configurations. Gas path sensors provide essential performance information of gas turbine engines and therefore detection and recovery of failed sensors is one of the critical steps in gas path diagnostics. [84]. design point performance adaptation [85] and off-design performance adaptation techniques [86]. [89]. with a focus on creep life. diagnostics using Rough Set theory [97]. gas path diagnostics using transient measurement data based on Genetic Algorithms [98] and Artificial Neural Networks [99] have also been developed. has been developed at Cranfield. Turbomatch/Pythia [89]. Gas turbine lifing analysis is also an important part of engine condition monitoring. Adaptive GPA [30]. Selection of gas path measurements for gas path diagnostics plays an important role in order to achieve satisfactory diagnostics results and obtain the best possible observability of engine health and performance conditions. diagnostics using Fuzzy Logic [95]. 10 . diagnostics using nested Artificial Neural Networks [94]. degradation. Different sensor diagnostic approaches have been developed. There are significant amount of research available on engine lifing analysis based on detailed m material information and using finite element approaches. which is not convenient for quick estimation of engine life consumption of gas turbine engines. such as those using Genetic Algorithms [90]. Artificial Neural Networks [94]. different model based and non-model based techniques have been developed over the years. More recently. varying ambient conditions. It is modular based so performance models for gas turbine engines with different configurations can be easily set up with excellent flexibility. However. [87] have also been developed in order to adapt engine thermodynamic model to real engine performance due to the very high requirement of accurate performance models for gas path diagnostics. Apart from the above gas path diagnostics where steady state gas path measurement data are used. 3 CBM ON GAS TURBINES APPLICATIONS In this section a few existing commercial solutions that allow the use of CBM for gas turbine applications are described. [102]. Unique software for gas turbine thermodynamic performance simulation and gas path diagnostics. along with some examples that demonstrate the benefits of incorporating a CBM approach. variable geometries. those approaches are too complicated and very time consuming. etc. Application of the developed gas path diagnostic system and the software to real gas turbine engines has been carried out and proved to be successful. etc. a concept of Creep Factor [51] was introduced to assess the speed of creep lifing consumption and unique gas turbine creep life analysis approaches using a model based method [50]. In gas path diagnostics. including linear and nonlinear GPA based on Influence Coefficient Matrix [88]. Special versions of the software have been developed for industrial partners to meet their special needs in their performance and diagnostic analysis. etc. Genetic Algorithms based approach [90]-[93]. Therefore. [103]. multiple fuels. water injection. [104]. diagnostics using non-linear weighted least squares approach [96]. operation and health condition have been developed. all implemented in computer program Turbomatch have been developed. environmental. Influence Coefficient Matrix [89]. [51] and Artificial Neural Networks [52] with the consideration of varying ambient.

If. For example. More details about Bently Nevada System1® and associated solutions and services can be found in GE’s measurement and control official site: http://www. An extension of this platform is Bently PERFORMANCE™ that offers online thermodynamic performance monitoring of machinery.ge-mcs. due to efficient condition monitoring and CBM.1 EXISTING CBM COMERCIAL TOOLS In gas turbines industry there are a very limited number of commercial tools available for CBM applications. From gas turbine users’ point of view. monitoring. since a CBM program estimates the confidence level of plant operation. condition monitoring provided by CBM allows better maintenance planning due to being able to order spare parts and arrange personnel and necessary maintenance equipment in well advance. In addition. can result in an overall cost reduction of up to $1 million per annum.2 BENEFITS FROM INCORPORATING CBM SOLUTIONS The benefits from incorporating CBM policies into gas turbines plants are many and include increased safety. the fuel cost for modern fossil fuel gas turbine power plants ranging from 600–2800 MW can be between $72 million and $168 million per annum. which would result in improved availability and reduced operating costs.[108]. One of these products includes an automated expert system for power plant operational data analysis.3. A more detailed description of Siemens Power Diagnostics® Services is given in [105]. fuel composition and machine operating conditions while taking into account real time degradations.com/ Siemens Power Diagnostics® Services is a group of products providing CBM related services for gas turbine plants. Two of them developed by engine manufacturers are briefly described here. and event diagnostics of GE gas turbine plants. An additional capability of System 1® is the Predictive Emissions Monitoring System (PEMS) that is able to predict the level of stack emissions generated by gas turbines based on ambient conditions. for instance. As stated by Boyce in [4]. 3. GE Plant Maintenance Operations Software – Bently Nevada System1® is a patented condition monitoring platform for real-time optimization of equipment and selected processes. From maintenance’s point of view. asset reliability and availability along with cost-efficient plant operation. and the Radio Frequency Monitor (RFM). 11 . gas turbines operating costs amount to 70–80% of the life cycle costs of the facility. Operating a plant as close as possible to its design conditions will guarantee that its operating costs will be reduced. a fault at an early stage has been detected and the development of this fault is accelerated later at specific operating conditions. A few success stories of incorporating CBM policies and related diagnostic approaches into gas turbine plants are reported in [106] . application of CBM brings the following benefits to gas turbine users. it becomes possible to ensure safe operation of the gas turbine before the next scheduled maintenance by operating the engine at different operating points or at lower power level. Savings of 1–3% of these costs. the Blade Vibration Monitoring System (BVM4). Other products in the group provide the capability of Fiber Optic Vibration Monitor (FOVM). fault diagnosis and prognosis. condition monitoring. it allows also changing operating profile based on the actual health condition of the engines.

In addition. safety. Such approaches may include prediction of gas turbine engine life. o o o 12 . Gas turbine prognostic approaches should be further developed and evolve into tools covering all important aspects of remaining useful life of gas turbine assets (i.e. Integration of methods into a diagnostic tool being capable of addressing the entire diagnostic problem is required. Furthermore. including creep life and low cycle fatigue life. qualitative and quantitative evaluation of any CBM policy or planning will be subjective and its effectiveness over existing maintenance practices cannot be justified. each method is applicable on a limited range of underlying health conditions. Such capability will enhance the effectiveness of condition based maintenance. The details of CBM and related diagnostic. operating and health conditions of gas turbine engines. Development of efficient CBM validation approaches. Development of gas turbine lifing approaches. Without CBM performance metrics. some commercial applications of the CBM technology have also been presented. Development of efficient prognostic approaches. This paper has revealed that the degree of penetration of CBM policies in the gas turbines market is disproportional to the potential importance and benefits of CBM. With that in mind. the following research topics are suggested: o Further development/integration of gas turbine diagnostic approaches. availability. Although a large number of diagnostic methods have been proposed by researchers. reliability.4 CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH In this paper an overview of the concept. as a function of ambient. research work in this area contributed by the Laboratory of Thermal Turbomachines of the National Technical University of Athens (LTT/NTUA) and the Department of Power and Propulsion of Cranfield University are described. maintenance and operating cost). prognostic and lifing methods and techniques are also provided. the technology and the importance of CBM in the operation of modern gas turbine plants have been reviewed. Future research should focus on bring advanced CBM technologies into gas turbine industry in order to benefit gas turbines users.

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