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Subject: Functional Testing After Modifications to Gas Turbines

Applies to all GE gas turbines


Relates to: If I Owned a Gas Turbine, June 2!! and "i#uid $uel Test Rig, June
22
Suppose %ou are c&arged wit& 'a(ing a 'odification to an e)isting GE gas turbine*
+&en co'pleted, t&e gas turbine s&ould function better t&an it did during pre,ious
operation* -etter %et, operation s&ould be significantl% i'pro,ed* Ot&erwise, w&%
bot&er.
All too w&en a c&ange is 'ade ot&er proble's arise* /owe,er, t&ese proble's s&ould
be a result of negligence on t&e part of t&ose c&arged wit& t&e responsibilit% of
upgrading t&e unit*
At General Electric, t&ere is a group called: 0on,ersions, 1odifications and 2pgrades
3CMU4* T&e CMU group offers opportunities to gas turbine owners5operators (GT O/O)
to 'a(e c&anges to i'pro,e operation, to 'odif% units or to upgrade perfor'ance*
T&e% co'e to GT O/O in t&e for' of tec&nical infor'ation letters (TIL) and later, if
purc&ased fro' GE, in field 'odification instructions (FMI). T&ese two docu'ents are
t&e catal%sts for c&ange and i'pro,e'ent* "oo( at it t&is wa%: if GE &ad &ad t&e
tec&nolog% bac( w&en t&e turbine was built, or just 6(nown better,7 t&e% would &a,e
incorporated t&ese suggestions in t&e original design*
It would be wise to &eed a principle I learned bac( as a trainee on t&e GE Gas Turbine
Start8up 9rogra' 3GTS94 fro' t&e late engineer George Kenned:
Always functionally test the gas turbine after making a change!
Sure, t&is see's ob,ious* /owe,er, following t&is suggestion before %our restart t&e
gas turbine is not alwa%s done* T&e wa% to loo( at it is t&is: e,en if t&e turbine was
'alfunctioning before t&e c&ange was 'ade, t&e original GE design and operation
wor(ed:
0&arlie 9ond, of PAL Turbine Services, LLC rig&tl% pro'otes: !ta"ing bab ste#s$
as %ou bring a gas turbine bac( on line* T&ere are specific suggestions t&at were first
'entioned in t&e Turbine Tip: f !wne" a #as Turbine, $une %&''(
Test% c&ec" and si'ulate so'e 'ore.
/ere is a good e)a'ple: $or earl% Speedtronic; 1ar( I and II gas turbines, t&e GE
0alibrator is a de,ice t&at can be used to 6si'ulate7 operation, as well as to calibrate
t&e panel* <ou can 6du''% in7 suc& signals as turbine speed 3=/94, a,erage turbine
e)&aust te'perature 3TT>4 and ,oltage to pressure transducer 3924 to si'ulate t&e
operation of t&e turbine w&ile still at rest* See p&oto below:
$ig !: ?a,e "ucier si'ulates t&e gas turbine start8up using GE Speedtronic; 0alibrator
+&en %ou feel %ou &a,e ade#uatel% tested, c&ec(ed and si'ulated gas turbine
operation, after 'a(ing a TI" or $1I c&ange, %ou 'a% be read% for start8up* <ou s&ould
use audio co''unications wit& so'eone placed at t&e turbine panel read% to pus& t&e
@E e'ergenc% trip pus&button* Also, w&en %ou are out on t&e turbine dec( and 6firing7
t&e turbine, &a,e so'eone near t&e &%draulic du'p ,al,e wit& earp&ones, so a 6trip7
signal could i''ediatel% trip of t&e stop ,al,e to s&ut off fuel*
$inall%, use %our &u'an senses: "oo(, listen, s'ell and touc& 3tasting is ne,er
necessar%4* Substitute t&e last one wit& a Si)t& Sense* 0all it Intuition. =e,er assu'e
an%t&ing is rig&t until %ou pro,e it to %ourself t&at t&e turbine is safe to operate*
-elow in $ig* 2, an original Roper flow di,ider is installed on a 1S@!9* =otice t&e
rigid tubing for t&e ! flow ele'ents and t&e pressure taps t&at go to t&e selector ,al,e
and pressure gage*
$ig* 2: Original flow di,ider wit& rigid stainless8steel tubing
In $ig* A below, special braided &ig&8pressure &oses are used wit& t&e new flow di,ider*
T&e fle)ible &osing eli'inates an% stresses on t&e new flow di,ider due to 'is'atc&ing
of tubing connections* Roper flow di,iders re#uire installation in a 6strain8free7
condition* Also, t&e s%ste' 'ust be bled of air and a digital ,olt'eter needs s&ould be
to 'easure fuel flow w&en testing* Refer to Turbine Tip: Li)ui" *uel Test +ig, $une
%&&% for suggested testing tec&ni#ues*
$ig* A: =ew $low ?i,ider wit& &ig&8pressure fle)ible &oses on 1S@!9
0ontact ?a,id "ucier of (AL Turbine )er*ices% LLC for 'ore suggestions on &ow to test,
c&ec( and si'ulate operation of gas turbines after c&anges are 'ade to a,oid 'ista(es*