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Compressor, combustion topics dominate GE F-frame roundtable

Posted on April 14, 2011 by Team CCJ
CTOTF’s GE F-frame session featured a half day of user-only discussion focusing
on 7FA compressor and combustion issues. Rumbling engines, loose stator
vanes, dynamics issues, fuel-nozzle repairs, etc, all got air time.

A gremlin that rumbles

First item on the agenda was a “request for assistance” from an
owner/operator. The challenging issue is related to hot weather and low load
operation. The speaker called the condition combustion choke. The
phenomenon starts out as a low-frequency rumble at between 100 and 110-
120 MW. Vibration also is in evidence at the No. 2 bearing. Two ways to stop
the rumbling: increase load or take the unit out of service.

The gremlin inhabits more than one engine at the referenced peaker site. The
GTs have been tuned numerous times, but the gremmie, which goes into hiding
when a unit is returned to service, always reappears when the offending
conditions recur.

Some lean blowouts have been experienced, but not in the same can each
time. Another clue: Blowouts occurred when CO was creeping up and NOx
levels were particularly low. “Riching up” the fuel/air ratio helps, the group was
told.

A rigorous root cause analysis wasn’t possible because data from the
combustion dynamics monitoring system (CDMS) was not going to PI at the
time. Installation of pressure transmitters—particularly at the ninth and
13th bleeds—is being considered to collect information on blade passing
frequencies at the back end of the compressor.

A sympathetic colleague said some of his company’s 7FA peakers also
suffered numerous blowouts in load-following service. Another reported a
rumbling condition in one of his machines and thought it might be thrust-
bearing instability. Someone in the back of the room asked, “Might your gas-
valve servos be sticking?” The speaker said all servos had been checked and
given a clean bill of health.

Perhaps the most practical solution was to install the capability to fine-tune
the fuel/air ratio. Operators could use the so-called trim station to tweak fuel
input when necessary. Two in attendance reported success with this solution.

How to compensate for hook-fit wear

Wear and tear on hook fits for Rows 14, 15, and 16 have many users evaluating
options for preventing inadvertent contact between stationary and rotating
airfoils. These include pinning and the OEM’s so-called Bigfoot repair.

Most users are familiar with the popular pinning technique that gangs
together multiple vanes for rigidity. Two or three pins may be used depending
on conditions. Photo below shows two pins in R14 and R15 vanes; three in R16.
Users say pinning is effective and the least-cost solution. The vanes are
relatively inexpensive to remove, drill in a conventional machine shop to
accommodate the pins, and then reinstall.

The Bigfoot fix requires both field-machining of the damaged hook fits with a
boring bar and new airfoils having a thicker base to compensate for the
material removed. Compare the thickness of the hooks on vanes in Rows 14-16
with those in Rows 13 and 17 in the photo below.

User discussion revealed that vane segments now are available as an
alternative to individual vanes downstream of R4, thereby avoiding the need for
pinning and Bigfoot solutions. Recall that the first few rows of 7FA stator vanes
already are arranged in segments.

Elimination of shims used in vane rows was another topic. They can be
eliminated by making some of the vane bases slightly oversize and field-
grinding during installation to the dimensions required. Mention of load dams
for holding vane assemblies snugly in the hook fit closed out this portion of the
user exchange.

CDMS gets high marks from attendees

The discussion drifted to CDMS. One user expressed interest in pulling CDM
data into PI at his plant. By show of hands, most attendees said they were
doing that; some not. Only one was using the OEM’s automatic tuning product.
If you go that route, he said, make sure the engine is tuned before engaging
the automatic feature. Another with auto tuning said it has protected his plant
from emissions excursions that would have required shutdowns. General
consensus was that CDM keeps GTs healthy and in compliance.

Are your units experiencing ‘NOx creep’?

A user said he looked over all the tuning and reliability events for his company’s
gas turbines and concluded that the F-class units are not ageing gracefully.
Others in the group seconded the observation. Base-load NOx levels are
creeping up over time, the engineer said, and they are “losing margin” between
actual NOx emissions and the regulatory limit.

He also found that units firing unheated fuel are behaving worse than those
with heated fuel. Units burning unheated fuel and installed during the “bubble”
worked well for about the first half their current operating lifetimes, the user
continued, but have suffered “NOx creep” since.

Instrumentation checklist

A checklist of critical instruments for 7FAs with DLN 2.6 combustion systems
was provided by a central-office engineering manager participating in the
training of personnel for a new combined-cycle plant. The instrumentation
package is intended to assure reliable operation, avoid trips, accommodate
tuning and emissions compliance, and monitor performance. The list will be
posted at www.ctotf.comby the end of April.

The instrumentation topic drifted to humidity sensors used at the turbine inlet
and elsewhere in the plant. Someone said that the OEM was now in that
business although very little experience could be offered. An instrument with a
Scandinavian pedigree was the audience favorite.

Endnotes

* One dual-fuel plant with limited oil use reported it would conduct its first
combustion inspection at 16,000 hours, its first hot gas path at 32,000
hours, and its first major at 64,000 hours.

* Fuel-nozzle repairs produced a short but important exchange. One user
urged his colleagues to monitor such projects carefully on the shop floor.
Personnel changes can adversely impact job quality, he said, warning that
just because the last job was good, that’s no guarantee that the next one will
be as well.

Consider eddy-current inspection of refurbished S3Bs prior to next use

Posted on June 20, 2016 by Team CCJ

Gas turbine owner/operators that do not send key personnel to user-group
meetings may be taking unnecessary financial and safety risks. There is,
perhaps, nowhere better to learn about issues you should be aware of. Consider
the recent liberation events associated with third-stage buckets (S3B) in 7FA
gas turbines. This was an agenda item of great interest to attendees at the
2016 conference of the 7F Users Group, May 9-13, at the Rosen Shingle Creek
Hotel in Orlando.

The group received an alert on S3B failures from a user at the 2015 meeting
and was reminded of it only a few weeks before this year’s conference by a post
on the 7F Forum describing another such failure. Yet another third-stage
liberation event was reported a week before the users would gather in Florida.
In sum, the editors identified six 7FAs that have experienced S3B failures, and
one 9FA.

The OEM’s proactive response to the latest two incidents included a preliminary
explanatory message for posting on the 7F Forum prior to the meeting, a
formal presentation on the issue right after the keynote on GE Day (Thursday,
May 12), and a deep dive during the interactive hot-gas-path (HGP) breakout
Thursday afternoon, which included participation by about half of the user
attendees.

GE’s experts said they believe the underlying cause of the failures is casting
defects that caused one blade in each of the affected machines to fracture. The
liberated airfoil segment then tore up other S3Bs (Fig 1), sending metal
fragments downstream as far as the heat-recovery steam generator (Fig 2). In
one instance, the trail of metal terminated at the first row of tubes in the HRSG,
with any remaining airborne shards entrained in the exhaust stream captured
by the field of finned tubes without damage to pressure parts (Fig 3).

to help determine the root cause. The few remaining pieces of turbine buckets entrained in the gas-turbine exhaust stream were stopped by the first row of finned tubes in the HRSG. . Pieces of turbine buckets liberated. affected components have been sent by the OEM to a third- party for analysis. A positive result of this investigation was that several units were shut down for inspection. Just the upper third of one third- stage turbine bucket liberated and caused all this damage 2. Task takes one experienced person about 24 hours to check x-rays for all 92 buckets in the third row. or longer. depending on what investigators find. providing a pathway to the HRSG 3. without damage to pressure parts In the latest case. Believing casting quality is likely the underlying issue. This could take until yearend.1. as a first step GE reviewed x-rays for third-stage buckets made from three months before to three months after a failed bucket was cast.

Case histories Key facts associated with each of the liberation events. No. are summarized below: No. 1. 2016 S3B failed 3600 hours following a major inspection (six months into a planned four-year interval). possibly pointing to the need for refinements to repair processes by all participants—third parties as well as the OEM.04. airfoil. Unit maintenance is under an LTSA and the OEM replaced the third stage with pre-owned buckets having about 2000 hours of service and no repairs. Its plan is to follow up with the users in early summer with progress report and to update owner/operators perhaps as frequently as monthly thereafter. 2. 2016 Failure happened after 800 hours of baseload operation following a major inspection that included an AGP (advanced gas path) upgrade by the OEM with new third-stage buckets. as told to CCJ ONsite by the owner/operators of the affected engines. flex seals.5 in.000 hours by the OEM. .000 S3Bs over the years. and piping was experienced. 2015 Buckets repaired at 48. before failure. Project took 20 days. The reliability of these airfoils was cited at 99.03. Damage to exhaust casing.GE participants in the 7F meeting appeared confident that S3B failures of the type experienced thus far were unlikely to occur after about 6000 hours of service (for repaired buckets). failure occurred in less than 3000 hours following a return to service.2% through three HGP inspections. above the base of the 18-in. The OEM is keeping an open mind regarding cause as the investigation proceeds. The crack migrated inward from the trailing edge about 1. They occurred on buckets that had been repaired at least once. Bucket row came from another of the company’s units following its refurbishment by the OEM in 2015 after 29. No. This was the only incident involving new buckets and may be an “infant-mortality” issue—different from the other five failures profiled here.000 hours of service. Note that S3B cracks typically are found between about 3 and 10 in. pointing to the company’s experience in repairing and inspecting more than 55. 3.03. They also viewed S3B fractures as a low risk for operators. 7FA. 7FA. 7FA.

2013 Buckets repaired at 48. 5. 7FA. The incident thumbnails above show all failures occurred. he said. No. in round numbers. designed to “heal” certain fully internal flaws can exacerbate some defects. 7FA.03.000 hours by the OEM. 4. might have had on the failure.and third-stage buckets. flex seals. 2013 Buckets repaired at 48. and piping was experienced. and piping was experienced. the replacement rotor came bladed with new second.03. . The upper one-third of one bucket liberated during a vibration event after operating for less than about 30 hours.03. Following refurbishment. 7FA. after 48. No. such as HIP. the set of buckets was warehoused until installed in a different unit in 2013. within about six months and in less than 3500 operating hours following restart after repair. Until this is done.000 hours by the OEM. Rejuvenation One independent metallurgist/repair expert told the editors he agreed with the OEM’s assessment that a casting flaw is the likely underlying cause of the failures on repaired buckets. A second metallurgist/repair expert cautioned against jumping to conclusions as to failure causes without proper metallurgical analyses of the failed buckets. 6. Those buckets were removed for refurbishment by a third-party repair shop in 2009. Damage to exhaust casing. it really is difficult to properly identify the role that any one factor. or reinstallation of buckets—or casting flaw creates a stress riser and a starting point for the failure to proceed. including the identification of any flaws that may have contributed to the problem. High-cycle fatigue is generally thought to be the mechanism causing rapid propagation of any crack that may develop shortly after a return to service.No. HIP or other heat treatments. flex seals. Damage to exhaust casing. in effect “triggering” the flaw. failure occurred in less than 3000 hours following a return to service. failure occurred in less than 3000 hours following a return to service. He said a scratch—such as that incurred during the removal. handling.000 hours of service. 2013 Rotor was replaced in the affected machine in 2003.

here’s what the editors learned: Ultrasound. there would be a thin membrane of material between the flaw and the surface that can be effectively “burst” by the pressure of the HIP gas. FPI has the benefits of being inexpensive and unlikely to produce a false indication. The OEM relies on fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) in its shop repair process and recommends it for field checks. director of field services. The second is where there are tight oxide-filled cracks at the surface. a radiographic inspection is extremely time- consuming. and inspection experts Dustin Irlbeck and Brett Fuller. the flaws already exist and are merely exposed to NDE by the HIP process. Radiography is a “full-volume” inspection method. used primarily in the shop to check bucket internals. The protocol developed for this work has been used recently to inspect last-row turbine buckets in 7FAs. However. In both scenarios. The oxide prevents detection by the fluorescent penetrant used to verify the buckets are crack-free. It relies on a density difference to identify a fault and a crack might not be revealed. It is faster than both ultrasound and radiography and can “see” surface cracks as well as anomalies near the surface of the airfoil. Advanced Turbine Support suggests EC for 7FA S3B inspections. taking perhaps four or five times as long as eddy current (EC). . Plus. radiographic. In a telephone interview with Mike Hoogsteden. can reduce oxides and allow detection of defects by penetrant. eddy current.The expert offered two possible scenarios of how damage might occur as a result of the repair process. and penetrant inspection techniques are the alternatives. or vacuum heat treatment. The first is where the casting contains one or more near-surface defects—such as those caused by shrinkage during the casting process. it will not recognize a tight crack or lurking problems just below the surface of the airfoil. Inspection For an understanding of inspection processes best suited to warn of possible impending issues in turbine blades after repair or in service. CCJ turned to Advanced Turbine Support LLC. The company has more than 18 months of successful experience inspecting last-row turbine blades in 501F and 501G machines. In this case. The exposure to HIP.

” It focuses on case histories and group discussion of specific issues that concern the members. Attendance at the annual conference— over 200 user delegates—is double that of the next largest frame meeting. o Practical content. The 7F is the largest frame user group. with more than 600 active members.com if they have interest in increasing communication among members to resolve O&M and other issues quickly and efficiently. The group’s steering committee encourages other groups to contact the website operator at newgrouprequests@users-groups. close to GE Energy’s Atlanta headquarters. turbine. The value of the website is demonstrated by a doubling of the number of user delegates to the annual conference over the last few years. The first evening of each 7F conference is reserved for a four-hour vendor fair which includes reception and dinner on the expo floor. Around 50 exhibitors participate annually.users- groups. has been instrumental to the success of the organization. showcasing products and services ranging from inlet filters to borescopes to compressor washing systems to lube-oil treatment and services. conduct interactive sessions. More than 100 of the manufacturer’s specialists were available on the second day to make presentations. Ga. combustion system. for users only. The site enables members to communicate 24/7. and auxiliaries. and answer questions across a wide range of subjects.com. concentrated on the compressor. Day One. Three things stand out when reviewing meeting notes: o User involvement.Focused discussion key to problem-solving The 7F Gas Turbine User’s Group consistently conducts a superior annual conference. Much of the information shared forms the basis for the annual conference program. The three day program has relatively few presentations by non-users— except for those conducted by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) on “General Electric Day. http://GE7FA. o Comprehensive exhibition. There were more than a dozen presentations by users and three group discussions—so-called roundtables— on the . the group’s website. The 2005 meeting was held in Peachtree City. allowing maximum interaction with key OEM personnel. This year there were 48. In addition to the annual conference.

The product fair included a first-hand look at the company’s new longer-life hot-gaspath (HGP) components. Mark your calendar 7F Gas Turbine User’s Group 2006 Conference Emory Conference Center Hotel Atlanta May 8-11 Delegates and exhibitors contact: Gail Silvers Certified Meeting Planner Voice: 678-784-3059s E-mail: gail@vision-makers. FPL Energy Art Hamilton. and auxiliaries. Breakout sessions on the steam turbine. Bear in mind that the global installed fleet of more than 540 7Fs is experiencing increased cyclic operation. combustion issues.000 starts were recorded in the last year and the fleet added 1. Over 52. A reception and product fair concluded the day. OxyChem Scott Trantham. and . Dominion Energy Joel Holt. Calpine Corp Peter So. Progress Energy Carine Bullock.compressor/turbine.com Steering Committee. Entegra Power Group Marshall McDuffie. and accessories and controls highlighted the afternoon. 2005-2006 Bob Holm. The Southern Company Don Barnett. CPS Energy Miles Valentine. Tampa Electric Co Steven Bates. Direct Energy Paul White. which places greater emphasis on operating flexibility. Suez Energy NA Reliability and operational flexibility were among the key discussion topics. advanced repair capabilities.8 million hours of operation. dual-fuel capabilities. including updates on remote services and trip-reduction initiatives. followed by hour-long presentations on the turbine. A special presentation by a 9F user was rolled into the day’s activities (see sidebar). and subsequent Q&A sessions. compressor. GE Day began with a review of the latest technical information letters (TILs) issued to 7F users worldwide. Calpine Corp Ed Fuselier. and combustion system.

What follows is a collection of 13 case histories gleaned from presentations by users and roundtables on the first and third days of the meeting.new maintenance services. generators. Compressor tip failure Compressor section failure was caused by tight clearances and compressor casing distortion on a unit that had 1900 fired hours and 350 fired starts. also for users only. to increase the clearance.). Two units had experienced Row 0 (R0) tip liberation (1.010 in. It included five presentations by users and three more roundtables. The O&M experience presented here is evidence of the significant value associated with attending the 7F conference on a regular basis. Investigators noted that the second cause might have been missed when the first blade repair work was conducted. Background facts: o Bore scope inspections conducted on the compressors of three sister units showed all had tight clearances. Compressor/turbine case histories 1. and balance-of-plant (BOP) systems and equipment. Hardness levels were brought back into spec by removing 0. the third an R0casing rub between the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. o Laboratory examination using a scanning electron microscope found a crack on the convex side of the blade. Causes were identified as grinding heat and high-cycle fatigue. concentrated on operational issues with dual-fuel systems. o Next bore scope inspection showed tip liberation had occurred again in one unit on an R0 blade. o R0 tip grinding and blending removed 0. of material.5 in.020 in.5 in. Important details concerning the 2006 meeting are presented in the sidebar on this page. Notes from presentations and discussion during GE Day conclude the report. o Hardness testing showed softening of the blade-tip material consistent with C450 material exposed to temperatures of less than 1200F. × 0. The final day. Metallurgist reported that many blade tips were off spec with regard to hardness and surface finish. . which featured a remote tuning system demonstration.

(3) CDC also was too far aft—by 0.125 in. (4) tight vane-torotor blade clearances caused by CDC elongation contributed to R14 failure. Blade-tip hardness testing is critical following a tip-rub event. Background facts: o Failure occurred with 56. which is prone to creep. latter stages Elongation of compressor discharge casing (CDC) on the Model 7221 machine causes tight clearances in the back end of the compressor. (2) rotor was found sitting too far aft in the casing. Compressor failure resulted in this case. fluorescent dye is required. Later-model units have alloy steel CDCs.562 fired hours on the unit. Three R13 and all R14 through R17 blades were destroyed. o Accident investigators observed the following: (1) R13 and R15 blades exhibited the characteristics of high-cycle fatigue. IGV (inlet guide vane) shroud could not be reinstalled because of clearance challenges. which reportedly have not exhibited creep. . Compressor failure. o Red dye penetrant is inadequate for nondestructive examination (NDE). o Lessons learned: o The CDCs on early-model machines are made of carbon steel. o Lessons learned: o Impact of compressor blade-tip rubs on the material properties of C450 is significant. o Root cause analysis (RCA) confirmed that the failure was caused by reduced axial clearances and that power augmentation placed additional stress on the unit. High vibration initiated the trip. Vane rock permitted contact between stator and rotor blades. o Recent history: R0 and R1 blade tips were ground in 2003 because blade tip-to-casing clearances were too tight. 2.— because of metal creep. o Blade-tip surface finish of RMS 64 is required after tip grinding. Long-term solution is to replace the carbon steel CDC with one of alloy steel.

was removed from the R0. R14 compressor outage Warranty outage for R14 compressor tip rub and tip loss on a Model 7241 gas turbine (GT) in simple-cycle service revealed additional compressor problems. 2). and R2 blades when engineers decided clearances were too tight at those locations. final inspection before closing the case identified one R14 blade that required blending. o Owner’s policy to remove rubbed material from the inside of the case was proved wellfounded: Cracks in the casing were identified at the ninth stage after tip material was removed. o It is important to have the results of your RCA prior to machine reassembly. Outage summary: o Causal analysis was conducted on a 7FA GT with inlet fogging following contact between R2 rotating and stationary blades. which is conducive to contact between rotating and stationary blades (refer to Case History No. o Never assume that the repair work being done is “routine. o Tips were first ground on the R14 blades and then 0. R17 blades were considered too tight in the stator and a 0. EGVs (exit guide vanes) were too loose and a 0. 4.020 in. Compressor clearances CDC creep on Model 7221 machines will close up the “A Set” dimension. shim was installed.120 in. o Compressor “RA” measurements (distance between R17 blade tips and the CDC) had been taken regularly to see if the CDC was showing signs of creep.” 3. asking the investigators lots of questions. o On reassembly. Outage summary: o Machine had relatively few operating hours and under 50 fired starts. The compressor “X” clearance also was evaluated.040 in. Investigators found that 13 of the 32 R2 rotating blades had touched the stationary blades. Investigators found heavy rubs in the top half of the compressor casing. shim was removed. Note that creep . Dig into the findings. making sure to question answers that leave any doubt in your mind. R1.

000 fired hours. HRSG stack noise After analysis of acoustic noise and combustion-dynamics tuning. also meet at the 7F Gas Turbine User’s Group annual conference because of machine similarities.62 miles from the plant at loads above 130 MW. received noise complaints from residents in private homes and apartment buildings located on surrounding hillsides above the stack elevation. Breakdown is three 212-MW 9Fs totaling 200. Project summary: o Facility. System was retuned. but noise levels did not go down. o Stationary blades were cropped to open up the clearance between the fixed and rotating blades. but measurements were taken with combustion dynamics at less than 1. o Platform distress on the 9FA+e first-stage buckets. o Unit had experienced problems associated with high combustion dynamics. major issues The 9F users. 2 million hours. 9F users review fleet operating statistics. . The 9F fleet comprises 116 units with a total of 3.5 psi peak to peak. 900.000 hours.2 million fired hours. representing the 50-Hz sister to the 7F. located in a harbor area. will cause the CDC movement and contact between stationary and rotating blades if the original “A Set” dimension is maintained. Combustion system 5. Turbine-section issues included the following: o Cooling hole cracking on 9FA first-stage buckets. o Bucket tip deflection on the 9FA second stage. Technicians measured 98 dBA at 580 Hz and 73 dBA at 1116 Hz 0. o Inner sidewall oxidation/erosion on the 9FA+e first-stage nozzle. solution was to install silencer panels in the HRSG exhaust stacks. o User installed a specially designed stack silencer and the noise dropped by 23 dB. 39 226-MW 9FAs. and 74 256-MW 9FA+e units.

Most expedient solution was to install a complete spare turbine rotor. and have an opportunity to ask questions that would enable decision. which measures particulate matter in the exhaust stream. Advantage of the new design is better cooling without using more air from the compressor. rotor throughbolts coming loose. Of course. one user reported installation of a GT exhaust debris monitoring system (EDM). passing mention also was made of a TIL which addresses inspection of turbine wheels for cracking using eddy current testing. Some solutions are offered in “Improve GT operating flexibility.making at your plant. During this portion of the meeting. Dual-fuel users reported many problems. Upon restart. another installed an optical pyrometer to measure first. Failures reported in 2004-2005 included two R0 incidents caused by corrosion/high-cycle fatigue and one because of an R1 tip rub. the value in attending the 7F meeting is to participate in such discussion. Other problems noted include failure of a stainless steel inlet duct liner because of poor welding that required complete replacement of the liner and tearing of the exhaust-duct skin.and second. Discussion on GE Day included a report on advanced first-stage buckets now being tested on a 9FA in base-load operation. Consider the following unfortunate experience: A borescope inspection revealed problems with a 9F compressor rotor that required removal of the forward compressor casing. you really haven’t checked it. Improved flow testing procedures within GE Energy reportedly is facilitating tuning. the unit tripped on high vibration. to identify material loss in the turbine section. tuning difficulties. Case history: Check it again Most experienced plant managers will tell you that if you only checked something once. Test buckets have been in service for more than a year and a half with no issues reported. Problem was identified in stage 2.stage blade temperatures while the unit is in operation. and cracking of the compressor stator around the root. On the “solutions” side. Two final notes: Extended-life hardware now is in field trials and users report the capability to turn down to 60% of the full-load rating. Compressor casing and compressor discharge casing had to be scrapped. Compressor section issues reported were wheel cracking beyond the 17th stage. An R0 blade failure had destroyed the compressor. Combustion-system issues noted: dynamics following a combustor inspection (CI). .Note that users have not reported any failures or forced outages to date because of the bulleted issues above. reliability with fuel-system mods” in the 2006 OUTAGE HANDBOOK supplement included with this issue. still another installed exhaust spread analyzers to track step changes in temperatures. do appropriate networking. Root cause of the failure was ingestion of a 1-ft- square rubber lifting pad that had been left in the compressor inlet. and high dynamics when burning unheated gas. just reductions in the lives of these parts. p OH-22.

Lube-oil pump mods User reviewed problems associated with lube-oil-pump upper bearing failures and conversion of main lubeoil pumps to forced-feed lubrication. fuel splits. operators must shut down the Mark V log file after shutdown. User built a log file into the Mark V control system to help track the issue.6. If any subscribers to the COMBINED CYCLE Journal have experienced this problem and have recommendations for the challenged user. and related Mark V cards were replaced. but the problem persists. . but they should not have occurred until the normal fuel trip at 20% speed.6 equipped for dual-fuel firing and burning unheated natural gas experienced early flameouts during fired shutdowns. Early flameouts on shutdown Group discussion concluded that early flameout during fired shutdown may be caused by loss of the flame-scanner signal. Rather they are corrected by a trial-anderror process that involves adjusting fuel temperature.info and your response will be forwarded. Trips were at 50% speed. However. better data resolution is required. Auxiliaries 8. Facts presented to the group by a user: o Model 7231 7FA+e DLN 2. wiring . Observations by participants in the discussion included these: o Combustion instabilities in GTs are not quantitative. Two forms of screech: radial and azimuth. o Flames canners . please write Editor Bob Schwieger at bob@psimedia. o Trip occurs when any one scanner senses a loss of flame for 5 seconds. and other variables. or database will be overloaded. 7. Combustion dynamics Group discussion concluded that combustion dynamics tuning is a developing field. o Data collection too slow to adequately evaluate the issue. o Screech modes (high-frequency noise) are the most damaging combustion- dynamics issue.

Oil analysis did not indicate any issues. o User was concerned that despite following TIL recommendations. A total of four ESPs were installed. Problem was identified when unit load could not be reduced because of hung-up servos. o Kept unit in service until a shutdown could be scheduled.125 in. Servos for the gas control valve and IGVs were sticking and hydraulic-oil filters were plugged. o Solutions: User decided to sweeten the hydraulic oil by removing 21% of the oil-tank volume and refilling with new oil. 9. .Steps in practical problem solving: o Model 7231 GT was equipped with a Mitten lube-oil skid and the Buffalo pump mod suggested by a TIL had been completed. 0. No problems have been observed since the mod was completed in November 2004. o Investigation revealed that the problem was caused by excessive varnish in the control oil system. Eliminating varnish in lube-oil systems Reviewed problems with lube-oil system contamination—specifically varnishing —and the steps required for system clean-up. o The only issue with the installation was that pump bearings required pre- lubrication prior to each pump start. orifice. plant personnel tapped into the line supplying cool and filtered lube oil to the turbine and generator bearings and ran a small line back to the pumps’ bearings. Next. Unit tripped during shutdown on a gas-valve position mismatch. In addition.000 hours for re- lubrication. Operating procedure was changed to start the dc lube-oil pump first to lubricate the main-lube-oil pump bearings prior to main-pump start.5 years after first commercial operation. an electrostatic (ESP) oil cleaner was added to the system and weekly oil-sample analysis using both colorimetric and gravimetric tests was initiated to track varnish level. This line includes a check valve. the plant would still have to pull the lube-oil pumps at 16. o Pumps were pulled and grease r emo v e d f r om t h e b e a r i n g s . Project steps/results: o Servos began to stick about 2. and rotary flow sight glass to supply each pump.

one. produced by relative motion. o Users reported 12 unit trips in the last year that were caused by out-of- position gas control valves. Generators .” p OH-67. and UAS-Kleentek. o Shaft galling was mentioned as the cause of actuator shaft binding. Cincinnati. oil quality. o Generous supply of spare parts was recommended to prevent forced outages. which occurs in low-temperature areas of the piping system. Rocky Hill. The problem has occurred in both baseload and peaker plants but is more prevalent in the latter. Insulation and heat tracing (set at 130F) was added to the hydraulic oil lines at the gas control valves to prevent varnish fallout. 10. o Two vendors supplied clean-up systems for the test: ISOPur Fluid Technologies Inc. and quaternary valves. More background on this subject is offered in two articles contained in the 2006 OUTAGE HANDBOOK supplement in this issue: “The lowdown on the sticky subject of lubricant varnish. nine. o Some users suspect that the operation of the hydraulic oil system to provide lift oil when the unit is shut down is causing a phenomenon called micro dieseling. two. Many users have purchased ESPbased cleaning systems and are finding them effective. Gas valve reliability Group discussion reviewed sticking/ binding problems that lube-oilsystem varnishing has caused in the operation of gas control valves. o Next system inspection revealed very little varnish. o Fix for problem-causing sharp edges on the inner faces of floating seals is chamfering. Specific problems were identified with floating seals and shaft galling. which occurs when the oil is pressurized to 3000 psig and the air bubbles entrained in the oil collapse creating a high temperature that results in the formation of varnish. but not with the speed ratio valve. guide-plate tolerances. PM2. varnish. PM3. servo failures. and “Maintaining servos to ensure top GT performance. Issues have been reported with PM1. Failure modes: actuator shaft binding. and/or floating seal design. Ct. side loading. valve movement (hunting).” p OH-63.

Repairs took 41 days.438 in. One attendee suggested that facilities having problems obtain the user’s video from the supplier to ensure proper use of the tool. 0.000 hours). Hydrogen seal damage Hydrogen seal damage required an extended forced outage to make repairs. 26 loose body wedges. Rotor was removed and sent to a service center for repair. and hard ware. were found during major inspection outages on two generators at a 2 × 1 combined-cycle plant operating approximately 6000 hours annually. wide. Outage to do the HGP inspection and pull the generator rotor was planned for 19 days. 12. It was in much better condition: No loose hardware was found. All looseness was found at the collector end of the generator. o Discussion following the presentation of this case history included the following comments: (1) One user reported opening six generators and finding some loose ties and wedges in each of them. No other problems with the generator were identified. Findings on two major inspections Loose blocking. Fix included increasing the seal clearance from 4 to 7 mils.109 in. o High temperature of hydrogen seals and low gas purity dictated an inspection shutdown for a unit that had accumulated only 6400 hours of operating time. the generator rotor was pulled and the following observations made: 52 loose end windings. outage was delayed by four days because the vendor did not have all the tooling required. o Same inspection was conducted on the generator for GT 2 early this year. however. o During the major last fall on GT 1 (84 trips. babbitt was melted on seal surfaces and varnish was visible on the seals. the user was not convinced of this.11. wedges. Deep grooves (0. o An RCA identified foreign material in oil as the cause of the damage. . A total of two dozen people worked two 12-hr shifts. stator wedges were tight. deep) were found in the rotor shaft-seal area. one missing support block. (2) Several users reported issues with coupling-bolt removal tooling supplied by the same vendor. broken ties (most of the end windings had to be retied). 850 equivalent starts. Repairs required a partial stator re-wedge. 24. and bearing and hydrogen seal problems. loose hardware. Interestingly. this generator was of a later design than the one serving GT 1 despite being built only three weeks later.

30. The company reported that the average 7FA operates 3500 hours annually. 7F. 7FB. Fleet composition in numbers of units: 7FA+e. 19%. cycling. A couple of final notes on compressor section issues from a group discussion on the last day of the meeting: o Six-point compressor clearance checks are recommended by several users to ensure that future/required clearance changes can be identified. User has implemented a preventive maintenance program to test every 100 cycles. 6. 491. Latter includes more rapid distribution of TILs—to users within 48 hours of release—and improvements in web conferencing. 13%. One thought regarding the failure is that significant cycling requires use of the breaker more than designers intended. User is concerned about the impact of the failure on the steam turbine/generator. A 345-kV breaker arced and failed. 7FA+. 44. during 2004. Seals were replaced and clearances increased to 7 mils. 7FAs averaged 38 hours/start. 44%. 7FA. . loud noise. Inspection revealed seal damage similar to that found on the first machine. Repairs were completed in 10 days. base load. but no shaft scoring. o User later experienced a failure of the oil seal on its second unit (73 starts. 24%. o Tiny dent/ding indications on R0 blades can result in rapid failures. mid range. During 2003. 14. Breaker was removed and shipped to the OEM but RCA not complete at the time of the meeting. 30. General Electric Day GE Day began with a review of unit operating statistics and implementation of suggestions made by users at the 2004 conference. Duty breakdown is as follows: peaking. which occurred after unit shutdown. 8300 hours) and found 900 gallons of oil in the belly of the generator. Balance of plant 13. Failure of 345-kV breaker Cycling of high-voltage unit breakers suggests more frequent inspections and maintenance to prevent forced outages.

The 585 units in the 7F fleet have accumulated more than 8. OEM goals include improving operational flexibility. o Arrange coalescing filters and the natural gas heater in a manner that prevents liquids from entering the combustion system both during normal operation and on startup. Combustion update. o Hours on turning gear no longer must be recorded. composition. o Since a TIL was released.Key recommendations of the TIL updates published since the 2004 meeting that were reviewed by GE personnel: o Test lube oil monthly for viscosity.edge erosion. units with the P-cut mod can conduct daily 30-min online water washes without concern. increasing part-load heat rate.000 starts.2 million operating hours (number at the time of the meeting) and more than 228. shut down on gas whenever possible after running on fuel oil. remainder had no leading-edge root issues. boosting baseload capability on a cold day. o For dual-fuel units. and contamination. o Compressor rub risk is higher for units that hold at full speed/no load (FSNL) when the IGV angle is low than when the angle is high o There have been no R17 stator issues in the fleet since the TIL to modify the control logic was implemented. o GT should be placed on turning gear for one hour prior to restart following a trip. However. . o Many users refrained from doing online water washes out of fear for R0 leading. R0 update: o R0 blades with the P-cut modification are 10 times less likely to have leading edge wear than blades without the mod. Fourteen have required blending. the compressors have been inspected in 174 units. Exercise regularly valves in the false-start drain system. o Unit trips while peak firing now count as 10 starts. and increasing fuel flexibility/closed-loop dynamics control.

o Nitrogen purge system has been effective in allowing users to avoid weekly switches to oil. Mechanical causes may be related to assembly. Varnishing. Ideas: o A cooling-sleeve mod has been effective in reducing coking of the distillate- oil check valves. operations manager for Mountainview Generating Station’s two 2 x 1 combined cycles. or vibration. at the end of the conference and will chair the group through the upcoming . Environmental causes may be a result of oil temperature. CCJ F USERS GROUP 2010 ‘Perhaps the best 7F meeting ever’ That’s what many of the more than 180 owner/operators attending the 2010 7F Users Group Conference and Vendor Fair told Chairman Richard Clark of SCE Energy and Vice Chair Sam Graham of Tenaska Inc as the five-day meeting drew to a close last May. condition. It was quite a compliment given the rich history of the group. At the time of the annual meeting. About 15% of the units in the fleet have reported varnish. the maintenance manager at the 3 x 1 Tenaska Virginia Generating Station (TVGS). or external contamination. system causes a result of transient fluid conditions.related issues—primarily with the IGVs and gas valves. Graham. GE currently is testing a soft-start unit and expects to release a TIL shortly. 185 units in the fleet equipped with one manufacturer’s turning gear had suffered nine pinion-gear failures.Accessories. System uses a low-volume fan to blow air into the sleeve that is installed around the check valve. The Mark VI also must control the fuel forwarding pumps. took the reins from Clark. IGV actuator shaft seals may leak on certain 7F units shipped after 1999. o A fuel-oil recirc system has been effective in keeping the oil system available. servo-valve controls constants being incorrectly set (resulting in valve hunting). The fuel oil recirc system requires an Mark VI control system to handle the additional I/O. alignment. which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011. etc. hydraulic accumulators not being effective.

Dr Robert Mayfield. For more detail and program updates as changes occur. who serves on the steering committee.  Control-system enhancements. plus information on how to register. on-site support.  Enhanced-compressor updates.org. another on the capabilities of GE Energy Services’ repair shops. and a half-day D-11/A-10 steam-turbine workshop.7Fusers. In addition.  Outage lessons learned. the following new tools for customers: self-help portal. outage optimizer. parts edge.  Best practices and safety. told the editors that one of the reasons for the very positive unsolicited comments was a change in conference format to allow for a more robust open forum between the users and GE engineers. Ben Meissner of Progress Energy is the vice chair. and power smarts. . Mayfield assures that the 2011 meeting will exceed expectations once again. the OEM’s team demonstrated. visit www. tours will be conducted on Monday. May 9. there was a session on the users’ top-10 GE issues. under the group’s logo. via its so-called Knowledge Café.  Combustion and hot-gas-path (HGP) inspections. Finally. Other members of the 2010-2011 steering commit[tee are identified in Sidebar 1. The owner/operators had more than a day and a half of face time with the OEM’s experts and thoroughly covered such timely gas-turbine topics as:  End-of-life recommendations. Highlights of the upcoming conference are presented in the box. The Houston location gives users the opportunity for a first-hand look at GE’s repair facilities.meeting.

and air fare. are sure to pay a minimum 10- fold return on the “tuition” investment over the next year alone (Sidebars 3 and 4). or more “classroom” time in one week than you would get in one semester for a three-credit college course. migrates to in-depth technical sessions from 8 to nearly 6 pm with only an hour break for a collaborative lunch among colleagues.The summary agenda may be a helpful addition to your request for permission to attend the May meeting.) The answer to the “What’s in it for the company?” question that you’ll probably get from management: The best practices and lessons learned from the many user presentations. and auxiliaries segments of the program because the open discussion encompasses the air inlet house as well as the compressor and its issues. hotel accommodations. It clearly shows this conference is a non-stop learning experience that starts daily at 7 am with informal discussions over breakfast. It usually generates more interest than the combustion. Think of the 7F meeting as a compressed high-level education on one of the world’s most sophisticated pieces of rotating machinery for less than $2000—including conference registration. Do the math: This translates to 14. and concludes with a vendor fair from 6 to 9:30 pm (different companies participate each day). turbine. (Food is not a cost factor: Sheila Vashi and her colleagues from Marietta (Ga)-based Vision- Makers will make sure you’re well fed. User presentations. and the knowledge gained on technological advances from the vendors. . discussion First topic on the agenda of the closed user sessions at 7F meetings is the compressor. generator.5 hours a day.

one a five-unit peaking facility and the other a 2 x 1 combined cycle. The OEM identified the following among the possible causes of rubs: over speed. consult Technical Information Letter (TIL) 1509. Tip cracking Recall that tip cracking of R0 and R1 compressor blades is caused by rubs and is an acknowledged fleet-wide problem. and wet operation. A fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) was conducted to verify blade integrity after every eight starts until repairs could be made. . poor blending and tip surface finish can create sites from which cracks can propagate. fast starts. Peaker experience. The speaker had long-term knowledge of the cracking issue. One 7FA suffered the loss of a corner at the tip of an R1 blade within a year of COD. Important takeaways from this presentation: Hard rubs are conducive to tip liberations over time and the guidance offered in TIL-1509 may not be sufficiently rigorous to assure the level of equipment protection most owner/operators desire. first issued in May 2005. open doors. The 2010 compressor session ran the entire morning of Day Two and featured several of the more than one dozen user presentations made in Atlanta. At the next outage. The session kicked-off with a presentation on tip-crack experience at two plants. Further. foundation distress. The peaking plant went commercial in 2001 and the combined cycle in 2002 and both have suffered chronic R1 rubs and have experienced cracking and tip loss. the R0 and R1 blades were tip- ground and the damaged blade blended.

For the blade at the left. vanes were not damaged. the affected engine had accumulated just over 3200 fired hours of operation and nearly 450 starts (an average of about 60 starts per year).Tip cracking occurred on one R1 blade in 2003 and on another R1 blade in 2004. 2 in. . A 30-day outage was planned for the following spring to replace the S0 airfoils. from the leading edge. No further tip cracking was reported during this period. tip loss was found on two R1 blades. along with collateral damage (Fig 1). The grinding angle is arbitrary. The failure was attributed to poor roof-top repair. There is no impact on blade clearances. the R1 blades were “roof-topped” to remove any microcracking that may have started from burrs (cracks start on the outer edges of the blade tip). S0 and S1 vanes were replaced using the manufacturer’s NUV (non-uniform vane) stator solution to limit the frequency response of R1 blades. For the next several years. The rotor was not removed to replace the damaged stator vanes. however. After the crack was found in 2004. During the outage. But damage to S0 and S1 stator vanes on one unit was found during the fall 2008 inspection. borescope inspections and TIL-1509 inspections were conducted annually. One lower-half S2 segment and several upper-half S2 segments were replaced as well. goal is to remove about 20 mils of material. The roof-topping process involves grinding off the square edges at the top of each rotating blade from the leading edge to the trailing edge. By then. The speaker said the tool was cumbersome to maneuver and destructive to the segments. A borescope identified the affected lower-half vanes and the OEM’s stator removal tool was used to remove the necessary vane segments. the crack initiated from one of the blend marks on the convex side of the airfoil tip in the roof-top area.

an R0 tip loss was blended and an HGP inspection was done in spring 2008. Borescope inspections had been performed semi-annually and TIL-1509 conducted annually. at least. piece of an R1 blade to liberate. The OEM’s team found more than 500 indications but was reluctant to condemn the rotor. the speaker said. In spring 2006. . Four days after this outage. a stator blade that had been removed was found at a compressor bleed valve. End notes. and polishing of R0 and R1 blade tips to a more demanding specification than recommended by the OEM. The compressor was carefully examined after the spring 2009 borescope inspection revealed the piece missing from the R1 blade. Additional work included pinning of shims. blending of all damaged rotating blades. The owner opted to purchase a new rotor and perform a Package 5 enhancement. it took six years. The combined cycle gas turbines suffered heavy rubs within six months of its COD as was the case at the peaker station. In this case. nearly 29. Outage was completed 51 days from discovery. A third-party contractor verified proper tip grinding using the latest UT (ultrasonic test) tools.000 fired hours and more than 1100 starts for a 3 x 3 in. opening of R0 and R1 clearances. A root-cause analysis (RCA) revealed the tip fracture indeed was from rub-induced stress with crack propagation caused by high cycle fatigue (HCF). (1) A lesson learned: Record every compressor part removed and make sure you have all the parts (and tools) you should have before buttoning-up the unit. But as the speaker said at the outset. hard rubs are conducive to tip liberations over time. believing excessive blending and restricted operation were an option—theoretically.

(2) A subject of ongoing debate: Might a vibration profile and off-normal compressor discharge pressures/temperatures have indicated animpending tip liberation. but 17 months later after only 115 fired starts. Blade health monitoring capabilities only recently have been installed at some M&D (monitoring and diagnostic) centers. Dovetail cracking found during a scheduled inspection using phased- array UT was the reason for replacing the row with a new set of standard non-P-cut blades. . (3) Lingering questions: Can you grind down a tip rub to healthy material and repair? Might the wound be permanent? R0 dovetail cracking An owner with considerable 7FA O&M experience reported multiple changes of R0 blades on a flared compressor with uncambered inlet guide vanes (IGVs). 1611 fired hours. Note that an Alumazite® coating was applied to the R0 dovetail side slot prior to installing the third set of blades. In spring 2008. but the airfoil profile is different (Fig 2). 2781 fired hours. without removing the turbine compartment roof or forward wall. he said. Also worth noting: The third set of blades has the same part number as the second set. Those new blades failed in the same manner. an OEM crew removed the original set of non-P-cut R0 blades from the unit after 233 fired starts. and one trip. The second set of R0 blades was replaced by jacking up the bellmouth case 18 in. and 10 trips. time will tell.

In wrapping up. Simply put.5. Another said you might want to consider using recertified blades in machines that would not have more than a couple of hundred starts before the next overhaul.Inlet guide vanes (IGVs) were not changed as part of this project. Specifically. For example.5. Yet another user essentially told the group not to worry by sharing that his plant had one unit with 30. IGV position at full-speed no load (FSNL) remains the same at 45 deg. control-constant mods were made to change IGV position during startup and the speed at which IGVs open. IGV angle during startup was changed from 28.5 deg to 24. IGV mechanical stops were re-established to allow an operating range of from 20. Clashing conundrum . changes were required to IGV angle and startup logic. the OEM makes you turn in the set removed.8. This means you can’t hire a metallurgist to conduct your own failure analysis and it raises questions regarding further use of blades inspected and found healthy.5 deg (fully open). By show of hands. the speaker stimulated the group with the following comment: Buying new blades requires an exchange-type program. what did the OEM do to recertify those “healthy” blades? How good are the blades after having been subjected to stresses that cracked other blades in the same row? One attendee suggested having a third party verify blade integrity before installation. In addition. IGV position while on turning gear had been 26 deg. when you buy new blades. turbine speed when IGVs open was 85. However.000 hours on recertified blades. roughly two dozen owner/operators in the room said they have units that had experienced R0 dovetail cracks. now 20. now 84.5 deg (fully closed) to 92.

at recent meetings of the 7EA and 7F Users Groups. . As for root cause. suggests attendance at user-group conferences be considered “mandatory. Suggestion was to “catch” clashing early and restake to prevent further migration. quickly addressing the clashing issue. The OEM considered that it might be a system-level assembly issue causing casing distortion or concentricity/alignment offset. The presenter with the six 7EAs affected by clashing reported that the OEM considered clashing insignificant in terms of posing a risk to continued operation. there was no answer. the R1 blades had no damage. where else would you expect to learn about the next problem that will keep you up nights? To illustrate: At a recent 7EA meeting one user discussed clashing on five of six peaking units at one site. polished.Clashing of rotating blades and stationary vanes in Frame 7 compressors has been reported by many users. and flapper-peened by one of its qualified technicians at the next opportunity. noting that clashing was found on the sixth unit a year later and only 20 fired starts/60 fired hours since the last borescope inspection when it had received a clean bill of health. as well as by Rod Shidler of Florida-based Advanced Turbine Support Inc. Several other plants represented at the meeting reported similar findings. and their solutions. blended smooth.” If not from colleagues. It advised that the damaged areas be examined by FPI. In most cases. Its representative said 12 incidents were reported at five sites (a poll of attendees alone revealed more than that number of incidents) but no forced outages resulted. The opportunity for owner/operators to “compare notes” on common issues of importance. The OEM presented at the same meeting.

and collecting pressure and vibration data through borescope plug holes with special transducers. and that was very slight. one is flared with uncambered IGVs. A quick poll of the audience before the next speaker presented on his company’s experience with 7FA clashing revealed that attendees also responsible for 7EAs said 17 of those machines had been damaged by R1/S1 clashing. regular borescope inspections were “clean” up to within six months of the event. Peaker clashing. only one machine showed a drop off in performance after cropping.Location: 6 o’clock. All engines are equipped with unflared compressors. Damaged blades and vanes were cropped as shown in Fig 5.000 and 45. Last includes putting a trigger file in the Mark V control system that looks at step changes in vibration and other critical variables. Each had recorded approximately 400 fired starts and 2500 fired hours when the indications were discovered during routine annual borescope inspections at the end of the winter run in spring 2008. and cambered IGVs. static filters. The first 7F speaker on the subject offered the following information on the six gas turbines affected by clashing at his company:  All the engines are installed in 2 x 1 combined cycles.  Five of the compressors are unflared and have cambered IGVs (four of these units are at the same site). Discussions among 7EA users focus on R1/S1 clashing. The owner conducts annual borescope inspections to verify compressor health and has initiated an RCA and a proactive monitoring program. among 7F users the focus is R2/S2. . reports indicated the clashing was concentrated at or near the 6 o’clock position.  The single event on a flared compressor was R3/S3 and occurred at a site with four flared units. All went commercial in the 2001 timeframe.  Clashing on one unflared unit was caused by an IGV failure and affected both R2/S2 and R3/S3. This case history focuses on clashing of R2 blades and S2 vanes on three dual- fuel simple-cycle 7FAs at one site (Figs 6 and 7).  Clashing of the four units at the same site occurred between 1050 and about 1200 fired starts and 35. No matter: In virtually all instances.000 fired hours (Figs 3 and 4). Interestingly.

The damage had not worsened since its discovery. of the blades’ trailing edges. Engineers continue to ponder the possible causes of clashing and how to prevent it. * The R2 blade-rub area on trailing-edge roots was approximately 1 in. * Record clearances between the R2 trailing-edge root and the S2 vane leading-edge tip (at a point adjacent to the rotor body) on all 7FAs in the company’s fleet when personnel have access to take those measurements.125 and 0. depth of penetration was 0. But the good news didn’t last for long. * The owner/operator made several changes to its O&M procedures after examining the results of the March 2008 borescope inspection. they just cracked again. Inlet bleed heat Cracking of piccolo pipes for the inlet bleed heat system has been discussed recently at several conferences focusing on maintenance of large GE frames. Some experts now think the gremlin may be a surge event. A problem experienced by many owner/operators is stress cracking on the piccolo pipes where they attach to their respective pipe guides (Fig 9). Recall that the IBH system injects hot compressed air into the inlet air stream to prevent icing at the compressor inlet. Do the same for R3/S3. Learn more on the subject by attending the 2011 meeting in Houston. S2 vanes were described as having “smeared and rolled metal” (Fig 8). which had been suggested by at least one other user a year or so earlier. Simply welding the cracks was not a solution. were examined using the latest eddy current diagnostic tools. Next. A follow-up borescope inspection was conducted in July 2008 after a couple of dozen more fired starts. * Seven S2 vanes were damaged at the leading edge. when no damage was evident. including these: * Perform a 360-deg borescope inspection of R2/S2 at the end of the winter run season (typically at the end of March) or after 20 starts at or below 32F. looks like it might qualify for an industry best practice and put the .375 in. but this cannot be confirmed. Close inspection of the damage areas on the 10 blades affected (pressure and suction sides in the trailing-edge platform area) revealed no recordable indications. Results: Damaged blades numbered 10. and the first 2 in. A check of thrust-bearing clearances offered no clues. The first presenter on the subject thought it might be trip-related given there were no indications on one of its units following a no-trip year and there were indications the year a trip had occurred. The unwelcome observation prompted management to authorize a more extensive borescope inspection of the entire R2/S2 row. The solution offered to 7F User Group attendees.Here are some details on the unit that suffered the most severe clashing: * It had recorded 39 fired starts since the previous borescope inspection. the trailing edges of all R2 blade platforms. The thought that clashing might be related to cold starts cannot be supported because of incidents reported at one plant (at least) where no freezing temperatures were experienced. long. The annual inspection in spring 2009 indicated that clashing damage had increased after the winter run (total of 30 fired starts since the spring 2008 check-up).

 Filter-house air leaks: Sometimes looking for sunlight while standing inside doesn’t tell you everything. several others said shim migration was revealed in borescope inspections and corrected before liberation. two welders for four days—$3000. supporters of the idea say. and NDE inspection—$1000. Type-316L stainless steel pipe—$5000. He believed that would happen. New supports were installed during an HGP inspection in 2009 and have solved the cracking problem (Fig 11). Compressor discussion The open discussion session following the compressor presentation went on for about an hour before the subject shifted to the turbine end of the machine. Consider using a fire hose. Many users still believe the limits are arbitrary and unsupported—at least to their satisfaction—by rigorous engineering analysis. 10 hours of machining time—$1000. The speaker offered the following budget in round numbers: 5-in. The two-piece support system (Fig 10) which replaces the existing guide sleeve is easy for plant personnel to install and costs less than 20% of the OEM’s recommended solution. Who’s back to standard blades? Who’s using the latest OEM solution? Who’s still running P-cuts? No consensus view. water will weep through any available opening. Everyone could get involved in this discussion. Here are some snippets from the compressor exchange:  One user familiar with the OEM’s new compressor wash system reported seeing some erosion of concern. There was general agreement that the failure rate of HRSG tubes would go up significantly if forced-cooling were imposed immediately following a GT shutdown. Several users reported problems with shims going through their units in the last year. The solution: Wait an hour or two before starting forced cooling  Rotor lifetime limits imposed by the OEM continue to be a discussion catalyst.  Subject: R0 compressor blades. All alternative solutions discussed.subject to rest. One user recently told the editors during a plant visit that one of his plant’s rotors with more than 5000 starts was resting on blocks waiting for the OEM to change its criteria.-diam. Sch- 120.  Loose shims got significant attention.  A user reported on a state-of-the-art compressor-blade health monitoring system installed on two of three 7FAs at his site with the expectation of avoiding a possible catastrophic .  Pinning of rocking stator vanes and rotor clocking received plenty of air time as well.  Forced-cooling philosophy generated some interest.

in 2009. and denting of downstream buckets by the liberated pins (Fig 15). but diagnostics in place reportedly assure that the probes are working properly and the readings are reliable.users-groups. First reports had been received by the plant owner just before the meeting. nickel-base superalloy (GTD-111). Yet another thought was that the lock wire and the wheel groove were mismatched in size and the lock wire had freedom to move. First installation was done in 2008 during a major.com.  Turbine section  High vibration that forced the shutdown of a 7FA+e engine was caused by forward migration of first-stage buckets and resultant damage (Fig 12). which went downstream (recovered from the exhaust duct).  Engineers hypothesized as to why and how (1) the lock wire might rotate and (2) the dowels might work themselves free. User has no screen at present. failure.801 factored hours at the time of the incident. and wriggle out dowel pins. Collateral damage includes coating detachment from first-stage nozzles and melting of the base metal (Fig 14). the second unit. . If such detail is of interest. Regarding the former. free itself from the groove (Fig 13).  An attendee said he believed that improper installation of the lock wire and too much time on turning gear are key causes of the situation described by the presenter.  The thorough inspection conducted by the owner/operator revealed scratch marks between the bucket lock wire and dowel pins which were believed to have been caused by rotation of the wire.  The owner/operator’s engineering team believed the bucket lock wire was able to rotate in the direction opposite to that of engine rotation. Buckets were made of a coated directionally solidified.ge7fa.  Another attendee said GE already had installed the system on six to eight machines. the owner/operator suggested others should check spare lock wire and pins against the OEM’s specifications and to store them in a manner to prevent damage. Another was use of inappropriate dowel pins and improper overlap location when the lock wire was installed (Fig 16). keep in mind that 7F User Group members can access this and other user presentations at www. alarm is on a 40-mil deflection. The unit had 788 factored starts and 17. A question in virtually everyone’s mind: Would you trust the data to the degree that you would take an engine out of service if the M&D center said to do so? There is no sure answer today given the limited experience with the health monitoring system. monitoring is done by the OEM. One thought was it might be thermal expansion/contraction of the lock wire during startup and shutdown.  Forward migration of a bucket cuts off its cooling-air supply and the airfoil burns.  System implementation requires drilling of the compressor casing and installation of sensors to monitor blade displacement during startup.

before installing. H2O. Personnel tracked lessons learned on Block 1with the belief they would facilitate work on the second 2 x 1. One user suggested changing third-stage buckets at the second HGP and retaining fit nozzles and shroud blocks for continued service. one third of them for the steam turbine. definitive answers/solutions are rare. In fact.  He obviously considered this the right thing to do—at least until someone else in the room said. (2) the groove is proper (use go/no-go gauge). Outage duration had been planned for 43 days.  Stage 3 strategy was the last topic before lunch. The air inlet houses saw little refurbishment work over their lifetimes. check that (1) the lock wire is smoothly curved and has no sharp bends or kinks. The first bit of discussion developed around a user’s concern about first-stage wheel cracking of a 7241 model. Another attendee offered that his turbine wheels had been blended/polished/peened at the first major.  Turbine discussion was limited by time. statistically speaking. included 2271 fired starts and 55 trips for GT1. Work scope for Block 1 called for 112. when removed. The noon hour was closing in. Actually it came in at 1% under plan. Despite the 13% increase in man-hours. 127. Finally. each equipped with two 2 x 1 7FA- powered combined cycles.6).000 were required. Outage case histories There were three case histories of outage experiences in the nearly two days of user presentations. and 2479 fired starts and 89 trips for GT2. Overhaul described below starts at the air inlet and proceeds through the engine to the generator. the outage budget was achieved. However.000 fired hours. As is often the case in open discussion forums. . Scores of suggestions/requirements in all applicable TILs were completed during the outage. each of which had operated for slightly more than 50. you benefit greatly from the diversity of opinion because it opens your eyes to how others think and the many alternatives you should consider before making a decision. you have a one-in-four chance of wheel cracking following b/p/p and only a one-in-nine chance of cracking if you don’t do anything. but 50 were required. the air filters— standard Donaldson-type conical/cylindrical—and evap media had never been replaced.000 man-hours of effort. the pressure drop through them was 5 in.  Also. and (3) there is no debris in the groove. Operating history of the gas-only 7FA+e gas turbines (DLN 2. review TIL-1214-3R3 regarding proper installation of dowel pins. Those three cases involved two stations. The following describes key activities on the first of the two blocks at that plant. Everyone was encouraged to provide input and in the end 239 lessons learned were documented. The combined cycles at the first station had operated for nearly 10 years and there was much work to do during the fall 2009 major inspection. Plant personnel believe they had extracted maximum value from the air filters.

visit www. Third-stage turbine parts on both rotors were evaluated by metallurgists and found suitable for continued use. NY. The speaker mentioned that a grit blast was not acceptable for coating prep work because media could carry over into the turbine. sealants.com/archives. Note that the filter house is made of carbon steel. click “Rotor overhaul. The collector was resurfaced using a stationary method. The generators for both 7241s were inspected by AGT Services Inc. Ductwork from the air inlet to the compressor bellmouth was carefully inspected for “opens” using daylight and water. and coatings. Gas turbines. and filters. Amsterdam.ccj- online. the drift eliminators could be reinstalled along with new evap media. The affected frames were prepped for a new coating—a two-part epoxy. Based on this experience. All seams in the evap-cooler section were sealed with Sikaflex®. No flow- accelerated corrosion (FAC) was found in the HRSGs. Rehab work complete. The third- party services provider found the stator and field acceptable for continued service without wedge or rotor work and the owner’s engineers concurred. but lined with stainless from the silencers to the downward transition duct to the compressor inlet. Instead. . repaired. drift eliminators. was installed at the third-party shop under the direction of the owner’s engineers.html. A replacement set. Heat recovery steam generators. Aggressive cleanup procedures were put in place to assure that all particulate matter was removed from the inlet house prior to engine restart. Valves were the focus of the HRSG overhauls. from Carboline Co. supplied by the OEM. . click 4Q/2009. pneumatic/mechanical needle scalers were used to remove rust from the frames. inspectors found corrosion on parts of the support structures for those elements.” on cover. All safety and relief valves were inspected. 21 days. The rotors for both gas turbines were pulled and sent to Sulzer Turbo Services’ Houston shop for inspection. replacement valves were ordered for Block 2 and for one of the company’s other plants. that for the GT2 rotor. The GT2 rotor had a runout of 4. No serious deficiencies were noted. and the new air filters. In-situ inspections revealed extensive cracking in the high-pressure (HP) valve bodies. and tested for continued service.After the filter houses were stripped of evap media. Carbomastic 615HS. and welded back in place. weld-repaired at a qualified shop. a Houston-based consultant specializing in such work. Valves were removed from their respective main steam lines. Four P91 elbows were checked and one crack identified.5 mils at the marriage joint. which was not expected. the tradename for a family of one-component polyurethane adhesives. Several R0 compressor blades in GT1 had crack indications on their respective roots. To learn more about what’s involved in correcting runout. . Feedwater heater modules at the boiler stacks were CO2 blasted to remove foreign material from tube external surfaces. The joint was broken and the compressor and turbine rotors destacked and refurbished by Sulzer under the direction of the owner’s engineers and Turbine End-User Services Inc (TEServices). Shop time for the GT1 rotor was 14 days.

Other work accomplished during the major included the following:  Condensate/feedwater system was inspected for FAC. The collector was resurfaced in the same manner as the collectors were refurbished for the GT generators. Wires were found in good shape. replacement and calibration of blowdown control-valve actuators. The first issue occurred while starting up one of the gas turbines at a 2 x 1 combined cycle. New system has the capability to analyze rotor stability anomalies in real time.  Vibration monitoring. Shop repairs regained the lost performance. In November 2006. The details: GT came up to FSNL as expected. A crack was found adjacent to a weld on one of the four elbows and repaired. removal of sediment from the basin. All of the lower piping and control wiring were removed from the lower half of the bearing tunnel to allow removal of the arch plates lining the lower half of the tunnel. Oil was found at the bearing end of the tunnel with no evidence of its source. At about 90 minutes into the startup (850F on the temperature- matching setpoint) the roving operator reported smoke coming from the No. CO2 was discharged manually to this area. There were two more outage case histories presented at the meeting.  High-energy pipe inspection. however. The first three rows of HP blades were replaced and the remaining damage was blended with acceptable service limits. no indications were found. 2 bearing-tunnel vent. Stellite liberated from the seat of the main stop valve (MSV) damaging the HP nozzle and the first few rows of blades in the HP turbine (Figs 17-19). tunnel surfaces were covered with soot. The owner chose to derate the unit by 10% and operate it as is until the 2009 major. unit walk-downs suggested everything was fine. Unit was tripped and flames were noticed coming out of the tunnel via the lube-oil return penetration. . which were an unwelcome surprise. The owner’s engineers. Three L-1 blades in the LP section were found with leading-edge cracks. and third-party experts collaborated on a successful in-situ blending solution.  Cooling towers: Structural repairs. San Antonio.Steam turbine. Both had to do with problems identified during restarts after major overhauls. This task is particularly difficult with the unit assembled. Sulzer personnel. A formal high-energy pipe inspection plan was put under development. Replaced vibration monitoring equipment on the steamer. The unit was auto-synched and placed in exhaust-temperature matching with a 700F setpoint for a steam-turbine cold start. The LP turbine work was the primary reason for the stretch-out in the outage schedule The generator required a full re-wedge by AGT Services. Four P91 elbows were checked by Gas Turbine Materials Associates (GTMA). Action taken: Unit was spin-cooled and the bearing tunnel entered by way of the outlet vent.

and click “Best Practices Awards. parts agreements. The unit was dispositioned to run with no further investigation. Get the details. at http://ge7fa. The final case history illustrated once again the importance of thoroughly checking work by contractors. More plant training should be done in the rigging area. A non-safety topic in this discussion session concerned long-term service agreements.com.Once the plates were removed. click 1Q/2010. Investigators learned that a portable electric-power pack had been turned over by the maintenance crew and the oil ran out. You also probably do not know how difficult it is to handle extractions when those being rescued are combative. allowing the breaker to close at 154 MW in two minutes. and where people should be and not be. to assure that the contractors used—whether they be union or nonunion—have the capabilities and experience to make critical lifts. There had been no issues at the time of the presentation that could be tied back to the fast-load event. and reassembled. and the injuries (and deaths) that result when risks are underestimated and staff is not properly trained. Two points made: You probably don’t understand how difficult it is to extract a 200-lb person from a confined space until you’ve tried.com. adding three days to the outage. another user said.ccj-online. An RCA showed the wires and their terminal points were clearly marked. There were many examples of what works. so staff understands what must be done and what their roles are. Most also agreed that there was a general lack of expertise in the industry on rigging. Suggestion was made to get a 200-lb dummy and attempt it. Safety” on the cover. what doesn’t. The OEM. Visible oil was cleaned up. contractual service agreements. The entire lower half of the bearing tunnel had to be stripped. including wiring diagrams. the I&C tech just connected the wires incorrectly and no one caught the mistake. Confined-space rescue and yo-yo tie-offs also got air time—the latter especially where scaffolding is required. the inspection team found that the lower insulation pads were saturated with oil and that free oil was trapped between the outer tunnel wall and the insulation. are limited. The safety give ’n take ran a solid 20 minutes and was particularly meaningful. reinsulated. An informal show-of-hands poll revealed that the . but the spill was not reported to personnel responsible for managing the outage. removing generator rotors.users- groups. etc— where institutional knowledge on actions to be taken. wiped down. one attendee said. The second discussion session focused mainly on safety. according to the speaker. Ramp rate was 77 MW/min. Then go backwards in time to get even more ideas from previous first-quarter issues. etc. which performed the major. You never can be over-prepared where safety is involved. You can get plenty of ideas of what to include in your plant’s safety program by accessing www. It’s incumbent on the plant owner. Lesson learned: Protect this area with plastic and oil-soak pads during the outage and establish hold points with contractors to inspect the area before reassembly. The abbreviated version of what happened is this: An error during re-termination of CTs to field wiring that reversed polarity on one phase permitted an uncontrolled ramp from FSNL to rated output on a freshly overhauled GT. showed little concern. Group consensus was that most injuries seem to occur on first-time events—such as lifting GT rotors.

Also. the strength-of-flame detector for No. Quality was not good. 2. just six weeks before the 7F Users Group meeting. A similar poll two years ago had third parties holding only 25% of the GT service business. strain amplitudes were proportional to output power. No material defect could be identified. An international owner/operator with four 1 x 1 7FA+e-powered combined-cycle plants told the group about his company’s experience with a fractured diffusion-air pipe on a DLN 2.  Acoustic vibration. Striations characteristic of HCF were found. and on combustor 12 they were larger than on the other combustors examined. 12 fuel nozzle was changed the next day. and atomizing air pipes. There was none when the combustor was operating. .trend away from OEM long-term agreements continues. Engineers found the highest strain at the starting point. Strain gages also were installed on PM1. Plant began commercial operation in April 2009 and completed its first combustion inspection in winter 2010. 8. Here’s what the analysis team found.  Operational vibration. which revealed no significant crack. Next step was to measure the vibrations and stresses on diffusion-air pipes Nos. Engineers found the dummy nozzles in PM2 and PM3 melted by the radiant heat of the flame.  Welding. defect. and didn’t find:  Material. Attendees indicated that about 40% of their agreements are now with third parties—including OEMs playing in another manufacturer’s sandbox. The RCA was not successful in identifying the root cause by fracture analysis. and 12 (Fig 21). The No. A month later. The level of stress did not exceed the material’s fatigue limit. but the margin to that limit was relatively small. operators received alarms of “High concentration of fuel gas” and “High temperature in the GT enclosure. The crack initiation point (yellow circle) was analyzed using a scanning electron microscope. PM3. and/or corrosion. Also. The unit was shut down immediately and an inspection initiated.  Excessive stress.6 combustor. evidence of HCF was present (Fig 20).” Concurrently. 12 combustor jumped from 70% to 100%. PM2.

Smeared and rolled metal on adjacent stator vanes (damage area on vane at left. a new actuator was installed. allowing fuel to leak into the open space. Discussion moved to HGP hardware performance and interval extension. Damage to trailing edge of rotating blades. Conclusion was that poor welding and high stress attributed to vibration might have been the underlying causes of the failure.25 in. at right. Experience at 24. Another user reported a trip on high compartment temperature. This unit had no oil capability. Anyone can carry a portable microphone.  Low cycle fatigue. Impact caused the damage at the right 2. 1 x 0. Action: Review weld quality on other combustors and improve as necessary. There was no creep fracture. The next change-out will require the OEM to install its “Biscuit” mod before installing the blades 3.  Creep. Stake marks indicate this is the third set of R0 blades. An attendee said his plant had a similar incident. Most damage was from the 6 o’clock position to the horizontal joint 5. 1.. Flame “cooked” the IGV actuator line. deformation and some lift-up of material near the platform at the trailing edge 4. 1 x 0. 7.375 in. Cropped S2 leading edge during an outage. from the leading edge. Damage to S2 leading-edge tip. No root cause was offered by either of the affected parties. Enough can’t be said about having an experienced crew patrolling the aisles with microphones to ensure that everyone can hear all questions and comments.  Stress corrosion cracking. Flame burned through blanks in the combustor end cover provided for dual-fuel use. Technicians took precise measurements of the damaged area on each vane then cropped the worst airfoil and cut back the entire row to the same point 6.) proved clashing was increasing in severity since its discovery a year earlier . but knowledgeable steering committee members with “mikes” contribute to the dialog and keep it moving.000 hours was noted. More specifically. Or possibly a brazed joint might have been cracked. Classic tip crack is shown at the left with crack initiation about 2 in. Not in evidence. R2 blade trailing-edge (left) and S2 vane leading-edge (right) clash indications typically look like this when viewed through a borescope 8. No corrosion found. The speaker thought that the end cover might not have been bolted snugly. It’s rare that someone on the steering committee wouldn’t have had experience to contribute on any topic that comes up in a 7F meeting.

Steam turbine’s MSV threw some Stellite (see insert) from its seat in November 2006. It’s a valuable roadmap for first-time presenters and a good review for many others. The 7F steering committee. 2. next year’s goal is 20. To get to that level. Stress cracks also may be found in the duct floor and in the pipe guides themselves 10. Vibration sensors and strain gauges were installed on the diffusion-air pipes serving combustors Nos. Installation of the new guide sleeves went according to plan and has eliminated the need for annual crack repair 12. 15.9. In Greenville. HP nozzle block was repaired and returned to service 19. the committee developed an essay on how to select and develop a plant “experience” for presentation (p 132). compromising its ability to hold buckets in position 14. places great value on the participation of plant personnel from the podium. Redesigned guide sleeve for piccolo pipes is easy to make and doesn’t require cutting the existing pipes 11. Bucket damage at the leading edge and coating detachment resulted from forward migration of the airfoils 13. First-hand accounts of problems/solutions by owner/operators are the lifeblood of user-group meetings. Lockwire is clearly out of the groove provided. in particular. Fallout from the first-stage bucket migration issue includes damage to first-stage vanes and second. and 12 Compressor section User presentations stimulated much of the discussion during the compressor session. 15 users presented (Sidebar 5). Stress cracking is relatively common on piccolo pipes where they attach to their respective pipe guides and in the areas where pipe guides attach to the floor. Analysis of fracture surface revealed striations characteristic of HCF along the red arrows. Inner tip of the lock wire should point in the direction of rotor rotation to help prevent the lock wire from moving 17. Starting point of the cracks appeared to be in the yellow circle at the back ends of the arrows 21. Inlet filters were scheduled first. Filter integrity is verified using standard industry tests. . and beyond. Blades in the HP section (first stage shown) were banged up badly by liberated Stellite 20. 8. and reinstalls them. The essay also offers guidance on how to prepare for your delivery—this to ensure that the experience is both professionally rewarding and enjoyable. removes them when a specified pressure drop is reached. cleans filters with high-pressure air. damaging HP nozzles and blades (see Figs 18 and 19) 18.and third-stage buckets 16. Subject was one plant’s experience with a service firm that tracks filter cleanliness. which ran until lunch on Day Two.

Someone in the audience suggested that plants located on the seacoast may be especially vulnerable because there was the possibility that chlorides would attack the 300-series stainless. click Spring 2004. The joint did better than that. The system’s inlet valve is closed when the unit is at full capacity and opens as load drops. Another thing plant personnel discovered was that GE documents do not discuss life-cycle requirements. Back-of-the-envelope arithmetic probably is sufficient to decide if this type of service is more cost effective than just replacing filters in-kind using plant staff.combinedcyclejournal. Recall that the IBH system protects the compressor in cold weather and permits GT operation at loads perhaps as low as 50% of rated output while holding emissions in check. Important to note is that IBH systems are not part of the OEM’s scope. This system was designed for the base-load service intended. however. polish. The entire expansion-joint assembly was replaced with one designed for 20. . They are installed by the mechanical contractor. This case history ignited much discussion on precautions to ensure that nothing is left inside the GT after an outage. which translates to a lifetime of 2. A 300-series stainless-steel expansion joint in the IBH system for a 7FA+e engine in daily cycling service failed.com/archives. Ultrasonic probe identified crack locations.000 thermal cycles (40-yr life expectancy). Yet another user thought some actuator arms supplied to the OEM might have been “beefier than others. no other damage— upstream or downstream—was in evidence. cost was only double that of the original. Engineers found that the expansion joint was designed for 1400 cycles. He also warned that noise might not precede failure. inspect using fluorescent penetrant. It would have been a big deal to replace just one blade. Inlet guide vanes.” There was considerable discussion on this and other actuator problems—including Belleville washers being installed incorrectly (upside down) by the OEM.” on cover. and peen the affected area. the plant now serves the 5-min market and GT load can change by 30 MW within that time period. Equipment. He found a great deal of wear and backlash on the rack-and-pinion drive and thought that might have had something to do with the failure. lasting 2200 cycles. Analysis revealed that crack propagation generally was slow. most often on inner convolutions. Those users opting to buy filters and in need of a quick refresher on filtration basics are referred to www. which means each system is unique. Failure of the expansion joint was identified by a loud. Initial thought was that it might have been caused by something left in the machine during the last hot-gas-path inspection in 2004. Might the damage have occurred during reassembly? Plant has an LTSA and the OEM provided detailed engineering instructions on how to blend. high-pitch (20 kHz) noise which could be heard 100 yards from the unit. One user said his company has well-defined procedures for entering the work area when the compressor and/or turbine upper casings are removed. Noise was caused by air whistling through cracks in the convolutions. tools. admitting 130-psig compressed air.6-equipped 7FA. however. Speaker suggested that his colleagues check their IBH systems and compare design conditions to actual. How did that happen? Damage to one R7 blade near its root was found on a base-load Model 7231 DLN2. Longest crack was just under a foot in length.Firm also disposes of used filters in an EPA-approved manner for customers that want that service and rents warehouse space for spare filters. . Another reported the same type of failure. A user said that the IGV actuator arm failed in fatigue on a 7FA that operates continuously at up to full load.5 years in peaking duty. Inlet bleed heat. parts . Plant personnel think at least some cracks may have been visible for as long as six months before whistling began.html. However. click “Selecting gas-turbine inlet air systems.

o An owner reported losing an S1 shim from the upper half of the casing and had to blend several blades where damage occurred. for a Model 7221 7FA. Disassembly revealed deterioration in the form of a “little dip” on the surface of the compressor rotor wheel at the aft nut. Reason: the ring segments that characterize the first five stator rows typically are rust-welded in place and wouldn’t move with shims missing. Main crack propagation was from the inner to outer side. One of the conclusions of the group: You have to weigh carefully the push for ever-faster inspections and repairs against the time required to assure something important won’t be overlooked.that enter/leave this area are carefully monitored. During the week before the outage vibration increased to 12 mils. Technology came into question. Strict rules require reporting something that dropped. It’s easy for rocks to get wedged between the treads on shoe soles/heals. but this owner developed an ultrasonic inspection device/procedure to check its other units. Many items were discussed and many observations were made during the compressor-roundtable discussion. Someone suggested that the experience described from the podium might very well have been caused by a pebble. Low.and high-cycle fatigue during start/stop operations caused the bolt failure at the aft nut. The rotor. even vacuumed at times. what was dropped (and removed). One potential source of debris that’s easy to forget is work shoes. plus wear/missing metal on the inner barrel. Secondary damage caused by the stacking-bolt failure included dents in and cracking of 17th-stage compressor blades. He said erosion happens and his concern is that the unit makes it through a major-inspection interval without major work. Crack is detectable by “doping” the vibration monitoring algorithm. had more than 65. Bullet points below hit some of the highlights: o Two users with Model 7231s reported damage to the trailing edges of R3 blades. A corrosion pit was thought to have initiated the crack. . o One participant commented on the OEM’s new water-wash system. The rotor had been overhauled and reassembled by GE twice and stacking bolts/nuts had been replaced. No defective assembly was noted from records. This generated considerable discussion on shim fixes—including both GE and non-OEM techniques. Owner with a dozen and a half 7FAs presented on a stacking-bolt failure that initiated a forced outage on high vibration in late July 2007. General feeling was that for R0 through R4. but users with LTSAs say they don’t have options and are not concerned.000 total operating yours and more than 1000 starts over its lifetime. OEM attributed the damage to relatively minor surge and blended the blades. protruding shims should be pulled out if possible. Unstable vibration signatures first appeared in May 2006. where it dropped. Compressor roundtable. Such failure reportedly is most likely to occur on non-robust-back-end rotors—typically 7221s and some 7231s. A field balance was done at that time and it reduced shaft vibration from about 8 mils to 2. More pertinent facts: The unit was taken out of service for a combustor inspection about five months before the forced outage. Stacking-bolt failure. Crack initia- tion was at three points on the inner side of the rotor. It had been installed in one unit from 1996 to 2003 and in another from 2004 until the time of failure. Boots must be checked. Migration of S3 vanes was said to have been the cause.

but the OEM will relax suggestions depending on site conditions and specific parameters. Much discussion on this. First step was to conduct a fleet baseline assessment by gathering pertinent data for each unit— such as particle counts and the potential for varnish formation. Yet another: The prime mover’s hydraulic and lube-oil systems often are served by a common sump. etc? o Two types of blade cracking noted: suction side (less prevalent) and down in the dovetail. the real learning begins. varnish-potential rating using Quantitative Spectrophotometric Analysis (QSA). First.” Lube-oil systems Ask a plant manager where his or her biggest headaches originate and there’s a good chance they will be linked to water or lube-oil chemistry. Here are a couple of things this user learned during this phase of the project: o Oil tested immediately looked good. Some users say they were told that the TILs are “guidelines. Another challenge: You have to deal with independent lube-oil systems for each gas turbine/generator and the steam turbine/generator. many affected. the new online washing system. An owner reported to the group about its efforts to extend lube-oil life. under-cut to relieve stress. OEM says it’s a site-by-site thing. However. testing. o Restart logic after a shutdown: Can restart from immediately after shutdown until two hours later. below the platform. A key element of this program is to standardize where possible lube-oil specifications. o A participant reported that two regular (non P-cut) R0 blades cracked at the base. all over the lot: What can you do with what type of compressor blades. Maintaining lube-oil in top condition at a combined-cycle plant can be particularly challenging. Discussion was dizzying. . and treatment across a fleet of more than two dozen 7FAs at nearly a dozen sites. the old online washing system. 72 hours later the “still. complicating oil selection and treatment. Particle counts were obtained using ISO (International Standards Organization) Cleanliness Code 4406.” cooler sample produced much different numbers. cannot restart between two and eight hours after shutdown because the case cools faster than the rotor and rubs result. in a chloride environment. Language in the applicable technical information letter is very strict. online water washing was not employed. eight hours or more after shutdown you can restart at any time. but for only a couple of thousand hours. A fleet of this size certainly can justify a subject specialist in central engineering. in a non-chloride environment. Fretting leads to cracking. if you grind down tips you can start at any time. o A user reported that the titanium nitride sacrificial coating to protect the base metal of compressor blades against water erosion seems to work. Once you think you understand the language of lube oil. you have to learn the basics of a fluid chemistry and testing procedures that weren’t taught in any chemistry class you took in high school or college.

Laser accuracy is impacted adversely when the oil contains water. o Test of a chemical treatment to put varnish back into solution got good results. But these speakers don’t live with the idiosyncrasies and faults of what they sell and this limits their access to information that usually is most beneficial to you. o Tests using an anti-spark filter were promising. Was much less expensive than changing oil. This user believes the electrostatic oil cleaner meets expectations only when the oil is cool. o One of the major suppliers of turbine oil has reformulated a product associated with high particle counts. There was virtually no evidence of static dis- charge. particle counts run higher. varnish potential was up. Reasons typically include: “I have no new ideas.” One of the steering committee’s responsibilities is to help colleagues think more positively of what they have to offer the group and to provide the encouragement and help necessary to make their presentations happen. which could have easily cost more than $100. The main reason owner/operators meet is to learn from the experiences of their colleagues. The electrostatic oil cleaner then was retested with a new filter element. 1 bearing drains into the sump. Oil was allowed to sit for a week and a follow-up test revealed varnish potential had shot up again. Good results were achieved on hot oil with a high-end specialty filter. It’s difficult to get some users to the front of the room. and disposing of the waste. performance. and safety from other users. Much better results were achieved in only three days. The unit ran for two weeks on oil at room temperature and the varnish potential dropped dramatically. To illustrate: The speaker reported a 3-in. Equipment manufacturers and services providers do a satisfactory job from the podium primarily because the steering committees for the various gas-turbine user groups encour- age them stick to the technical content promised and refrain from sales pitches. a week later. it follows that the more presentations by users the greater a meeting’s value. but not by much.” “I’ve never made a presentation before. The bottom line: If users generally get the best ideas for improving plant practices.000 by the time you pay for the oil.o ISO 4406 tests may be conducted using a laser particle counter or pore-blockage technique. layer of foam where No. Think of it simply as quid pro quo—you help me and I’ll help you. o Tests using an electrostatic oil cleaner produced mixed results.” “I don’t have time to prepare a presentation. Share your knowledge at the next meeting with a short presentation Presentations by plant and central-engineering personnel are the lifeblood of user-group meetings. o Temperature impacts the clean-up process. o Sampling location is important. Everyone knows it’s foolhardy to pay twice for the same lesson. . cleaning the system.

The committee recommends beginning by writing down the goal of your proposed presentation. o Cover maintenance issues. Save the other ideas for future meetings. the steering committee offered the following suggestions: o Discuss a forced-outage event with significant consequences—such as downtime. inspect. o Provide details of a root cause analysis (RCA) to help your colleagues better understand the reasons behind a particular operational anomaly or equipment failure and what they should anticipate. o Offer improvements in plant practices and performance. outage practices.Members of the steering committee for the 7F Users Group compiled their thoughts on how to develop and deliver a winning presentation for a user-group conference. sister units inspected that reveal the same distress. contact someone on the steering committee. as-found condition. Once you’re convinced. for example).or four-sentence summary of your proposed presentation’s content as well as three or four sentences on your experience—both general and how it relates to your chosen subject. To help you select a manageable topic for your first/next presentation. (2) made an improvement. cost. o Present first-application experience with a new “fix” or product (OEM beta test. Begin with a goal. etc. it’s also normal for your mind to race off in many different directions because you suddenly realize you have lots of ideas to share. (3) controlled or reduced costs or minimized schedule impact. trend at their plants. How to proceed. Pick your topic. For example. o Discuss repair methods. include a three. Don’t forget to include office and cell phone numbers in case the committee wants more . Having an audience of receptive colleagues makes the experience particularly gratifying. equipment monitoring. Pick one event or issue that you were/are personally involved with. Experienced presenters advise that focus is a prerequisite for success at the podium. or something specific to the outage scope (planned or unplanned). It may take a while to convince yourself that you have the knowledge and experience others would benefit from—that’s normal. etc. equipment damage. Provide sufficient information to facilitate decision-making. It should be to convey concisely information you wish someone had told you so you could have (1) anticipated or avoided a situation. and/or (4) improved plant practices. outage findings: Can be general. particularly new onsite or in-shop techniques that offer quality. E-mail is the best way to communicate because it’s easy for the addressee to relay your idea to others on the committee with his or her recommendation. Do this several months in advance of the conference if you can. especially experience with in-situ nondestructive examination techniques that help you make better decisions faster. and/or schedule benefits. Consider inviting OEM participation to provide technical details and/or to answer specific questions. o Review inspection methods. Once you have decided on a topic.

Start by gathering the photos and illustrations that support your observations. With people as busy as they are these days. But don’t bet the farm it will work properly in the meeting room unless you communicate “special needs” with the steering committee well in advance of the conference. avoid commercial issues. that doesn’t necessarily make them a good idea. there’s probably too much detail. it typically takes about a month for the steering committee to get back to you with a decision and comments/suggestions. Load the presentation on a CD or flash drive and send it to the steering committee member assigned to work with you. When you pack for the conference. If your presentation is of the problem/solution type. Just because computers allow use of videos. If not. (2) thought of your body language and if you came across as knowledgeable and relaxed. Be sure to start by stating your goal clearly and concisely. A good place to do this is in the break room at the plant. such as a new procedure. Present important details in bullet-point format. Shorten up your explanation and/or pull a few of the least- important slides. a relaxed and informal setting. If you took more than about 15 minutes. Use callouts and/or arrows to focus audience attention on specific elements of the photo. Everybody wins. Time yourself on the second practice run. be sure to bring an electronic copy of your final presentation on a flash drive as well as a hard copy in case you present from behind a podium without a clear line of sight to the screen. Now you’re ready for a “dry run” in front of colleagues. In certain instances—such as demonstration of fog-nozzle performance for an evaporative cooling system—video streaming is valuable and should be considered seriously. That means it’s fine. too. Note. conclusions. and prepare your presentation. animation. the facts you believe are pertinent to arriving at a solution. Callouts and/or captions for photos and illustrations should be terse and in large type so they can be read from the back of the room where the seats always seem to fill up first. Ask your peers what they (1) learned from the presentation. for example. Others. what you’ve tried already and the results obtained. Best to have three or four listeners (including at least one unfamiliar with the subject matter). then the group quite possibly is learning about an emerging problem. might require only one or two block-type diagrams. etc. After completing your presentation. make reservations. Make sure your photos are crisp and bright. remember to explain concisely how the solution was arrived at.detail. (3) wanted to know in addition to what you told them. Resist irrational exuberance. etc. lessons learned. Odds are good that someone in the room has had a similar— perhaps even the same—problem. Don’t be too critical. what was considered but didn’t work. such as weld inclusions in an x-ray. Some topics benefit from many photos—a rotor disassembly and life assessment. Factor in relevant comments and finalize the presentation. Preparing your presentation. Ask the attendees for their thoughts/ideas. This should allow sufficient time to get the necessary travel approvals. you always come across better than you think. If the audience needs more information you’ll be asked for it during the Q&A period. that your presentation doesn’t require both a beginning and an end. etc. Final steps. to enhance a presentation. put circles around key findings. You might also consider saving to the . It’s perfectly acceptable to present a problem you’re faced with. Stick with technical facts. etc. but you can get by with a couple if need be. Chances are you won’t hear anything but a “looks good” before you show up for the conference. work done. run through it a couple of times alone and in front of a mirror.

When your name is called. No single element was ever identified as the main culprit. o PAG is the base fluid. You’ll do well. The takeaway from the dialog was that the electrostatic oil cleaner was good for cleaning up hard particles while an alternative particle agglomeration device was particularly effective on soft particles. how to operate the projector and laser pointer. gaskets. o PAG-compatible materials must replace all rubber and paper in the system—for example. Plant switched to polyalkaline glycol (PAG). The morning of your session. improvement in oil quality when using the electrostatic unit on an operating turbine. Showtime. “stick. verify that your program loads properly. Solution for this user: Don’t try to manage varnish. everyone has at least some experience and most have an opinion or two. relax by walking deliberately to the podium and checking the time. If time is tight. o Verify proper operation of the emergency dc lube-oil pump with the higher-gravity PAG. Power draw will increase. Speaker began with a review of problems encountered during six years of base-load operation with conventional turbine oil. but byproducts are soluble in the base oil. Open by introducing yourself and your company by name.” additional photos pertinent to the discussion. varnish byproducts remained in solution until they agglomerated into large particles. o The small amount of original oil that remains in the system after draining does not adversely impact PAG. Check your watch once to be sure you’re sticking to the presentation and not adding superfluous information. visit the meeting room early to see where you’ll be presenting from. suggest meeting in the foyer during the next coffee break. A concern with the system agglomerating soft particulates was that some of the agglomerated material would be squeezed through the filter. so a detergent flush is not needed. so might a backup laser pointer. and reserve a seat a few rows back from the front of the room with easy access to the aisle. A couple of attendees said they saw little. . Say a few words about your responsibilities to “connect” with the audience and begin. just don’t make it. When it comes to lube oil. Other important points made: o PAG can oxidize at high temperatures. never worry about wrapping-up early. so it was assumed that the fluid had not degraded. Tests conducted just prior to the meeting showed additives still were in their original concentrations. Lube oil was back on the program Friday morning. Servos fouled and adversely impacted operation of gas valves. including much varnish and several trips attributed to it. Additives determine its suitability for lube-oil and hydraulic control purposes. The floor discussion that followed this presentation might have gone on forever had it not been for lunch. O- rings. etc. A watch may prove helpful. Turbine oil lasted about two years or so before varnish buildup became an issue. thank the audience and ask for questions. if any. When you finish. They may be of value during the Q&A session. Electrostatic oil clean-up system removed only insoluble varnish. Presentation was made after six months of operating experience with the new fluid.

Also. Repair was successful.and third-stage wheels were damaged by a balance weight. A failure of the cooling tip cap on a first-stage bucket for a 7FB was reported on next.html: Click Summer 2004. Damaged wheel had a burr in a dovetail groove. click “Maintain lube oil within spec. participants in the audience must be accessed with a “mike” quickly. That is not unusual.” on the issue cover. be ready for surprises. shot-peening was essential because of the burr’s location. Behind closed doors. click “Gas-turbine valve sticking. Improper installation if the lockwire was thought to be the cause of that issue. o Most heavy industrial experience with PAG has been in turbocompressors. Other issues discussed concerned the forward seal pins and a bucket lockwire that was found disengaged. . were available for consultation at the vendor fair— specifically. and line up a set of replacement buckets in case they’re necessary. Speaker said another user had the same experience. First described an in-situ first-stage wheel repair for a 7FA+e. this is a big group. Users were urged to carefully monitor unit repairs and to ensure rigorous QA/QC during installation of locking hardware. quality issues associated with the various casting houses supplying buckets and nozzles (defects can be traced by serial numbers).000 hours.combinedcyclejournal. A few extra seconds of dead time spawns local . One unit was said to have operated for more than 80. Platform creep indications were identified on first-stage buckets. weld repair of turbine cases. accompanied by extensive leading-edge oxidation. ISOPur Fluid Technologies Inc. They also were successfully repaired and shot-peened in place.” Turbine session There were two user presentations in this session before the open discussion period. condition of third-stage buckets. EPT Inc/CleanOil. Unit had fewer than 6200 fired hours and only 450 starts since commercial start. The roundtable discussion that followed the prepared presentations covered a wide range of issues and observations—including high wheel-cavity temperatures. second-stage bucket shroud failures. and Kleentek. Holding the interest of the audience through the entire roundtable and keeping 250 people focused on a single subject is a difficult job. Readers can get useful background on lube-oil issues by accessing back articles at www. equipment/services suppliers directly involved in the lube-oil projects profiled above. bucket migration was in evidence. . The beehive of activity on the exhibition floor suggested users were actively looking for additional information on subjects addressed by colleagues from the podium or during the open discussion. .com/archives. The buckets were installed a year earlier during a combustor inspection and had seen fewer than 2200 fired hours. etc.” and “Assess the condition of your oils. American Chemical Technologies Inc. Analysts Inc. Speaker said the OEM was working on a new bucket design. Operating data gave no indication of the problem. starts limit for second-stage buckets. click 3Q/2006. Good equipment is a must. supplier names are mentioned. They were removed and inspected using an immersion UT process. The speaker also reported on repairs on a sister unit. First. casing galling. C C Jensen Inc. Interestingly. However. . . click “The lowdown on the sticky subject of lubricant varnish”. . . Recommendations from the podium: Conduct borescope inspections annually. The 7F Users Group steering committee does a particularly good job guiding the roundtable discussions. click 3Q/2005. The discussion leader is at the front of the room and there are committee members working the aisles with handheld microphones. and firms with similar offerings.

Here were the steps taken by this owner to minimize the possibility of a similar experience in the future: o Color-coded gaskets.5% availability. GE expects commercial rollout of a redesigned compressor for the 7F fleet during 2Q/2009 (concurrent introduction for new units and the installed base). 98. Discussion included liquids in the gas supply. controls. Perhaps the most outstanding attribute of the floor stewards is their intimate knowledge of the entire product line. slight but meaningful design variations. bolting and gasket issues. and/or loose or uneven tightening of flange bolting. at least one member of the floor team understands and can translate. flame stability. the OEM’s OpFlex™ Wide Wobbe control system. and failure of an atomizing air compressor. F-class technology milestones achieved in 2007. Also necessary are floor stewards like these who are not tempted to make a presentation themselves —another discussion killer. fleet surpassed 20-million operating hours.conversation groups that would kill the session. and proper torque is applied. The afternoon was dedicated to breakout sessions on combustion. combustion dynamics. and accessories that included a Q&A period. Auxiliaries. generators User presentations on auxiliaries included a steam-turbine Mark V to Mark VI upgrade. nuts. as reported by the OEM. including R0 blades. and lockwashers. etc. proper arrangement of studs/nuts/lockwashers is employed. The team leader discussed the benefits of technology investment. as well as for the turbine. 7241s. etc. guess again. and 4Q/2010 for the 6F fleet. stator vanes. but also units with components made of different materials. and 95. When someone asks a question that leaves others scratching their heads. Another thing you learn sitting through one of these sessions is that while everyone’s either an owner and/or operator of a 7F there a many different versions of this machine—not just 7221s. One might think that such a pedestrian subject as bolting and gasketing would have no place at an F-technology meeting.8% starting reliability. That’s necessary to keep the dialog moving. 7231s. o Replaced the OEM-supplied bolts and locknuts with studs. Combustion session A user presentation on the Modified Wobbe Index and the impact of variable fuel-gas quality on a DLN2. emissions. . included the following: The 1000th unit shipped. 2Q/2010 for the 9F fleet. Last might have been caused by galling experienced with the GE fasteners. Having four or five motivated floor stewards who can “fly” up and down the aisles is necessary. poor gasket installation. The speaker detailed numerous gas leaks on startup after maintenance on a 7FA+e because of improper gasket selection. and auxiliaries.6 combustion system drove the entire session.4% operating reliability. o Established torque ratings. flashbacks. Looking ahead. GE Day GE Energy’s 7F technology team presented on Thursday morning the company’s latest modifications and improvements for the compressor. o Developed check-off sheets for QC personnel to ensure proper gasket material is installed. fleet achieved 99.

one of whom is Moudy. and housing. on generator issues and maintenance. Knowledge management is particularly important. Moudy explained: Steady-state forces—sometimes called “slot pounding forces”—are a function of the 120-Hz (twice the operating frequency) vibration forces that result from the magnetic flux traveling through the rotor and stator. Columbus. Water was thought to accumulate when the compressor was on standby during gas firing. shroud. But that was not enough for this group. This is a prerequisite for assuring high reliability. End turns overhang the core and if not properly supported. He began by urging users to check end windings for looseness and vibration every outage. In Greenville. Lesson learned: Just because you see water coming out of the drain doesn’t mean there’s no water level in the compressor. and other distractions. . he said. where his experience and encyclopedic memory are valuable assets for helping users meet management’s expectation of high availability. It identifies mechanical resonances excitable by the 120-Hz electromagnetic forcing frequency. NEC typically gets a call when a large electrical machine is ailing. To help users objectively evaluate their generator preventive maintenance programs. Maintenance practices. visual indications include dusting and greasing. Those most likely to respond from NEC are the service managers.The last user case history was particularly interesting. These pounding forces cause the coil to vibrate radially in the slot. and specific issues concerning the rotor. Ohio. o Lube oil analysis: Semi-annually. workforce reductions. As a leading provider of generator services. dividing his presentation into three parts: basic observations. because without historical records it is harder to diagnose a generator’s condition or get to the root cause of the failure quickly. they will vibrate. to identify bearing problems. general maintenance practices. Transient (surge) forces usually occur during a generator fault. attendees wanted to know the source of the damaging vibration. who probably has witnessed just about every problem a generator could have. these forces can break ties and loosen windings—even displace them. possibility of imminent failure. to guard against insulation failure. The atomizing air compressor for this dual-fuel 7FA commissioned in the mid 1990s was compromised by standing water in the unit that caused rapid deterioration of the impeller. loose components. The latter closes out this report. o Grounds: Continuously. budget cuts. The generator session featured a user’s viewpoint on the failure of a generator breaker disconnect switch. You want to tune the unit to avoid resonances in this range. He is a confident speaker at industry meetings. Moudy urged users to do all they could to maintain industry-standard maintenance practices during changes of ownership. If sufficiently large. to check for contamination and indications of bearing babbitt deterioration. or more often. he continued. A standby compressor was available and placed in service. to ensure it is within manufacturer’s limits. Moudy said a bump test to assess your generator’s susceptibility to damaging vibration should be conducted as part of every major outage. Moudy offered these guidelines: Standard equipment monitoring o Temperature: Monitor continuously. Moudy focused on the 7FH2 and 324 generators that most attendees had. Speaker noted that if you lose atomizing air you have 11 seconds before you start losing metal. o Vibration: Continuously. and a presentation by Howard Moudy of National Electric Coil.

o Partial discharge. oily surfaces.Visual inspection o Stator winding: Look for dust. loose or shifted blocks. and arcing during every outage with the rotor out. o Rotor: Look for discoloration from overheating. o DC ramp. and foreign objects during every major outage with the rotor out. every outage. . every outage. to identify shorted turns when the unit is stationary. to “stress” insulation to prove its integrity. every major outage. every major outage. to detect shorted laminations. every outage. discoloration. and foreign object damage before every outage to help determine scope. to identify insulation deterioration and verify coil tightness in slot. o Pole balance. o Core loop. every major outage. to identify shorted laminations. to detect end-winding resonant frequencies. annually. o Winding resistance. o Wedge tightness. to determine presence of contamination. every major outage. to determine presence of contamination. every major outage. every major outage. to locate loose wedges. o Winding resistance. to verify integrity of brazed connections. o Stator core: Inspect for damaged iron. Specialty tests o ElCID (Electromagnetic Core Imperfection Detection). to determine insulation strength. Rotor electrical tests o Insulation resistance or “Megger” with PI. loose iron. grease. broken ties. every outage. Stator electrical tests o Insulation resistance or “Megger” with PI (Polarization Index). o Hi-pot. to verify integrity of brazed connections and find broken conductors. discoloration. o Flux probe. yearly. o Bump. after rewinds or core repair. to identify shorted turns when the unit is in operation.

fans. 1 and the surface of the rotor dovetail-shaped slot. the easier the rotor bends. rings. o Ultrasonic. Peaking units are said to be in the highest-risk group. Moudy suggested monitoring and inspection to identify the problem if it exists. then discussed NEC’s Specialized Engineering Solution™ as one corrective procedure (visit www. every major outage. coupling. rings. o Dye penetrant. o Practical content.national-electric-coil.com to learn more). which the OEM acknowledged as an issue in early 2000. to locate surface cracks in magnetic steel components. Dovetail groove cracking in the rotor forging of 324 generators predates identification of turn- insulation migration. to find surface cracks in nonmagnetic parts. and hubs. and shaft. The experienced users in the room had heard all about this before and probably had taken corrective action. Three things stand out when reviewing meeting notes: o User involvement. significantly changing material properties. The higher the rotor L/D ratio.NDE tests o Magnetic particle. Turn-insulation migration occurs when the resin bond between the insulation and copper separates and the insulation—for lack of a better term—migrates. The background: Rotor dovetail cracks can be initiated by fretting at the interface between steel wedges in slot No. wedges. The 7F is the largest frame user group. Attendance at the annual conference— over 200 user delegates—is double that of the next largest frame meeting. Rotor issues. rings. to pinpoint interior cracks in metal components. What happens is that material in the vicinity of the crack overheats. So there was an opportunity for them to turn off the “concentration button” for a moment. The three day program has relatively few presentations by non-users— except for those conducted by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) on “General . But with more than half of the attendees first-timers there were plenty of people who wanted to hear what Moudy had to say. A collateral problem is created during severe negative-sequence current events—such as when motoring during turning-gear operation or with the rotor at rest. with more than 600 active members. every major outage. thus L/D ratio is a possible correlator with this failure. shaft. every major outage. fans. Concern is that the cracks could initiate catastrophic damage to stator and rotor. Crack propagation is a result of high-cycle fatigue caused by rotor bending. Moudy said that independents like National Electric Coil have developed effective methods for addressing this problem Focused discussion key to problem-solving The 7F Gas Turbine User’s Group consistently conducts a superior annual conference. Moudy discussed two rotor issues specific to 324 generators serving 7FA gas turbines: turn-insulation migration and dovetail-groove cracking. and wedges.

The group’s steering committee encourages other groups to contact the website operator at newgrouprequests@users-groups. and auxiliaries. concentrated on the compressor. Progress Energy Carine Bullock.com. followed by hour-long presentations on the turbine. In addition to the annual conference. The value of the website is demonstrated by a doubling of the number of user delegates to the annual conference over the last few years. 2005-2006 Bob Holm. the group’s website. turbine.” It focuses on case histories and group discussion of specific issues that concern the members. for users only. OxyChem Scott Trantham.com if they have interest in increasing communication among members to resolve O&M and other issues quickly and efficiently. allowing maximum interaction with key OEM personnel. compressor. and answer questions across a wide range of subjects. and subsequent Q&A sessions. The site enables members to communicate 24/7. A special presentation by a 9F user was rolled into the day’s activities (see sidebar).users-groups. Mark your calendar 7F Gas Turbine User’s Group 2006 Conference Emory Conference Center Hotel Atlanta May 8-11 Delegates and exhibitors contact: Gail Silvers Certified Meeting Planner Voice: 678-784-3059s E-mail: gail@vision-makers. and auxiliaries. has been instrumental to the success of the organization. Day One. conduct interactive sessions. The 2005 meeting was held in Peachtree City. Ga. close to GE Energy’s Atlanta headquarters. GE Day began with a review of the latest technical information letters (TILs) issued to 7F users worldwide. The first evening of each 7F conference is reserved for a four- hour vendor fair which includes reception and dinner on the expo floor. Electric Day. FPL Energy Art Hamilton. More than 100 of the manufacturer’s specialists were available on the second day to make presentations. There were more than a dozen presentations by users and three group discussions— so-called roundtables— on the compressor/turbine. Calpine Corp . Much of the information shared forms the basis for the annual conference program. combustion issues. Around 50 exhibitors participate annually. Calpine Corp Peter So. combustion system. http://GE7FA. and combustion system. This year there were 48.com Steering Committee. showcasing products and services ranging from inlet filters to borescopes to compressor washing systems to lube-oil treatment and services. o Comprehensive exhibition.

Entegra Power Group Marshall McDuffie.010 in. o Next bore scope inspection showed tip liberation had occurred again in one unit on an R0 blade. including updates on remote services and trip-reduction initiatives. advanced repair capabilities. Bear in mind that the global installed fleet of more than 540 7Fs is experiencing increased cyclic operation.000 starts were recorded in the last year and the fleet added 1. Dominion Energy Joel Holt. Notes from presentations and discussion during GE Day conclude the report. Over 52. CPS Energy Miles Valentine. The final day. It included five presentations by users and three more roundtables. Suez Energy NA Reliability and operational flexibility were among the key discussion topics.Ed Fuselier. The O&M experience presented here is evidence of the significant value associated with attending the 7F conference on a regular basis. × 0. The product fair included a first-hand look at the company’s new longer-life hot-gaspath (HGP) components. Direct Energy Paul White. Tampa Electric Co Steven Bates. also for users only. Background facts: o Bore scope inspections conducted on the compressors of three sister units showed all had tight clearances. The Southern Company Don Barnett. which featured a remote tuning system demonstration. and new maintenance services. Compressor/turbine case histories 1. Compressor tip failure Compressor section failure was caused by tight clearances and compressor casing distortion on a unit that had 1900 fired hours and 350 fired starts. . Two units had experienced Row 0 (R0) tip liberation (1. What follows is a collection of 13 case histories gleaned from presentations by users and roundtables on the first and third days of the meeting. Important details concerning the 2006 meeting are presented in the sidebar on this page.5 in. generators. which places greater emphasis on operating flexibility. and balance-of-plant (BOP) systems and equipment. dual-fuel capabilities. and accessories and controls highlighted the afternoon. concentrated on operational issues with dual-fuel systems. o R0 tip grinding and blending removed 0. A reception and product fair concluded the day. the third an R0casing rub between the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. to increase the clearance.5 in.).8 million hours of operation. Breakout sessions on the steam turbine.

(4) tight vane-torotor blade clearances caused by CDC elongation contributed to R14 failure. Metallurgist reported that many blade tips were off spec with regard to hardness and surface finish. Vane rock permitted contact between stator and rotor blades. IGV (inlet guide vane) shroud could not be reinstalled because of clearance challenges. of material.020 in. o Lessons learned: o Impact of compressor blade-tip rubs on the material properties of C450 is significant. o Laboratory examination using a scanning electron microscope found a crack on the convex side of the blade. fluorescent dye is required.562 fired hours on the unit.—because of metal creep. High vibration initiated the trip. Blade- tip hardness testing is critical following a tip-rub event. o Accident investigators observed the following: (1) R13 and R15 blades exhibited the characteristics of high-cycle fatigue. (2) rotor was found sitting too far aft in the casing. Investigators noted that the second cause might have been missed when the first blade repair work was conducted. Compressor failure resulted in this case. o Lessons learned: . o Root cause analysis (RCA) confirmed that the failure was caused by reduced axial clearances and that power augmentation placed additional stress on the unit. Background facts: o Failure occurred with 56. Three R13 and all R14 through R17 blades were destroyed. o Red dye penetrant is inadequate for nondestructive examination (NDE). Hardness levels were brought back into spec by removing 0. (3) CDC also was too far aft—by 0. o Blade-tip surface finish of RMS 64 is required after tip grinding. 2. o Hardness testing showed softening of the blade-tip material consistent with C450 material exposed to temperatures of less than 1200F. Compressor failure. Causes were identified as grinding heat and high-cycle fatigue. latter stages Elongation of compressor discharge casing (CDC) on the Model 7221 machine causes tight clearances in the back end of the compressor.125 in. o Recent history: R0 and R1 blade tips were ground in 2003 because blade tip-to-casing clearances were too tight.

Dig into the findings. Investigators found that 13 of the 32 R2 rotating blades had touched the stationary blades. Compressor clearances CDC creep on Model 7221 machines will close up the “A Set” dimension. o The CDCs on early-model machines are made of carbon steel. final inspection before closing the case identified one R14 blade that required blending. o On reassembly. R14 compressor outage Warranty outage for R14 compressor tip rub and tip loss on a Model 7241 gas turbine (GT) in simple-cycle service revealed additional compressor problems. was removed from the R0. which is conducive to contact between rotating and stationary blades (refer to Case History No. 2).” 3. R17 blades were considered too tight in the stator and a 0. shim was installed. o Never assume that the repair work being done is “routine. Investigators found heavy rubs in the top half of the compressor casing. o Owner’s policy to remove rubbed material from the inside of the case was proved wellfounded: Cracks in the casing were identified at the ninth stage after tip material was removed. o It is important to have the results of your RCA prior to machine reassembly. The compressor “X” clearance also was evaluated. Outage summary: o Machine had relatively few operating hours and under 50 fired starts. Later-model units have alloy steel CDCs. which reportedly have not exhibited creep. o Tips were first ground on the R14 blades and then 0. . o Compressor “RA” measurements (distance between R17 blade tips and the CDC) had been taken regularly to see if the CDC was showing signs of creep. shim was removed. Long- term solution is to replace the carbon steel CDC with one of alloy steel. 4. R1. and R2 blades when engineers decided clearances were too tight at those locations.020 in.040 in.120 in. Note that creep will cause the CDC movement and contact between stationary and rotating blades if the original “A Set” dimension is maintained. Outage summary: o Causal analysis was conducted on a 7FA GT with inlet fogging following contact between R2 rotating and stationary blades. EGVs (exit guide vanes) were too loose and a 0. which is prone to creep. making sure to question answers that leave any doubt in your mind. asking the investigators lots of questions.

o Stationary blades were cropped to open up the clearance between the fixed and rotating blades. .