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Proceedings of the IEEE

International Conference on Automation and Logistics

Qingdao, China September 2008

Maintenance Decision on Steam Turbine Digital

Electro-Hydraulic Control System Based on Risk
Yuliang Dong, Yujiong Gu, Yi Zhang
Key Laboratory of Condition Monitoring and Control for Power Plant Equipment of Ministry of Education
North China Electric Power University
Changping District, Beijing 102206, China,

Abstract-As the substitute of mechanical hydraulic governing to reduce the total scope of work and cost of the maintenance
system, steam turbine digital electro-hydraulic (DEH) control program in a structured and justifiable way. The quantitative
system presents different maintenance characteristics. If the value of the risk is used to prioritize inspection and
traditional maintenance strategy is still adopted, that is the maintenance activities. RBM suggests a set of
replacement or inspection time determined just according to recommendations on how many preventive tasks (including
overhaul or minimal maintenance standard items, the result is the type, means, and timing) are to be performed. The
either maintenance cost increasing due to excessive maintenance implementation of RBM will reduce the likelihood of an
or reliability decreasing due to deficient maintenance. For the unexpected failure[1].
problem, a frame of risk-based maintenance (RBM) decision of Risk-based maintenance decision methods can be
categorized into qualitative, quantitative, and semi-
DEH system is put forward, the expression method of failure
quantitative method [2-9]. For it is put forward for not long
effect and risk is determined, and the optimal maintenance
time, risk-based maintenance is not widely applied, and most
interval of equipment in system is decided by using fault tree
of the applications focus on the area of process plant[3] and
algorithm. Take the DEH system of a certain 300MW steam
petroleum transport system[8]. In addition, in most of the
turbine as example, the maintenance decision is made. It is shown
quantitative risk decision model, risk value is determined by
by the instance that this method is feasible and effective, and the
single object. To DEH control system, three objectsΫsafety,
decision results can be used as a support for maintenance plan.
reliability and economy should be considered when making
Index Terms - DEH control system, maintenance decision,
maintenance decision. So, multi-object risk-based
risk evaluation, fault tree maintenance decision approach is researched in this paper.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2
I. INTRODUCTION establishes the risk-based maintenance decision frame by
analyzing the maintenance characteristic of DEH control
Steam turbine DEH control system which consists of
system. In section 3, the expression method of DEH control
digital computer, electro-hydraulic converter, EH oil system
system failure effect and risk is determined, the fault tree of
and oil motor is used to control the rotate speed and load of
DEH control system is established, and maintenance mode and
steam turbine set. For its merit of perfect function, high
interval decision model is proposed. Section 4 takes certain
regulation accuracy, rapid response speed and high reliability,
DEH control system of 300MW unit as an example, the
it becomes the preferred control system of large-scale steam
optimum maintenance interval is decided, and conclusion
turbine. For the differences in structure, DEH control system
is different from traditional mechanical or hydraulic regulating
system in maintenance characteristics. If the traditional
maintenance strategy which the replace, inspect and test is II. RISK-BASED MAINTENANCE DECISION
made just according to the standard items of overhaul or Typical risk-based maintenance frame is shown in Fig.1.
minimum maintenance is still adopted, either the maintenance The risk-based maintenance decision can be made in the
cost increases for over maintenance, or the reliability debases following steps.
for insufficient maintenance.
As an advanced maintenance decision method, risk-based A. Identification of Maintenance Decision Scope
maintenance aims at reducing the overall risk of failure of the After a system needing maintenance decision is chosen,
operating facilities. In the method, maintenance standard is its main failures should be analyzed. Then the system is
constituted based on risk, and maintenance items are divided, the level and deepness of division is determined
determined according to the risk evaluation results. Thus, in according to the system’s maintenance characteristics.
areas of high and medium risk, a focused maintenance effort is Normally, the system should be divided into basic
required, whereas in areas of low risk, the efforts is minimized

978-1-4244-2503-7/08/$20.00 © 2008 IEEE

maintenance units. The division of maintenance units should Subsystems that failed to meet the acceptable risk criteria
consider the relation on structure, operation and logic between are studied with the objective to design a maintenance
the units. program that will reduce the risk. Both the type of
maintenance and the maintenance interval should be decided
Start at this stage. By modifying the maintenance interval, the
probability of failure changes and this will also affect the risk
involved. At last, the system risk is decreased below the
Divide system acceptable risk criterion.



Hazard analysis
A. Maintenance Unit Division
According to the principle of function correlation, the
DEH control system is divided into four parts, including
electronic adjuster, actuators, EH oil system and protection
Likelihood analysis Consequence estimation system. Then the subsystems can be divided into small
systems sequentially. Take actuators as example, it can be
disassembled into electro-hydraulic converter, the oil motor,
Risk assessment regulating valves. The division result is shown in Fig.2.
Maintenance DEH control system
Identify accepted risk level
Digital sys.
Electronic sets
Analog sys.
Elec-hydro converter
Is risk acceptable Actuators Oil motor
Regulating valves
Oil pump
Next unit? EH oil sys. Oil box
Stop Protection sys. AST
Manual snap
Fig.1 Risk-based maintenance decision frame
Fig.2 The division of DEH control system
B. Risk Assessment B. Risk assessment
Risk assessment starts with the identification of major According to the system division, the fault tree of DEH
potential hazards that each failure scenario may lead to. A control system can be built as Fig.3.
fault tree is used to identify the basic events and the
intermediate paths that will lead to the top event. Failure data
for the basic events of the subsystem are used to estimate the
DEH system fail to perform as required
probability of subsystem failure. A consequence analysis is
used to quantify the effect of the occurrence of each failure
scenario. In the situation of lacking history data, the fault data
of same type equipment can be used.
Electronic Protection
control system system failure
C. Risk Evaluation M2 M3
An acceptable risk criterion is determined according to failure
the work character and related regulation, and used to decide M1 M4
whether the estimated risk of each failure scenario is
acceptable or not. If the system failure risk exceeds the
accepted level, maintenance decision should be made to the
system. Digital Analog OPC valve AST valve
system system failure failure
D. Maintenance Decision failure failure

§ t·
Actuators failure F (t ) = P(T ≤ t ) = 1 − exp¨ − ¸ = 1 − e −λt (3)
© b¹
Exponential distribution reliability function

Regulating Oil motor

R(t ) = 1 − F (t ) = e − λt (4)
converter valve failure After gaining the probabilities of basic bottom events, the
top event probability can be calculated using the follow
EH oil system failure FS (t ) = P( K1 + K 2 + " + K k )
k k k

M3 = ¦ P( K ) − ¦ P( K K ) + ¦ P( K K K ) + " +
i i j i j l
i =1 i< j =2 i < j <l =3

(− 1) k −1
P (K 1 K 2 " K k ) (5)
EH oil Oil pipe Oil tank

pump not system leak Where Ki is the ith minimal cut sets, k is the number of
minimal cut sets.
l k
In particular, to an AND gate structure, the failure
Fig. 3 Probability fault tree of DEH control system probability of top event can be gained using the follow
For the complex bottom event of above probability fault
ª n º
tree, a sub-fault tree can be built until the most basic bottom FS = E [Φ ( X )] = E «∏ xi (t )»
event. To regulating valve, the sub-fault tree is built as Fig.4. ¬ i =1 ¼
Mechanical fatigue intensity, fatigue life, life abrasion, = E [x1 (t )] ⋅ E [x2 (t )]" E [xn (t )] = F1 (t ) ⋅ F2 (t )" Fn (t ) (6)
erode life, and multi-unit system life can mostly be described
To OR gate, the follow formula can be used.
by Weibull distribution. Exponential distribution is a kind of
special form. FS = E [Φ( X )] = E «1 − (1 − xi (t ))º»

¬ i =1 ¼
Regulating valve = 1 − [1 − F1 (t )] ⋅ [1 − F2 (t )]"[1 − Fn (t )] (7)
DEH control system failure consequence can be
calculated by considering system performance lost, economic
lost, safety and environment effect. Here, failure
consequence factor is introduced.

Con = (0.25 P 2 + 0.25 E 2 + 0.25S 2 )

0. 5
Valve body Valve pole Valve seal (8)
failure failure
Where, P denotes system performance lost factor, E denotes
economic lost factor, and S indicates safety and environment
lost factor.
Fig.4. Regulating valve failure System performance lost factor P
Generally, system performance lost is decided by
Mechanical fatigue intensity, fatigue life, life abrasion, components or unit failure effect semi-quantitatively, and
erode life, and multi-unit system life can mostly be described experts opinion as a reference.
§ n ·
by Weibull distribution. Exponential distribution is a kind of P = ¨ Pi ¸ / n , (i = 1,2, " , n )
¦ (9)
special form. © i =1 ¹
Weibull distribution function Where Pi is the performance effect quantitative value of
underlayer component’s ith failure mode to system, the value
­ ª § t − a ·k º
°1 − exp «− ¨ ¸ » t≥a of Pi is determined according to TABLE I, and n is the number
F (t ) = P(T ≤ t ) = ® «¬ © b ¹ »¼ (1) of failure modes.
° 0 t<a
Weibull distribution reliability function
R(t ) = 1 − F (t ) (2)
Single-parameter exponential distribution function

TABLE I difference, maintenance decision and optimization should be
made on the system.
Rank Description Pi C. Maintenance decision
Very important for system operation
8~10 To the subsystem whose estimating risk exceeds the
Failure would cause system to stop function acceptable risk, a decision should be made to maintenance
Important for good operation strategy or maintenance interval. The maintenance interval of
2 Failure causes impaired performance and adverse 6~8 components can be determined in the following method.
Required for good operation According to the acceptable risk of subsystem, we can
3 Failure may affect the performance and may lead to 4~6 calculate its cumulative failure probability at time t. Then the
subsequent failure of the system maintenance interval can be obtained using failure distribution
Optional for good performance function, and the maintenance optimization realized.
4 Failure may not affect the performance immediately but 2~4
prolonged failure may cause system to fail
Optional for operation
5 0~2
Failure may not affect the system’s performance IV. CASE STUDY: MAINTENANCE DECISION FOR DEH
Economic lost factor E
Take a 300 Mega Watt unit DEH control system as an
§ n · example. Using the failure data obtained from computerized
E = ¨ Ei ¸ / n
¦ (10)
© i =1 ¹ maintenance management system (CMMS), and the built fault
Ei = [(Cm )i + (Cd )i ] / C (11) trees, the failure consequence factors and failure probabilities
Where Ei is the economic loss factor of underlayer of main failure modes can be calculated and listed in TABLE
component’s ith failure mode. C is the unacceptable economic III and TABLE IV.
loss, can be decided according to maintenance records, here is TABLE III
5000 dollars. Cm and Cd are maintenance cost and down time FAILURE CONSEQUENCE INDEXES OF DEH SYSTEM
loss separately, and calculated using the follow formula. Failure mode A B C Con
Analog system failure 5 2 1 2.739
C m = C f + Td ⋅ Cv (12) Digital system information intermit 5 2 1 2.739
Where Cf is the sum of maintenance spare part, material, Electro-hydraulic converter failure 7 5 2 4.416
process and rent of tool. Td denotes the down time arose by Regulating valve failure 7 3 3 4.093
failure. Cv is the variable cost per hour of down time, it Oil motor failure 8 3 2 4.387
EH oil pipe not working 7 3 2 3.937
includes labour rate and crew size. Oil pump system leak 7 4 5 4.743
C d = Td ⋅ N loss ⋅ C price (13) Oil tank leak 6 4 4 4.123
AST electromagnetism valve failure 4 5 5 4.062
Where Td is the down time caused by failure, Nloss denotes OPC electromagnetism valve failure 4 5 5 4.062
production loss in Mega Watt hour, and Cprice is the selling DEH control system failure 6 3.6 3 3.807
price of generated electricity.
Safety and environment lost factor S TABLE IV
S = ¨ S i ¸ / n , (i = 1,2, " , n )
¦ (14)
© i =1 ¹ Failure
Risk factor(in
Failure mode Ȝ(/day) probability (in
Where Si is the safety and environment effect value of four years)
four years)
underlayer component’s ith failure mode to system, Analog system failure 6.1×10-7 8.902×10-4 2.438×10-3
determined according to TABLE II. Digital system 6.1×10-7 8.902×10-4 2.438×10-3
TABLE II information intermit
Elec-hydro converter 1.0×10-5 1.449×10-2 6.399×10-2
Quantitative values of Si
Rank Description Si Regulating valve failure 3.4×10-6 4.951×10-3 2.026×10-2
Oil motor failure 4.7×10-6 6.839×10-3 3.000×10-2
1 Have great effect to safety and environment 7~10
EH oil pump not working 4.6×10-6 6.693×10-3 2.635×10-2
2 Have general effect to safety and environment 3~7
Oil pipe system leak 4.1×10-6 5.968×10-3 2.830×10-2
3 Have little effect to to safety and environment 0~3
Oil tank leak 5.3×10-6 7.708×10-3 3.185×10-2
AST electromagnetism 6.6×10-7 9.631×10-4 3.912×10-3
Using the probability of top event and corresponding valve failure
failure consequence, the top event risk can be gained. OPC electromagnetism 6.6×10-7 9.631×10-4 3.912×10-3

R = Con ⋅ Fs (t )
valve failure
(15) DEH control system 4.900×10-2 0.187
According to the requirements of operation reliability and failure
safety, and yearly maintenance budget, the system acceptable
risk criterion can be determined. Then compare the According to manufactory criterion and the standards of
calculated risk with the acceptable risk, if they have great operation and maintenance, the objective risk factor of the

DEH control system in four years is 0.08. The calculated risk REFERENCES
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DEH system 0.08

Using the optimum inspect or replacement interval, the

maintenance tasks of subsystems or components can be
arranged to the corresponding minimal maintenance or major
maintenance, avoiding the blindness of making maintenance
tasks just according to major maintenance standard items. As a
result, the maintenance cost can be decreased on the basis of
ensuring the risk level of system.

Beginning from analyzing failure consequence and
failure probability, using the risk factor as maintenance
decision criterion which integrates safety, reliability and
economic, Risk-based maintenance decision of steam turbine
DEH system realizes the optimizing of minimal and major
maintenance items. The instance indicates that the method is
feasible and effective, and can decrease maintenance cost on
the basis of ensuring system risk.
For improving the precision of maintenance decision, the
failure data of same type DEH system should be collected, and
more accurate failure distribution function should be obtained.
In addition, objective risk factor should be corrected by
evaluating the maintenance decision gradually.

This paper is supported by National High Technology
Research and Development of China ( 2006AA04Z426), and
Beijing Excellent Talent Fund Plan (20071D1600900433).