Turbine Reliability is Often Driven by Fuel Quality and Availability

“No one wants to burn liquid fuel in their gas turbine – unless they have to.”

 

Reliability is always key.

Despite fuel resource limitations or fluctuations, despite increased demand and despite the pressures from environmental compliance, confidence needs to be high that the unit will start and operate well. With that in mind, many utilities will use dual fuel capability as a back-up just in case their primary fuel resource fails in quality or availability.

Some areas of the country face economic and reliability risks due to the weather. Forbes reported that “When it’s below 20°F, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 MW of electricity is needed.” And, it’s not just about electrical demand – Winter 2014 saw a 20-fold increase in gas prices on isolated, cold days… ouch.

Because much of today’s gas supply comes from shale plays, many operators have seen an increase of liquids in the gas which can cause serious issues for the turbine’s operation (Primary Re-Ignition for example) and the environment. The quality of the supply needs to be monitored closely.

Switching to dual fuel, however, has its challenges:

  • Dual fuel is more complex as indicated by the following schematics.
  • More complexity equates to increases in maintenance.
  • Liquid fuel requires careful selection of the fuel filtration system. GE manual calls for a one micron filter.
  • Fuel quality from long term storage will naturally undergo chemical degradation due to Oxidation and Polymerization.
  • Coking can be an issue. 250oF often cited as threshold for coking, but coking severity is on a temperature / time continuum.

If these challenges didn’t dissuade you, reliable liquid fuel operation relies on the successful operation of numerous control components from multiple systems including: liquid fuel, atomizing air, water, liquid and gas purge and false start drain.

Your O&M program should incorporate:

  • Component inspection
  • Device calibration
  • Component testing
  • System testing
  • Robust startup, operating, and shutdown procedures

Some important takeaways:

  • Monitor and address fuel quality issues.
  • Reduce the potential for coking by reducing temperatures in key fuel system components: Water-cooled check valves, 3-way valves/distributor, and post-shut down purging of fuel from system.
  • Consider upgrading to corrosion-resistant flow dividers.
  • Inspect and test dual-fuel components and systems, particularly in the late fall.

To learn more about TTS’ dual fuel experience and capabilities for fuel conversions or upgrades, visit our website.

Turbine Technology Services Attracts New Talent


Dr. Gerry Fischer is in the house.

Houston, TX 5/05/2017 – Turbine Technology Services (TTS) is always looking for expertise in the Combustion Systems, Emission Technologies and Control Systems sectors. One notable candidate is Dr. Gerry Fischer. He has worked with TTS in the past on several task-oriented projects with very specific requirements. Now, TTS is pleased to announce Dr. Fischer’s role within the company as a consultant.

“Dr. Fischer is very impressive. His expertise and understanding of SCR upgrades for gas compression pipeline turbines will be very valuable to TTS and our clients,” said Frank Hoegler, Vice President of TTS and President of Reciprocating Technology Services (RTS), TTS’ sister company. “What’s more, he’s also worked extensively on combustion systems for slow speed reciprocating gas dual fuel engines. With his considerable gas turbine knowledge and many years of experience, we’re very excited for him to have an expanded role with us—we know he’s going to be a great fit in our team.”

TTS and RTS are two parts of the TTS Energy Services family of companies serving gas compression and power generation industries with a wide range of technical solutions and capabilities.

“TTS’ team of engineers takes innovation to a whole new level. I’m very excited about our association and our upcoming projects,” exclaimed Dr. Fischer, who earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Darmstadt University of Technology in Darmstadt, Germany. He was granted a US Patent for the development of new spark-ignited industrial engine emission-control technology, which meets the most stringent emission regulations of NOx < 0.15 g/bhp-hr.

Welcome to TTS, Dr. Fischer, where innovation and technology differentiates TTS Energy Services from the competition.

TTS Energy Services is the corporate parent for Turbine Technology Services (TTS) and Reciprocating Technology Services (RTS). TTS provides gas turbine technology expertise, turbine engineering and construction services worldwide. The company’s long history and experience providing technical solutions to global power generation entities makes it a leader in its field. TTS has successfully managed numerous gas turbine installations, modernization projects and supplied innovative and unique engineering solutions to vexing problems for gas turbine customers. RTS provides technical and field support for industrial power generation applications using reciprocating engines. Our field service technicians and engineers are seasoned in every aspect of reciprocating equipment, providing reliable services at any location, 24/7. In addition to repairs and diagnostics, the RTS team provides predictive and life-cycle maintenance to ensure maximum performance.

To learn more about TTS and RTS, please visit http://turbinetech.com/ and http://reciptech.com.

Today’s Midstream Market Tactic: Deferring Capital Expenditures

Recent downturns arise reduced costs and complexity among midstream operators

 

 

In March of 2014 prior to falling oil and gas prices, analysts’ modest scenario assumed long-term North American natural gas prices will average $6.00/MMBtu and oil $100.00/bbl. Midstream infrastructure investment was forecast to need close to $641 billion over the next 22 years just to keep pace with booming energy production.

For midstream companies, capital expenditure as a percentage of enterprise value increased from 15% between 2004 and 2007 to about 75% for projects forecast between 2013 and 2015.

 

Dealing with the Pressures

To fund this expansion, the number of master limited partnerships (MLPs) exploded with market capitalization increasing from $60 billion in 2005 to more than $350 billion by 2014. Supercycle, midstream companies sprinted to keep up with the shale gas and tight oil supply shocks and alleviate bottlenecks.

However, the dramatic fall in oil and gas prices beginning in the summer of 2014 shook the situation. Midstream companies continued to invest in their capital expenditure commitments through 2015—the peak of investment—and in 2016, capital expenditure slowed drastically. As midstream companies continue reducing their capital plans in 2017, equity valuations will receive more downward pressure.

Experience in other oil and gas sectors show that downturns create extraordinary threats and opportunities, often leading to waves of M&A activity. Given these circumstances, midstream companies are mandated to continue reducing costs and complexity.

 

Adjusting the Sails for Success

During the boom, speed was essential; today cost is king. In an effort to reduce costs, most companies initially focus on simplifying administration costs and inventory management. Many operators are refurbishing and upgrading equipment to extend their life and defer capital expenditures.

The most prominent assets are the hundreds of engines and rotating equipment in the field. Many units haven’t been run in years and most are out of compliance. But for a relatively small investment, these units can be upgraded and put back into operation.

This is where TTS Energy Services can help. Our decades of experience paired with innovative technologies dealing with fuel management, controls and the new emissions compliance regulations allow us to optimize your units and bring them back online.

Read more about the first-ever application of GE Frame 7EA gas turbines to a 50Hz electrical system was accomplished through TTS Energy Services’ commissioning services here.

Primary Re-Ignition Case Study

DLN-1 high load transfer; very specific solutions can eliminate upsets and control costs.

There are several potential causes for Primary Re-Ignition (PRI). The OEM typically blames the quality of the fuel which requires considerable expense and time to fix. TTS however, takes a more open perspective, troubleshoots the problem and makes very specific recommendations that eliminates the upsets and control costs. This case study details a solution for PRI we call HLAT (High-Load Automatic Transfer).

Click here to read the case study.

Energy Insights

No big surprise, but energy demand will continue to grow… how is the interesting part.

Originally a LinkedIn post by Scott Nyquist, McKinsey&Company

Edited and Updated by Scott Muster, Turbine Technology Services

power-linesThe successful outcome of COP21 has raised hopes and expectations of concerted global efforts to tackle climate change, and brought forward a whole raft of challenging questions:

  • How will this affect the momentum behind the deployment of key renewable technologies and the drive for greater energy efficiency?
  • Ample supply is keeping downward pressure on fossil fuel prices, coal, oil and natural gas. When and how will market dynamics change – or might lower prices for some fuels be here to stay?
  • The impact of local pollution, often energy-related, on air quality is a matter of rising social and political concern in many countries. How can governments act to tackle this problem – and what would these actions mean for the energy sector?

The World Energy Outlook 2016 published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) is coming out this month and will seek to shed some light on these questions with insightful analysis. In the meantime, there is one matter that everyone can agree on: for the near future, energy demand will continue to grow. How it is produced and used will be a critical factor in the future of the global economy, geopolitics, and the environment.

With that in mind, McKinsey took a hard look at the data, modeling energy demand by country, sector, and fuel mix, with an analysis of current conditions, historical data, and country-level assessments. On this basis, McKinsey’s Global Energy Insights team has put together a description of the global energy landscape to 2050.

It is important to understand that this is a business-as-usual scenario. It does not anticipate big disruptions in either the production or use of energy. And, of course, predicting the future of fraught with risk. Here are four of the most interesting insights.

  1. Global energy demand will continue to grow.

But growth will be slower—an average of about 0.7 percent a year through 2050 (versus an average of more than 2 percent from 2000 to 2015). The decline in the rate of growth is due to digitization, slower population and economic growth, greater efficiency, a decline in European and North American demand, and the global economic shift toward services, which use less energy than the production of goods. For example, in India, the percentage of GDP derived from services is expected to rise from 54 to 64 percent by 2035. And efficiency is a forthright good-news story. By 2035, McKinsey research expects that it will take almost 40 percent less fuel to propel a fossil-fueled car a mile than it does now. By 2050, global “energy intensity” (how much energy is used to produce each unit of GDP) will be half what it was in 2013. That may sound optimistic, but it is based on recent history. From 1990 to 2015, global energy intensity improved by almost a third, and it is reasonable to expect the rate of progress to accelerate.

  1. Demand for electricity will grow twice as fast as that for transport.

China and India will account for 71 percent of new capacity. By 2050, electricity will account for a quarter of all energy demand, compared with 18 percent now. How will that additional power be generated? More than three-quarters of new capacity (77 percent), per the McKinsey research, will come from wind and solar, 13 percent from natural gas, and the rest from everything else. The share of nuclear and hydro is also expected to grow, albeit modestly.

What that means is that by 2050, non-hydro renewables will account for more than a third of global power generation—a huge increase from the 2014 level of 6 percent. To put it another way, between now and 2050, wind and solar are expected to grow four to five times faster than every other source of power.

  1. Fossil fuels will dominate energy use through 2050.

This is because of the massive investments that have already been made and because of the superior energy intensity and reliability of fossil fuels. The mix, however, will change. Gas will continue to grow quickly, but the global demand for coal will likely peak around 2025. Growth in the use of oil, which is predominantly used for transport, will slow down as vehicles get more efficient and more electric; here, peak demand could come as soon as 2030. By 2050, the research estimates that coal will be down to just 16 percent of global power generation (from 41 percent now) and fossil fuels to 38 percent (from 66 percent now). Overall, though, coal, oil, and, gas will continue to be 74 percent of primary energy demand, down from 82 percent now. After that, the rate of decline is likely to accelerate.

  1. Energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions will rise 14 percent in the next 20 years.

Of course, this is not what needs to happen to keep the planet from warming another two degrees, the goal of the 2015 Paris climate conference. Around 2035, though, emissions will flatten and then fall, for two main reasons. First, cars and trucks will be cleaner, due to more efficient engines and the deployment of electric vehicles. Second, there is the shift in the power industry toward gas and renewables discussed above. The countervailing trends are that there are likely to be some 1.5 billion more people by 2035, and global GDP will rise by about half over that period. All those people will need to eat and work, and that means more energy.

Here are the disclaimers:

  • All the above is based on assumptions and subject to change.
  • A concerted global action complying with COP21 guidelines to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, could change the arc of these trends.
  • Technological disruptions and innovative developments could also bend the curve.
  • The IEA may see different outlooks.

 

Our Thoughts

Whether you agree with the predictions outlined in this report or not, for energy businesses, the implications are clear: given that global energy demand will grow substantially, prices will continue to be volatile.

To reduce related risks and costs associated to the volatility, energy efficiency while mitigating the effects on the environment is a mandate. Energy producers and technological engineering companies like TTS will need to continue working closely together on innovations that can affect the efficiency of producing energy for the world.

For more information TTS and our energy innovations, visit www.turbinetech.com.

Turbine Technology Services Showcases Fast Start at 2016 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference

Industry leading gas turbine technology company provides flexible enhancements for gas turbines

Turbine Technology Services, a world leader in 7EA gas turbine expertise and technology, will be showcasing its Fast Start program at the 2016 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference at booth #45 from November 1 – 3 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Gas turbine plants are challenged to provide the necessary fast response to maintain grid stability. TTS’ Fast Start program helps power plants reach full load for power generation in as little as just a few minutes. This flexibility can be applied to units through major upgrades or routine enhancements. TTS consults with clients about the unit’s capabilities and then recommends the appropriate strategies to achieve fast start on their turbines.

“TTS has an array of products and services targeted to the 7EA market,” said Pat Begley, TTS Vice President. “We are excited about the opportunity to discuss our Fast Start program with the 7EA attendees because by integrating this program, power plants will have the ability to change output rapidly, start and stop with short notice, and achieve a low minimum turn-down level.”

The 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference attracts industry leaders, engineers, operators and innovative thinkers from around the world. Attendees use this time to discuss ideas and solutions for 7EA gas turbine best practices, problems, upgrades, challenges and solutions.

TTS provides gas turbine technology expertise and turbine engineering and construction services worldwide. The company’s experience and ability to provide technical solutions has led to the successful management of numerous gas turbine installations and modernization projects, and the provision of innovative and unique engineering solutions to gas turbine customers.

To explore the full benefits of Fast Start, visit TTS at booth #45 during the 2016 7EA Users Groups Annual Conference. Mention Fast Start at the booth to collect an exclusive HomingPIN.

To learn more about the program, visit http://www.ttsfaststart.com/7ea/.

Turbine Technology Services Introduces LODESTAR™ Turbine Parts Management

Industry-leading gas turbine technology company launches new software to increase performance

Turbine Technology Services (TTS), an industry-leading gas turbine technology company, introduces LODESTAR™ Parts Management, a new software that gathers and organizes large amounts of plant operational and unit component life data, then presents that data in actionable reports.

“Lodestar is defined as a star that shows the way,” said Dave May, Parts Group Manager for TTS. “Our new software guides the management of turbine parts. LODESTAR is an easy-to-use, cloud-based software empowering users to make informed decisions and accurately plan.”

LODESTAR tracks the full maintenance history and calculates remaining component useful life using online operational data, inspection data, TILs, and component life standards and experience. The software provides tools that manipulate this data to eliminate operational surprises including:

  • Simulator-based future planning (“what if” scenarios).
  • Graphical representation of maintenance timelines.
  • Cost and value reports and budget planning.

“We project that digital systems and processes like LODESTAR will generate 16 percent cost savings,” said Tony Thornton, President of TTS. “With today’s budget sensitivity, that is significant.”

Cost savings aren’t the only driver for adoption, additional benefits include:

  • Accommodates a more fluid workforce. LODESTAR is licensed by the unit and not by the seat. Train the entire maintenance team at no additional cost.
  • Provides consistent data visibility to all stakeholders.
  • Improves levels of innovation and transparency through sophisticated forecasting models.
  • Allows engagement in an ecosystem with technology partners.
  • Provides a clearer picture of parts life, minimizing unplanned downtime.

By weaving systems, data and people together, LODESTAR creates solutions that increase performance across many levels.

Accenture research indicates that nearly 90 percent of utilities anticipate that technological advances will rapidly and significantly change the industry over the next three years. The industry is now poised to take advantage of emerging technologies with LODESTAR.

TTS has the engineering expertise and over thirty years’ experience providing support and counsel to help client’s make LODESTAR an integral part of their gas turbine’s parts management platform. Follow the star to better decision making and planning.

Explore the in-depth capabilities of LODESTAR and TTS by visiting www.ttslodestar.com.

Discover the Full Capabilities of Turbine Technology Services on Expanded Website

Industry-leading gas turbine technology company launches intuitive site

turbine-technology-services-logo (1)

Orlando, Fla. (September 1, 2016) – Turbine Technology Services (TTS) recently launched a new, user-friendly website. With more than 30 years of experience in the power generation industry, TTS’ new site expands upon its innovative gas turbine technology, as well as emphasizes the company’s capabilities as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) alternative, including delivery of industry-leading aftermarket parts, gas turbine installation and modernization, and exceptional customer service, worldwide.

“The gas industry is constantly changing, and TTS is changing with it,” said Scott Muster, TTS Marketing Director. “Our customers require information needed to make complex decisions and solve power generation problems. The new site explains how we can help. More content is in the works including detailed technical data, explanation videos and valuable case studies.”

On top of featuring the company’s broad portfolio of products and services, TTS made the new website easier to access. Developed using the latest technology, the website is compatible with today’s internet browsers and mobile devices.

Pat Begley, TTS Vice President said, “TTS is and will always be a technology company; gas turbine engineering is our product. This website puts our innovative technologies and expertise in the spotlight.”

Tony Thornton, TTS President commented, “The gas industry and the turbine business is our world. We hope visitors come to the website and learn our world is much bigger than they knew.”

Explore the in-depth capabilities of TTS by visiting http://turbinetech.com/.

Check the website often for the latest industry news, trainings and seminars, and company announcements.

 

Outage Kits for Convenience and Cost Control

You pay only for the parts you use.

Consumables are typically 10% of a gas turbine’s maintenance costs. That’s a significant number in the budget in of itself, but greater still are the associated soft and hard costs for placing multiple PO’s to multiple vendors, receiving, identifying and logging hundreds of small parts into inventory, storage costs, stocking excess inventory and inventory holding costs. … [Read More]

Turbine Technology Services Announces Formation of New Corporate Flagship, TTS Energy Services

TTS Energy Services has been launched to encompass the expertise of both Turbine Technology Services and its recent expansion into oil and gas with Reciprocating Technology Services

Tony Thornton, President of TTS, would like to introduce the new corporate flagship, TTS Energy Services. The driver behind this formation is a corporate growth strategy in diversifying the offerings the experts at TTS and RTS can offer the industry, entering new market segments and managing this all under a single corporate entity.
… [Read More]