The present invention relates in general to a technique for providing simplified thermal power plant maintenance services, specifically, to a steam turbine, and more especially to an on-site thermal power plant maintenance facility. The term “thermal” is used to describe the furnace, boiler or incinerator that is typically central to the operation of any steam turbine. The present invent is intended to provide simplified guidance and implementations for a variety of turbine services and to aid in training those in maintenance. The present invention also provides simplified guidelines for scheduling of thermal servicing, which may be implemented by the operator of a steam turbine. One embodiment of this system provides automated scheduling of turbine services, which can be executed either at the site or at a remote site through an Internet interface.
Many companies have failed to acknowledge the need for such on-site or remote plant maintenance services. Some companies have been reluctant to purchase the necessary resources or seek the appropriate training to ensure optimal utilization of these or similar on-site or remote plant maintenance services. Others have not been able to effectively determine whether their present systems are capable of handling high levels of pressure or temperature.
In order to prevent a variety of technologically-incorrect events from occurring that can potentially lead to equipment failure, it is important for a power plant’s service provider to periodically perform scheduled maintenance. This can take many forms. For example, a power plant’s service provider could perform scheduled boiler maintenance on a regular basis. During this maintenance, the technician would assess the existing conditions of the boiler and would evaluate if any changes or deterioration needs to be made. If any changes or deterioration is detected, this should be noted and action must be taken to correct the identified problem or damage.
Likewise, routine thermal power plant maintenance services should also be performed. When performing this service, it is important to remember that different types of equipment use different operating procedures. It is important to always document the type of process being used in order to determine the most appropriate maintenance procedure. Additionally, it is important to document the outcome of each such maintenance attempt in a search report in order to ensure that any recommended corrective actions were properly implemented.
On a periodic basis, a remote maintenance device should be utilized to detect and monitor existing or potential abnormality occurrence or damage. A key benefit of utilizing a remote maintenance device is that all of the required information and data can be stored on a computer server without having to spend time physically going to the location in question. In fact, once a consistent and predetermined set of maintenance services have been completed, there is no need to go back to the location to perform any additional monitoring. By simply accessing a central computer server, a power plant professional can locate and monitor nearly all types of thermally activated systems, including transformers, generators, and furnace filters. However, it is important to note that routine inspection events involving thermally activated systems should only be performed on an as needed basis to prevent damage.
Power plant professionals should utilize a remote maintenance tool in order to determine the status of installed equipment. This tool includes a series of test points, which are designed to provide a baseline comparison of the effectiveness of the system against expected parameters. Additional tests can be conducted as needed in order to determine whether the system exhibits any abnormal behavior. In some cases, the remote maintenance tool can provide test data in real time via an Internet connection.
It should be noted that a remote maintenance device can be provided by a third-party vendor or can be developed internally. In most cases, however, a remote maintenance tool is typically provided by a qualified power plant professional. Regardless of whom provides the tool, the Power Plant Control Panel, or PCP, will configure the remote maintenance device to perform a pre-determined set of tests, which will compare historical data with test data collected in the lab environment.
Once test data has been collected from the testing laboratory, the test results and monitoring status can be transmitted to the PCP. The PCP will then make any required changes in the configuration settings of the remote thermal power plant maintenance tool according to the test results. Typically, this configuration change will require the PCP to make a schedule change to accommodate the new test settings and monitoring requirements. If a thermal power plant circuit breaker is also integrated into the control operation logic of the transfer device, the circuit breaker will need to be manually reset to allow for a new circuit setting to take place.