AWARE HRSG Module
In today’s power industry, Heat Recovery Steam Generators continue to make great strides in efficiency and reliability, but tube failures continue to cause forced outages at power generating stations. To operate at peak capacity, it is necessary for a plant to find ways to avoid tube failures, as well as to quickly recover when forced outages take place. Aware provides much-needed solutions to the owners and operators of conventional boilers and HRSG’s to help them increase their reliability, and decrease the amount of time and money spent on forced outages and unexpected “surprises” during routine outages. HRSG owners can meet their reliability and productivity goals by using Aware for critical tasks such as these:
- Preventing Tube Failures
- Planning for Outages
- Quick Recovery from an outage
- Sharing Knowledge
Preventing Tube Failures
Finding the root cause for a failure is a very important step in preventing future failures. However, it is not beneficial to know the root cause if you have no method with which to apply that knowledge to prevent future failures. Aware lets you easily document the root cause and analyze it. The customized Aware queries and portals give you powerful tools to break down the failures by component, root cause and other significant parameters. Similar units can be compared across a fleet of HRSG’s in order to locate trends and make the necessary adjustment to preventive maintenance protocols.
A key indicator of where and when future leaks are going to occur is in the historical data of tube leaks at an individual unit or across a fleet of similar units. Visual Aware provides the tools necessary to record, view and report tube failures and display them on plant specific interactive AutoCAD drawings. Analysts immediately see tube failures for a specified date range displayed on a drawing with color-coded criteria settings for failure cause, description, repair type, repair status, unit, etc. This visual analysis tool, along with the powerful reporting and trending functions, allows engineers to have better insight into the condition of the boiler and how it is aging.
Repairs can be easily documented and visualized using Visual Aware. At times it may be necessary to perform a temporary repair in order to get the unit back on line promptly. It is imperative that temporary repairs, material changes, and repairs requiring future “check-ups” are documented in a system in which they can be easily located and planned for during preparation of the next scheduled outage. Aware has excellent search capabilities that help you track those items and make sure they are included in your upcoming outage work scope.
NDE inspections can be documented in Aware.
UTT readings and wastage rates are often used to predict where future tube failures will occur, so the Aware HRSG module has been designed to manage this data as well. Users can take readings, upload them into the system and calculate a wastage rate over a specified window in time. Aware can also perform thickness projections by automatically extrapolating historical wastage rates to a user-specified future date. Measurements, wastage rates, and thickness projections can be displayed on the drawings, and color-coded symbols are automatically applied to highlight potential trouble spots.
By reviewing past failures, inspections and UTT measurements, analysts can better predict which trouble spots are likely to lead to forced outages. This enables better decision making regarding how to spend limited maintenance dollars, thus guaranteeing that the greatest bang for the buck is achieved. The Aware HRSG module impacts “the bottom line” by enabling engineers to make the right decisions to reduce the frequency of forced outages.
Planning for Outages
The Aware HRSG module allows engineers and planners to determine where to focus attention during planned outages, and also provides quick access to the data necessary to get back online quickly after forced outages induced by tube failures. When failures are documented in the system, often a recommendation is made to re-inspect or make a more permanent repair during the next planned outage. These recommendations automatically appear in the Outage Planning screen to prompt planners to create the necessary work orders for the appropriate outage.
Problems can sometimes be attributed to the design of the HRSG. Such problems will most likely show up on other similar units. In some cases, the problems may be due to operating conditions and chances are that units with similar operating conditions will have the same problem. Aware provides a ‘Liability Matrix’, where liabilities or issues on one unit can be propagated to other similar units. This helps the planners in knowing what to look for and enriching the plan for the next outage.
Quick Recovery from an Outage
When a tube failure occurs, personnel must quickly identify the material and/ or stock number, as well as the weld procedure to be used. With the Aware HRSG module, this information is available from any computer on the intranet with just a few mouse clicks. In most cases, all factors can be identified in less than a minute. While accessing that information, personnel can also see the previous inspection findings, UT readings and other tube failures for the relevant component. This past information may be required to determine what type of repair should be done to avoid another forced outage in the future.
While reviewing the information, personnel can document the current tube failure and enter whatever information is known at the time. If required, a weld traveler can be generated with just a few mouse clicks. When the unit returns to normal operation, the rest of the information can be entered and, if an R-1 form is required, can be printed directly from the system.
Having quick and easy access to the right data at the right time allows plant personnel to perform their jobs more efficiently and return the unit to full operation in shorter time. The Aware HRSG module impacts the bottom line by enabling a faster recovery, thus reducing the duration of forced outages.
Aware provides a central knowledge database for all users, whether they are at Corporate or a plant; whether they are a VP or a welder. Aware can be used to locate something as simple and important as material changes, or to trend something as complicated and significant as statistics on the entire fleet. Aware can also be used to save procedures, guidelines and best-practice documents, enabling swift and easy access to all users. In summary, Aware provides an easily accessed knowledge bank that is useful for all personnel responsible for keeping the plant’s HRSG’s healthy and reliable.