With changes in the energy landscape, many older plants need to adapt to more flexible operation to fluctuating needs of the grid and remain economically viable. This flexibility often includes operation outside of the original design of the plant and its equipment.
A Midwest coal-fired power plant recently found themselves in this position. The plant had been designed for a minimum commercial load of 350MW, but they were considering reducing the load to 300MW. Plant engineering wanted to understand what risk operation at this low capacity posed to equipment reliability operation and life. The power producer contacted Hydro Reliability Services to develop an on-site test plan for their condensate, boiler feed booster, and boiler feed pumps to better understand how this operation would impact these critical pumps. Continue reading