For decades, gas turbine operators have voluntarily measured combustion pressure and vibration levels in high-temperature environments, using specialised technology to detect dynamic pressure pulsations and surges in gas turbines. The measurement is then used to identify potential faults before any serious damages occur. Now, what was once predictive maintenance is practiced as necessary condition-monitoring, driven by turbine operators' biggest challenge - emission reduction.
Governments worldwide now require emission reduction from all industries. What measures have you implemented to reduce NOx emissions? Are you protected against potential catastrophic failures that can result from NOx reduction strategies?
The production of NOx emissions occurs during the combustion process of the gas turbine. NOx emissions are controlled by using lower combustion temperatures and burning leaner fuel mixtures. However, this combination can lead to combustion instability that can damage components in the combustion chamber such as nozzles, baskets and transition pieces, as well as downstream components, such as blades. The damage invariably results in downtime and costly repairs. A breakdown of one component also has a domino effect on many other parts, leading to further repairs and downtime.
Therefore, turbine operators who use NOx emission reduction strategies use various condition-monitoring techniques to obtain early warning of conditions that can lead to excessive pulsations and cause instability. Here are four piezoelectric sensors to monitor combustion dynamics:
The bottom line is that NOx emission reduction is required to comply with environmental legislation worldwide. It is imperative to have a condition-monitoring programme to ensure trouble-free operation and prevent catastrophic failures, unscheduled downtime, loss of productivity and even endangering workers.
IMI Sensors, a division of PCB Piezotronics, is the pioneer of ICP® technology and a global supplier of accelerometers, vibration transmitters and switches for measuring machinery vibration for condition monitoring applications in harsh industrial environments. Condition monitoring involves measuring and trending vibration data on continuous process operating machines to determine when a fault is developing. This allows maintenance to be scheduled before the machine fails causing large repair costs and lost production. Sensors are installed on a wide variety of equipment such as, motors, pumps, fans, and turbines in power plants, paper mills, food processing, petrochemical plants, and many others.
IMI instrumentation integrates with portable analyzers and PLC's, helping maintenance departments reduce downtime, protect critical machinery against failure and optimize equipment performance.
IMI's newest innovation - Echo® Wireless Vibration Monitoring System - is a stand-alone, battery powered vibration sensor that measures overall vibration parameters typically used in condition monitoring and predictive maintenance applications. The sensors are generally mounted on bearing blocks, "wake up" three times per day, and transmit overall velocity, acceleration, and true peak acceleration. This series of measurement will detect most type of common faults in industrial machinery. Because the sensor is wireless, it requires no expensive cable runs that generally become prohibitive in most plants. Additionally, it doesn't require personnel to spend hours per day doing walk-around data collection on healthy machines. This frees up personnel to focus on machines that have problems. Additionally, it can be used in hazardous location allowing the routine collection of data with no danger to personnel. Today, most predictive maintenance or condition monitoring programs are either conducted by a maintenance person walking around the plant collecting vibration data or by running cables to a control room. The first method uses a lot of maintenance personnel time to collect data on machines that don't have a problem. The second is usually prohibitively expensive. With the Echo® System screening the machines 3 times a day, instead of once a month as is typical in walk-around systems, skilled maintenance personnel are freed up to work on higher value tasks and fault analysis.
IMI Sensors has a Platinum Stock Products program, which ensures fast delivery of over 10,000 sensors that are in stock and covered by a Lifetime Warranty. With a customer support team of more than 30 Customer Service Representatives and Application Engineers, IMI proudly stands behind our products with the services our customers value most, including a 24-hour SensorLinesm, a global distribution network, and the industry's only commitment to Total Customer Satisfaction.
IMI stands for Industrial Monitoring Instrumentation. The division was established in 1990 to focus on durable sensors for machinery monitoring applications.
Visit IMI at www.imi-sensors.com for more details.