Monthly Archives: April 2008

WTUI – in pictures

I finally found some time to organize a few photos from WTUI – enjoy!

 

Jackson (tourney winner) and Clay - in action

Jackson (tourney winner) and Clay – in action!

 Cocktail hour on the flight deck of the USS Midway

Cocktail hour on the flight deck of the USS Midway

 

Boiler Control Room on the USS Midway

The Boiler Control Room on the USS Midway

 

Sunset on the flight deck of the USS Midway

Sunset on the flight deck of the USS Midway

 

T2E3 Booth #111

T2E3 Booth #111 in the Exhibit Hall

 

Tennis \

Tennis “Pros”:  Tina (me), John (ANZ Kiwi) and Susan (1st Lady of the WTUI) at the ANZ Hospitality Room

 

 THE Charlie Daniels Band

THE Charlie Daniels Band at the AP&M Hospitality Tent

 

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WTUI – Day 4 (final)

Wednesday:  The last day of the conference – scheduled for a half-day. The first sessions in the morning were for user’s only, so I got to sleep in a few hours.  Which was very welcome after the late night watching the Charlie Daniels Band (while drinking a few too many Lynchburg Lemonades – thank you AP&M)…

The wrap-up session started with an overview of the ORAP (Operational Reliability Analysis Program) data collected for fleet RAM (Reliability, Availability and Maintainability) reporting, and then rolled into two presentations by GE – one on the official statistics of the LMS100 – which the GE rep did his best to not contradict anything Tony had told us the day before.  The second GE presentation was on the G4 uprate for the LM2500+.  Both presentations were very informative, and well received.

The last presentation covered the “twinpack” installation of two LM6000’s coupled to a single generator in Den Haag (The Hague), Netherlands.  The site was originally a boiler facility, retrofitted many years ago with two Rolls Royce gas turbines in combined cycle.  This project removed the two RR engines, and replaced them with the twinpack LM6000 configuration.  The project was designed to be able to reuse the existing HRSG’s and STG with minimal adjustments.  The project also had to work within the existing infrastructure, which included a historical building – so no new pipes going through walls or windows!  The project was highly successful, and has now been in operation for many months.

Also included in the session was the welcoming of the new WTUI president, following the “retirement” of Jim Hinrichs.  There were actually three retirements announced at lunch on Tuesday – Jack Dow, Gae Dow and Jim Hinrichs.  All three received standing ovations for their many years of service – the quality of which is readily apparent in the ease with which this conference has grown over the years and the value that attendees take home with them every year.

I’d like to add another “Thank You” to Jim, Jack and Gae – thank you for making this the best conference I’ve ever attended!  Your shoes will be hard to fill!

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WTUI Day 3

Tuesday:  Today’s conference was mostly for the actual users, so as a vendor, I was limited  to one session in the morning, and the technical presentations in the afternoon.

We had a few more Depot presentations – IHI and AVIO (TCT, MTO and ANZ had  presentations on Monday morning).  I think IHI wins for the oldest company –  having opened their doors building steam engines for ships back in 1853.  AVIO was impressive, in that 16% of their personnel are in Research and Development.  AVIO  also designed the IPT for the new LMS100 (according to their presentation).

The statistical analysis provided by Mark Axford showed that the GE Aeroderivative units are still selling strong – with a noticeable increase in sales going to the  Middle East.  But, the general feel was with the US economy slowing down,  eventually electric demand will also level off and possibly decline as well –  leading Mark to forecast fewer sales for all power generation equipment in the  near future.

The highlight of the afternoon (besides talking with people at my exhibit booth)  had to be Tony and his discussions relating experiences with the first LMS100  plant in operation.  As with any Serial Number 1 engine, Tony and his people have  had to work through some issues.  But, even with all they’ve been through,  optimism for the LMS100 remains high.  Of course, with 22 more units already on  order… new owners need all the optimism they can get!

The two technical presentations I attended were very interesting as well. 

The first was on “simplified combined cycle” or SCC.  In a normal combined cycle  unit, the hot gas turbine exhaust gases are used to make steam, which is then sent to a steam turbine to make additional power.  In the SCC, the exhaust is still used to make steam, but that is then re-injected into the gas turbine – no steam  turbine required.  This works well with the aeroderivative units, which makes less  steam due to the lower exhaust energy (due to higher overall efficiency of the gas turbine).  The SCC does not need a steam turbine, which makes capital costs a lot  less, and also reduces the number of items needing O&M support.  The SCC discussed in the presentation required new combustion nozzles, for the steam injection  ports.  One great side-effect of the steam & fuel mixing prior to combustion was a significant reduction in NOx with little impact to CO.  In some cases, they  reported a return on investment within one year.  Seems like a great way to go, to me – assuming you have water available to send out the stack…

The second presentation was on the use of alternative fuels in the Lm6000 gas  turbine.  Biodiesel and Biofuels (i.e. ethanol) can now be mixed to a point where  they meet the GE LM6000 fuel spec.  GE has run sucessful field tests with B99.9 fuel blends.  The biggest issue with retrofitting a unit for flex-fuel consumption looks to be the fuel flow rates required.  Bio fuels are a lower heating value fuel – requiring more mass flow per hour to the unit – which in some cases pushes the piping and valves to their limits on capacity.

The evening wrapped up in hospitality suites provided by ANZ (thank you for the wonderful New Zealand lamb chops, mussels, and Pavlova – a sweet meringue cake) and AP&M.  AP&M again won for the most lavish hospitality suite – complete with good southern cooking (including deep fried pickles and Lynchburg lemonade) and the Charlie Daniels Band!  Yes, the Charlie Daniels Band came to perform for a group of engineers in San Diego – and yes, he did play the Devil Went Down to Georgia.  What a show!

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WTUI – Day 2

Monday:  The conference started in earnest today.  Opening session at 8am. 

Some items of interest from the opening remarks:

 

There are close to 900 attendees at this year’s conference; including users and vendors.  —  There are 22 countries represented from around the globe on all continents.   —  The WTUI conference started with just a few users in California 17 years ago – and, there are still a few people in the room that have been to all 17 gatherings.

 

Other comments from today’s meetings:

 

There is a new installation going on in The Hague, where two LM6000’s are being coupled to a single generator in a “twin pack” formation.  The first of it’s kind, turning the LM6000 into an equivalent 100 MW power plant.

 

There are now 5 authorized Maintenance Depots for GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines:  ANZ, AVIO, IHI, MTU, TCT. 

 

One of the service bulletins discussed during the sessions dealt with combustor nozzles, and the wear due to NOx water injection seen in many units – especially those which operate more often at part loads

 

The evening ended with a reception (including dinner, dancing and fireworks) on the USS Midway in downtown San Diego.  It was a great way to end a great day!

 

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WTUI – Day 1 – New Booth Number!

The Western Turbine Users Group conference got off to a great start today.

First thing this morning, I went to setup my booth and found that I had been moved. I am NOT in booth 621… I moved up to booth 111, on the front wall – turn left as you enter the exhibit hall, and I will be on the left about 2/3rds of the way down the wall. It turned out to be a great location for this evening – about halfway between the food and the bar.

After setting up this morning, I joined 11 other die-hard tennis fans at the courts for our WTUI tennis tournament. Once again, it was a slamming success with lots of great prizes. Although, I will need to increase the frequency of my practice sessions at the club when I get home if I have any hope of keeping up with all the other players next year.

The evening’s events in the exhibit hall got off to a rousing start at 6pm – to the cheers of the first wave of attendees as they were finally allowed into the hall. I’ll post a picture of my booth here once I get home and can download the pictures off my camera. (I’ll have to remember to pack the docking station next time.)

Tomorrow the conference begins in earnest with the opening session starting at 8am sharp.

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Conference Time

As I prepare for the Western Turbine Users conference (next week in San Diego, see www.wtui.com), I have to  think about what my colleagues hope to get out of the conference.  For myself, it’s a chance to network – I meet up with all sorts of people as an exhibitor at the conference – and also to learn more about the issues that face the power industry. 

Last December, I attended PowerGen in New Orleans (as an author and attendee).  I’m always amazed at how large that conference is.  It would be easy for me to skip the presentations and spend all week just going through the exhibits.  But I find a lot of value in many of the presentations, too.  For example, at PowerGen, I got to hear about how many of the gas turbine manufacturers are working to expand the allowable fuels which can be burned in their units.  With the high prices of natural gas and the increased popularity of alternative fuels, such as syngas or biodiesel, the OEMs are spending valuable R&D money to support this new direction.

I’m very interested to hear what the new issues and directions are for the GE aeroderivative units (which is the focus of the WTUI conference).  I’m also looking forward to the latest news on the LMS100.

And, if you’ve ever been before – you’ll probably join me in looking forward to the presentation by Air New Zealand.  They always put on a great show.

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