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PE Volume 114 Issue 4

Wanted: Transmission for Wind

 Despite battle lines forming every time there is a plan to install a transmission line, a report from NREL says building long-haul transmission lines is essential to bring wind energy to the eastern United States. 

Workforce Capability Tied to Reliability and Downtime

Many companies are cutting back. Layoffs, expense trimming and pulling the plug on critical programs are just a few manifestations. While economies might well be a necessity, there is a right way to go about it and a wrong way.

Over-speed Testing for Centrifugal Fans

Centrifugal fans for large power-plant and heavy-industrial applications are critical elements in the operation of the entire facility. It is, therefore, important to insure a long and safe operating life of the fan rotors without interrupted operation. Over-speed testing of the rotors at the manufacturer’s shop can help provide this insurance.

Raising the Bar for Pulverized Coal

A new, technologically advanced 695 MW(net) supercritical pulverized coal-fired power plant nearing completion in Maidsville, W. Va., is receiving attention for its design efficiency and environmental profile.

Seals for Enhanced Power Plant Performance

Common piping sealing problems in power plants can lead to increased safety risk, heightened operating costs and general efficiency issues. These issues often arise as a result of ongoing plant operations that cause joints to leak and otherwise degrade over time. This article will identify one general issue that arises in seals throughout plant piping systems: gasket leakage in flanged pipe joints. In addition, two specific but common problems will be addressed: safety issues associated with traditional expansion joints used on pulverized coal boiler feed lines and cost issues associated with threaded compressed air/instrument air systems. A general class of fixes will be detailed for each of these problems.

Remote Performance Monitoring Increases Efficiency

As equipment performance deteriorates over time, productivity suffers and costs rise. There’s a need to continually evaluate powerhouse operations to maintain efficiency, but staff time is often limited and in many cases, personnel are not trained to properly analyze existing data.

Real-time Catalyst Deactivation Measurements

Regulatory and legislative requirements such as the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) NOX emission caps have driven the need to develop NOX control technologies for existing coal-fired power plants.

Digital Safety

When the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a license amendment request to replace analog controls with a digital system at one of the country’s nuclear stations, the decision was hailed as a regulatory milestone by some.

NREL Gearbox Study Aims to Grease Wind Power’s Future

Wind turbines appear so simple—tall white sentinels cranking gracefully on the horizon. But up close, a wind turbine is an industrial workhorse. Inside the nacelle hundreds of feet off the ground, hot metal gears strain as shifting winds pull and twist the long flexible blades. Sometimes, something has to give under such strain and the turbine gearbox has been an occasional culprit.

Coal Ash Fallout

On Dec. 22, 2008, a retaining wall failed at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County, Tenn. More than 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash spilled from an on-site holding pond. This is old news to anyone who follows the power generation industry. However, the related event we should be monitoring is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (over?) reaction to this environmental disaster.

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