We performed a running condition assessment (RCA) inspection on an industrial GE Steam Turbine, in which we performed a variety of inspection processes to determine the overall running condition of the steam turbine generator and its auxiliary equipment at a facility located on the East Coast, USA. This RCA was completed as an annual inspection to determine the condition of the turbine and generator and to better prepare and schedule the next major inspection for this unit.
We met with the customer and discussed the goals of the Running Condition Assessment, how the unit was operating, and the plan to inspect and evaluate the unit to help determine a time frame for the next major inspection of this unit.
A walk down of the turbine and the visual survey portion of the RCA was completed. The detailed findings were included in a comprehensive 400 page final report. A vibration survey, thermal imaging survey and ultrasonic survey of the unit was performed while on site. The underside of the turbine was surveyed for the condition of the thermal insulation and other visual defects. The auxiliary equipment which included the generator and coolers, lube oil tank, pumps, gland exhaust system, steam traps, and pipe hangers was also surveyed. Running readings were obtained from local instrumentation as well as from the units control system.
The end result provided the customer with an assessment of how their turbine generator set was currently operating, as well as the trending data from previous years’ assessments. This data was analyzed and discussed at the customer meeting, allowing the customer to budget and tentatively schedule their next Major Inspection based on the year over year trends and recent assessment findings. The goal of the RCA program is to help customers extend the duration between Major Inspections, while assessing and correcting minor issues on an annual basis.