Inspectioneering Journal

On-line Condition Monitoring of Power Plant Equipment

By George Jones at ERA Technology, Inc. This article appears in the January/February 1996 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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On-line condition monitoring concepts which have originally been applied to vibration monitoring of rotating equipment are now being applied to monitoring the structural integrity of power plant components. Market demand for more flexible plant operation is dictating the need to reduce operating costs by demanding increased run times and reliability and by reducing the length of outages.

As a result, systems have been designed which can monitor thick section, high temperature, components, on-line, for creep-fatigue degradation caused by normal operation, as well as the abnormal cyclic stressing which can occur during transient operation. Because the basic damage mechanisms are the same, these systems may be applied to a wide range of components such as boiler pressure parts, turbine casings and rotors in a power plant and to furnaces and coke drums in a refinery (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
Figure 1

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