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Improve Boiler Reliability With Unit Specific Strategic Planning

[+] Author Affiliations
Pamela Hamblin-Smoske

Thielsch Engineering, Inc., Cranston, RI

Paper No. POWER2014-32207, pp. V001T06A005; 7 pages
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 1: Fuels and Combustion, Material Handling, Emissions; Steam Generators; Heat Exchangers and Cooling Systems; Turbines, Generators and Auxiliaries; Plant Operations and Maintenance; Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM); Plant Systems, Structures, Components and Materials Issues
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4608-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Boiler tube failures remain the leading cause of lost availability in power boilers across global markets. The need for strategic planning in regard to inspections, preventative maintenance and targeted replacements has never been greater. Identifying the root problem(s) is essential and must be properly managed for continued safety, reliability and availability.

The process associated with integrating a boiler management program can be viewed as an insurmountable obstacle for many utility operators and owners. In many cases, the cookie cutter approach that is often used results in insufficient reliability recovery. However, using modern technology and tactics to strategically manage and properly identify specific operating and design conditions has proven exceedingly successful in reducing a unit’s forced outage rate [EFOR].

Specific challenges plants are faced with include the reduction of onsite engineers, aging workforces and equipment, and the need to remain competitive in a challenging global energy market. Plant managers are routinely faced with the complex task of determining the current condition of their equipment, forecasting outage budgets and schedules, and performing risk assessments. Additionally, insurance companies are increasingly requiring inspection and maintenance records that are not always up-to-date or readily available. The solutions to reducing the EFOR of a unit involves taking a comprehensive approach to boiler management utilizing unit specific operational training, advanced data management, and strategic inspection, maintenance and replacement prioritization. Implementing this comprehensive approach has awarded millions in savings for plant managers that have adopted this strategy. Implementing a unit specific, target driven, and strategic plan enables utility owners and operators to succeed in today’s competitive market by increasing the unit’s reliability and availability without sacrificing safety or environmental standards.

Thielsch Engineering, Inc. developed a program titled: 4-SYTE System Strategy that is currently utilized in more than 60 power plants within the United States and Canada. Unit specific strategic planning is necessary for all facilities that rely on these critical components. Advanced technology must be adopted by all energy producers to ensure they remain competitive and profitable.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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