Program Assessment & Development

The key to our success at GSE is integrating our products and services to bring an all-encompassing, well-structured solution to improving plant thermal performance. The flow chart below indicates our approach to providing a results-oriented solution to your thermal performance needs. It starts with a full-scope program assessment, integrating our experience and tools to identify specific performance improvements and foundational programmatic solutions.

GSE Engineering, Programs & Performance group (formerly True North Consulting) performs full-scope program assessments. We leverage our experiences at similar plants to quickly validate existing scopes and then focus in-depth on plant areas or situations unique to that particular station.

The full-scope assessment executes reviews of design data, such as thermal kits and plant drawings, to validate the program’s scope under review.  It is typically structured to ensure all required systems and components are included within the program. It can also be designed to perform a negative logic review to verify that required program systems or components have not been excluded.  The full-scope review includes a management overview, designed to review program implementation and maintenance to provide a responsible manager confident that his program is being correctly implemented and maintained.

The areas covered in the full-scope review include:

  • Operations: Ensure operational issues identified by the Thermal Performance program are adequately addressed based on the severity of the issue.
  • Work Control: Ensure proper work scheduling to minimize the loss to plant electrical generation (i.e., not working on circulators in the summer months). This evaluation will also include prioritizing work that can affect plant output, especially work that may not be easily recognized as a Thermal Performance issue.  This would include Planned Maintenance and Corrective Maintenance.
  • Maintenance Interface:  Evaluate the connection between the work performed and the expected result.
  • Design Engineering:  This is a two-way evaluation to ensure all the latest design information is taken into account by the Thermal Performance program and any issues that may affect design calculations are taken into account.
  • Programs Engineering:  Are the proper interfaces established between the various Programs that affect the Thermal Performance program or the Thermal Performance program’s effect on other Programs.  Examples may be: Erosion Corrosion Program; Steam Generator Replacement Program; MOV/AOV Programs; System Engineering.

Thermal Performance Model

We review the current secondary heat balance model and compare it to the plant design. This review will include the turbine vendor thermal kit and all plant drawings related to the heat balance.  It is often the case that the turbine vendor’s thermal kit does not accurately reflect either the plant design or the current plant operation.  GSE has extensive modeling experience and can greatly improve the accuracy of the heat balance model.

Plant and/or Component Evaluations

Perform a step-wise review of each plant component and its effect on overall plant performance.  All secondary cycle heat exchanges, pumps, turbines, and drain tanks will be evaluated based on the plant data.

Cycle Isolation Walk Down

After a review of secondary cycle plant drawings, a walkdown of all paths that could result in energy bypassing the cycle to the condenser will be performed. This will yield a list of valves that should be further evaluated for leakage.  Depending on the access to the various locations, temperatures will be measured either at the valve bonnets or at a downstream location.

Plant Reconciliation

A report classifying all identified losses will be provided.  This report will reconcile the actual generation of the plant with the target generation based on the vendor thermal kit corrected to the actual plant design.

MWe Improvement Recommendations

Based on the plant and component evaluations and reconciliation process, a list of recommended repairs or operational changes will be produced. The overall cost-effectiveness of each recommendation will be prioritized on this list.

Monitoring Practices

The current plant monitoring practices will be evaluated to determine their effectiveness in identifying plant losses.  This evaluation will include which parameters are monitored and at what frequency, the calculations used to assess performance and the communication of the monitoring results.  This evaluation will include plant parameters, cycle isolation, and plant walk-downs.

Instrument Modifications

A detailed evaluation of key instruments used in performance monitoring will be performed to determine if any cost-effective changes are necessary to monitor plant performance adequately. This evaluation will include the location of the instrument, calibration practices, and the type of instrument used.  One possible result of this evaluation may be using other already installed instrumentation in conjunction with the currently monitored instrumentation.

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GSE Engineering is a highly experienced team focused on creating innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs using a combination of our industry-leading services and products. The Programs & Performance group (Formerly True North Consulting) leverages decades of specialized expertise in thermal performance and engineering programs that refine and update systems, to optimize performance and safety.

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