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Operator’s Guide to General Purpose Steam Turbines

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If you operate steam turbines in your plant you are probably asking: Why do I need a whole book devoted to steam turbine operations? Th e short answer is because we all want our steam turbines to operate reliably and safely during their lifetimes and to avoid nasty surprises, such as massive failures, unexpected outages or injuries.

 Owners of steam turbines should continuously strive to protect life, limb and property and minimize the life cycle costs through the use of proven operating practices like those contained in this book. 

Th e best practices presented in this book can be used as a basis for your plant’s steam turbine reliability program and operating procedures. Th e life cycle cost (LCC) of a machine is the total of the purchase, installation, repair, and operating costs incurred throughout its lifetime. As an operator the only way to affect a steam turbine LCC is by minimizing maintenance cost. 

Th is is accomplished by employing proven start-up procedures that will minimize undue stresses and erosion and by monitoring them in order to detect minor issues before they lead to costly repairs.

 General purpose (GP) steam turbine drivers present operators with special challenges because they tend to have a minimum of automation and instrumentation which makes their reliability dependent on the skill and knowledge of their caretakers. In other words, their reliability is dependent on the quality of human implemented procedures and human-based monitoring methods.

A major goal of this book is to provide readers with detailed operating procedure aimed at reducing these risks to minimal levels. Start-ups are complicated by the fact that operators must deal with numerous scenarios, such as

 1. Overspeed trip testing 

2. Starting up a proven steam turbine driver after an outage 

3. Shutting down a steam turbine driving a centrifugal pump or centrifugal compressor 

4. Commissioning a newly installed steam turbine 

5. Starting up after a major steam turbine repair