Going beyond rotor end of life
Gas turbine rotors have a finite lifetime. Heavy-duty gas turbine rotors in particular, like the GE Frame 7EA.
Back in June 2007 (and later updated in 2011), the OEM issued a safety-critical Technical Information Letter (TIL) placing restrictions on running these units beyond 200,000 factored fired hours (FFH) or 5,000 factored fired starts (FFS).
TIL-1576 cites the risk of catastrophic failure and serious injury to nearby personnel. You could also face insurance claims being denied if you operate your units beyond these limits.
But for a power generation facility, the gas turbine is the key component. It’s the heartbeat of the entire operation.
So plants with rotors approaching one or other of these end-of-life limits are faced with a tough decision: Do they buy an expensive new rotor from the OEM? Or do they purchase an aftermarket rotor that might not fit the operating timeline of the plant … and which often isn’t backed by warranty?
That was the position our client found itself facing in 2018.
But, in fact, those weren’t the only two options available.