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LM6000 controls retrofit for peaking facilities

EthosEnergy was contracted by an asset management company to investigate and assess the control systems on four units.

Goals
  • Increase Power Output
  • Reduce Forced Outage Rate
Sectors
  • Power generation
Asset
  • Gas turbines
Location
Southeast Texas, USA
LM6000 controls retrofit for peaking facilities

WATCH: Real results on LM6000 controls retrofit

A case study on increased reliability and performance across two Texas peaking facilities 

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Project overview

EthosEnergy was contracted by an asset management company to investigate and assess the control systems on four GE® LM6000 units across two peaking facilities and was ultimately awarded a purchase order to upgrade the controls and balance-of-plant equipment. This resulted in dramatically increased reliability and improved performance.

The challenge

The customer contacted EthosEnergy and inquired about control system capabilities and solutions and asked if there was anything that EthosEnergy might be able to do to help overcome their issues with output and reliability.

Prior to the upgrade, the two sites were experiencing significant reliability issues and not meeting required start times or output requirements.

As peaking facilities, they were having to purchase megawatts (MW) to meet contractual commitments and increase staffing to troubleshoot operational issues.

The EthosEnergy solution

EthosEnergy performed an on-site assessment and found the controls to be a major contributing factor to their reliability issues. EthosEnergy then began to troubleshoot by monitoring the units remotely and performed Plant Health & Diagnostics (engine performance) evaluations.

The customer awarded EthosEnergy a purchase order and began an outage to correct the issues. EthosEnergy’s controls engineers upgraded the turbine and balance-of-plant (BOP) controls to icon control systems, corrected UPS issues, power distribution issues, and wiring issues among other problems.  The scope also included reconfiguring existing hardware and upgrading/replacing hardware where necessary.

All of the upgrades applied met a standard, repeatable solution whereas the original configuration was very ad-hoc. The outage commitments were met and the customer has also retained EthosEnergy to provide remote support long-term.

Key results

  • Start-up Reliability increased dramatically
  • Increased megawatt output by approximately 2% per unit
  • Solved sync-to-grid problems to satisfy ten-minute startup to full load
  • Turbine controls now provide stable performance and repeatable start-up
  • Improved and added to a significant portion of system manuals and drawing documentation
  • Extensive on-site training during commissioning
  • The sites have seen a tremendous return on the investment and were operational for over 180 combined hours during the Texas winter storms of 2021, a critical time of need for power generation 

Control system upgrades

  • Value driver upgrade
  • Vent fan verification
  • Running registers (parts life tracking)
  • Throttle push
  • Swift start
  • Rapid refire
  • Closed loop NOx control
  • Shutdown snapshot

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