Steam Turbine Low Load Operation – 2018 Update

Key Research Question

The demand for increased flexibility of conventional generating assets is expected to force plants to reduce the minimum operating load in the future.  Additionally, more operating time will be spent at these lower loads. Since the bulk of the industry operating experience with steam turbines used in thermal plants has been at higher load operation, there is a need to understand the potential degradation mechanisms associated with minimum load operation, and mitigation options to avoid costly maintenance.

Objective

To remain economically viable, some thermal plants need to remain online overnight at minimum load, or on weekends to be dispatched during periods of greater demand.  The steam turbine generator operational experience with significant low load operation is limited.  Usable information on equipment impacts needs to be gathered and disseminated to allow plant operators to prepare for new damage that will need to be corrected during outages.

Download Project Overview (Base Funded)

Program 65 Project (Found under Project Set:  Operations and Maintenance Cost Reduction)