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Proc. of SPIE Vol. 1933, Thermosense XV: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications, ed.

L R Allen (Apr 1993) Copyright SPIE


Maintainability Generators with

and Operability Thermographic

of Emergency Inspections,


Richard N. Wurzbach Jeffrey E. Hart Philadelphia Electric Company Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Delta, PA 17314 ABSTRACT In the Nuclear Power Generation Industry, Emergency Diesel Generators are a critical component in ensuring the ability to safely operate the plant. Relegated to a standby role, this must be immediately available to provide power to equipment important plant equipment needed to safely shutdown the reactor, in of power. off-site sources the event of a loss of normal Consequently, maintenance, operation, and surveillance of these generators is performed under close scrutiny, and any deviations from established parameters can potentially lead to the mandatory and subsequent loss of power generation shutdown of the reactor, revenue. At Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Thermographic Inspection has become an integral part of the operation of the Diesel to required Generators according Generators. are operated surveillance tests, and a Thermographic Inspection is made at least twice a year. Some of the applications include checking for exhaust cylinder leaks, generator end bearing and exhaust observing the effects of thermal mixing between temperatures, crosstied cooling systems, and other mechanical and electrical troubleshooting.


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Introduction Emergency Diesel Generators are vital to the safe operation of all nuclear power plants. The Nuclear Regulatory Commisision Power Institute of Nuclear (NRC) and the Operations (INPO) place a great deal of importance on maintaining high reliability and availability of Emergency Diesel Generators. If a station loses its normal offsite the emergency AC power provided by the Diesel power supply, Generators is the only source of power available to emergency cooling pumps necessary to prevent overheating and meltdown of the reactor. Florida Power and Light Company's Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant displayed the necessity for emergency AC power when Hurricane Andrew struck in August, 1992,and knocked out primary sources of electricity to the station.' It was then that the Diesel Generators started and continued to provide power to emergency safety systems required to maintain the plant in a safe shutdown condition. Because of the importance of Emergency Diesel Generators, the NRC and INPO have set standards for reliability and availability. Reliability refers to a generatorts ability to start and maintain operation when attempted from a standby condition. Availability is a measure of the time a generator is not out of service for a maintenance outage, It is the responsibility of the station to maintain reliability and availability as high as possible to minimize operational challenges. When a Diesel Generator becomes inoperable, it places the plant in a Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) a When a LCO is in effect, there are additional actions and tests that must be performed to compensate for the loss of the Diesel The restrictions placed on the plant by a LCO Generator. increase the probability that the reactor would be required to be manually shut down to comply with safety procedures. The NRC requires all plants to have a reliability program. Phildelphia Electric Company (PECo) has chosen to use a reliability program outlined by the Nuclear Management and Resources Council (NUMARC). When system failures occur, numerous labor intensive actions must be performed. Regulatory requirements, intensive testing labor requirements, and the overall importance of emergency diesel generators in providing safe nuclear power operation dictate that every effort must be made to improve their operability and maintainability. In addition to regulations and prescribed actions, it is important, as well as beneficial, in showing initiative in utilizing innovative methods to address the maintenance and operational difficulties that are

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This paper will outline the thermographic encountered. Atomic Power utilized by PECoss Peach Bottom techniques Station to aid in increasing the reliability and availability of its Emergency Diesel Generators. II. Exhaust Temperature Indication

Emergency Diesel Generators at Peach Bottom are tested For these tests, the engines are about once'every two weeks. run at full load for at least an hour to reach steady-state conditions. Many parameters are logged as the engine reaches the occurringp and with tests steady-state, multiple Performance monitoring parameters are trended over time. depends heavily on individual cylinder exhaust temperatures. These temperatures can indicate that a cylinder is firing A thermocouple is overpowering or is unloaded. incorrectly, located within the exhaust port of each cylinder provides temperature indication. typically temperatures cylinder Individual exhaust maintain a temperature differential of less than 250F. A greater differential temperature may be indicative of a bad Faulty timing, cylinder. clogged fuel injector or excessive 'Coking' is a 'coking' of the cylinder are possible causes. One term that describes combustion product accumulation. cylinder may be running at a low temperature for one of these reasons while the higher temperature cylinder is running Operating in hotter to compensate for the first cylinder. The reliability of the such a manner is very undesirable. engine is degraded. While Peach Bottom has experienced high cylinder exhaust differential temperatures on many occasions, In most it has rarely been for the reasons described above. cases, the source of the high differential temperature is faulty indication from the thermocouple. Since the thermocouples are located directly in the Engine they are susceptible to coking. cylinder exhaust, The vibration may also cause a thermocouple malfunction. problem with determining if a thermocouple has gone bad is The junction that it is inaccessible with the engine intact. box in which all the thermocouples are terminated cannot be of safety accessed without disabling the engine because considerations. Proper troubleshooting requires that the be taken out of service, rendering it diesel generator unavailable. The station realized the need for another method for short of an troubleshooting cylinder exhaust temperatues expensive modification. While the thermographs are unable to show a exhaust they can provide exact temperatures, internal representation of proportional the cylinder On a temperature at a dummy port located on the cylinder.

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typical engine run, the temperture differential for individual exhaust thermocouple cylinder readings was 180F. The thermographic readings of the cylinders on the same run 163F. Both provided a temperature differential of differential temperatures are well below the 250F alert value mentioned previously. The thermographic readings provide a comparable set of temperatures that are used in the same manner as the individual cylinder exhaust temperatures. The correlation that exists between thermocouple readings and failed thermography data identification of allows thermocouples. III. Jacket Cooling and Air Cooling Systems

Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) reported a problem with thermal mixing of their.Jacket Coolant and Air Coolant in a cross-tie line.2 Temperatures on the Air Coolant system were higher than the manufacturer specifications for that service, falling in the same range as the normally hotter Jacket Coolant system. Configuration was such that the Air Coolant was being heated up by the Jacket Coolant and engine performance was affected. AN0 used thermography to identify the point of mixing, Minor piping modifications or valve manipulations were deemed necessary to compensate for a poor design.

Figure Expansion Tank, Jacket Cooling,

1 and Air Cooling Piping

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Peach Bottom and the rest of the industry were informed information the possible problem through regulatory of Although engine running temperatures for Jacket notices. manufacturer within and Air Coolant were Coolant at Peach Bottom a thermographic inspection recommendations, was performed to determine the thermal profile of the two systems, particularly any gradients existing at the crosstie. tank common to both coolant systems was An expansion identified as a heat sink to dissipate any possible crossthus eliminating the thermal mixing concern. heating effects, IV. Turbocharger Performance

Most emergency diesel generators have twin turbochargers to compress combustion air and increase cycle efficiency. Any imbalance in the shared load between them can result in engine

Figure Diesel


(See color plate, p. 124)

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A sluggish turbine due to "coking' worn performance problems. will produce mechanical resistance other bearings, or reducing exhaust gas flow, and thus, heat flow backpressure, produce a will reduction the turbine. Flow through temperature differential between the two turbochargers, since 3 shows the Figure they are not mechanically linked. is used for of a turbocharger which accessible portion comparison to its twin. A performance problem in spring 1992 at Peach Bottom pointed to the possibility of a clogged or mechanically by this would be confirmed impeded turbocharger. Typically, An the turbochargers., inspection of disassembly and interruption which takes an emergency diesel generator out of service requiring extensive testing of other plant equipment, as described in the introduction concerning emergency diesel Thermography showed in this case that generator availability. the turbochargers were operating at identical temperatures, A minor therefore, disassembly was not required. and, adjustment was made to a backpressure check valve which addressed the concern. V. Bearings

The high temperatures of the engine block prevent thermography from being performed on the engine journals. Lube oil Bearings can be scanned on associated equipment. and other auxiliary air compressors, fuel oil pumps, pumps, for scanning. pumps, fans and motors are candidates

Figure Generator

End Bearing

(See color plate, p. 124)

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The generator end bearing may be inspected to verify and can reveal the level of the oil in thermocouple readings, With the proper quantity of oil present, the the housing. level actually slopes due to the rotation of the roller bearing. The low pressure blower bearing is not monitored by a so thermography provides the only indication of thermocouple, of the In Figure 4, the location the bearing's condition. Baseline data bearing is indicated by the boxed number 1. should be obtained for this point and comparisons made during initial start when the blower is most heavily loaded.

Figure Low Pressure

4 Blower

(See color plate, p. 124)

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Detecting line blockages, valve mispositioning, and line obstructions can be importantwhentroubleshootingperformance problems. Numerous support systems supply or circulate air, Any interruption or restriction fuel, or water to the engine. can affect, limit or interrupt operation of the Diesel Engine. Figure 4 illustrates the air flow pattern through the blower as it travels from the entrance end near the fan bearing (indicated by boxed number 1) and curves down toward its entrance to the air coolers at the right side of the image. and lube oil supply lines can Fuel supply, cooling water, all be scanned to provide confirmation of proper flow when performance problems raise questions about these flowpaths. VII. Exhaust Leaks

and thus low Typically, the high transmissibility, emissivity, of gases make inspections extremely difficult such as using special filters without special considerations, or lasers tuned to the gas wavelength to cause excitation. However, the very high differential temperature of diesel allows leak detection engine exhaust gases above ambient without camera modifications or aids. Thermography was used as a tool in this application to diagnose the source of excessive exhaust leaks which could be Likely areas were scanned both with smelled during operation. normal camera configuration and with a CO, filter installed. This filter excludes IR energy outside of a band that The transmitted approximates peak absorbance for CO, gas. wavelength band is quite narrow in relation to the full shortwave spectral band detected by the system used for this Because most of the infrared energy is attenuated inspection. only high temperature sources in the CO, by this filter, While the exhaust wavelength ban provide adecyate resolution. this in through the CO, filter were visible gases application,it did not provide a resolution significantly the therefore, and than the unfiltered image, better inspection was made without the filter to provide better background contrast. The areas scanned to pinpoint the leak were flanged or gasketed piping connections from the manifold/header flange to The infrared image of the the exhaust pipe roof penetration. gas was observed at a flanged connection at the side of the engine.

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Figure 5 Photo of Exhaust


Figure 6 shows a still thermal image of the connection. While readily visible when viewed in real-time due to the fluctuations of the exhaust gas plume, it is difficult to observe in the still thermal image.

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Figure Thermal

6 Header

Image of Exhaust
(See color plate, p. 125)

Figure Subtractive

7 Header

Image of Exhaust
(See color plate, p. 125)

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Figure 7 is a differential image produced by subtracting The resulting consecutive images from the videotaped motion. enhancement of the plume is indicated by the box, showing its location at the flanged connection. Investigation revealed that the flange bolts adjacent to the engine were difficult to access and provided a challenge It was brought to the to obtain the required torque. attention of the maintenance foreman responsible for this By modifying work practices, the flange bolts were work. Postproperly tightened in a subsequent repair outage. maintenance infrared inspections revealed that the improved work practices were successful. While the improvement in maintenance practices had given immediate results, the station found that, over the long haul, with repeated starting and stopping of the engine, the gaskets The gaskets undergo wear thin and exhaust leaks reappear. cyclic heating which greatly decreases their compressibility. As a result, the industry is awaiting the development of a In the meantime, better gasket material to be manufactured. thermography is being used to detect this degredation and the resulting exhaust gas leaks. VIII. MCCs and Electrical Cabinets

centers (MCCs) and other electrical Motor control equipment are routine thermographic fare, and they apply to MCCs of associated equipment diesel inspections as well. air compressors, cooling includes standby oil pumps, starting In order to oil pumps and ventilation fans. pumps, auxiliary inspections are required with the cover all this equipment, as well as while the diesel is running. diesel in standby, Starting air compressors must be checked immediately after engine start or while initiating a compressor start by slowly Care must be taken not to bleeding air from receiving tanks. overbleed the tank and exceed operability limits. typical for output control cabinets are scanned Hot fuse clips due to loose electrical component anomalies. mounting screws are an example of findings in these cabinets. personnel Initial inspections accompanied by technical cognizant of the function and anticipated loading is necessary Fuses and terminations are the for successful inspections. focus of the inspection.

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Figure Lube Oil Heater Fuses

8 - Hot Fuse Clips


Conclusion and the significance Because of their operational the Emergency Diesel Generator System consequences of failure, and scrutinized systems in a nuclear is among the most tested _ It is incumbent upon the plant to maximize the power plant. availability of those units to ensure safe operation. At thermographic PECo's Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, and continues to improve the monitoring has filled that role, performance and reliability of this essential equipment.


Acknowledgements to DuBois thank Frank Ruddy and Trish for manuscript Barlok and Tracy

The authors wish document review for preparation. XI. References 1. Plunkett, Journal Traininq,

Quiet Resolve", T., "Stormy Challenge, Academy for Nuclear of the National Vol. 7, No. 4, Fall, 1992.


Regulatory Moriarty, J. M. to U.S. Nuclear Commission, "Part 21 Notification for Fairbanks Morse Engine Division Model 38TD8 - l/8 Cooling System Investigation - Arkansas Nuclear One Unit Colt Industries Memo, September 16, 1991. #2,

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