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RETROFITTING STEAM

TURBINES WITH MODERN


CONTROL PLATFORMS

Ronald Hitzel
Global Business Development Manager
Instrumentation & Controls
Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation

Fred Block
I&C Engineer
Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.

PowerGEN 2003 – LasVegas, Nevada Dec. 9-11


RETROFITTING STEAM TURBINES WITH MODERN CONTROL PLATFORMS

Abstract

Steam turbine owners are being confronted with complex operating processes brought
on by deregulation. In order to compete in today’s electrical power market place and
meet these complex operating conditions, steam turbine owners have begun to retrofit
their steam turbine control systems with modern control platforms. Because these
modern control platforms provide better control of the steam turbine, the flexibility to
meet the demands of the market can be obtained. The control system design is critical
to optimize availability and reliability while minimizing impact on maintenance and
capital budgets. Issues such as turbine performance, controls integration and future
upgrades are sometimes overlooked when implementing a turbine control system
modification. This paper presents examples of steam turbine control system design and
integration and offers recommendations for a successful steam turbine control upgrade.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


RETROFITTING STEAM TURBINES WITH MODERN CONTROL PLATFORMS

Ronald Hitzel
Global Business Development Manager Instrumentation & Controls
Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation
4400 Alafaya Trail, MC 250, Orlando, FL 32826-2399
Telephone: (407) 736-2553; Fax: (407) 736-5025; E-mail: ron.hitzel@siemens.com

Fred Block
I&C Engineer
Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation
1345 Ridgeland Drive, Suite 116, Alpharetta, GA 30004
Telephone: (678) 256-1606; Fax: (678) 256-1558; E-mail: fred.block@siemens.com

Introduction

Better performance throughout the steam turbines operational life improves cost
efficiency. Today, better control is even more important then before, as older turbines
operate beyond their original life expectancy. Since the early 1980’s digital controls
have been the accepted standard in many North American and European
manufacturing and process industries. Recent developments in digital processing
technology (i.e. faster processing speeds, lower cost, and smaller sizes) make digital
turbine control the preferred technology of power plant operators.

Traditional steam turbine controls were accomplished with a fly-ball governor for
speed indication, mechanical linkages, and low-pressure turbine lube oil. Although
these systems are fairly reliable, they are becoming costly to maintain, as many of the
original control devices are now obsolete. Replacement parts, if available, are becoming
expensive with long delivery times. Maintenance of these systems required a certain
degree of familiarity and knowledge of the instrumentation of its era. The knowledge
base involving implementation of controls on mature steam turbines has diminished
over the years, which directly affects unit availability and reliability.

Turbine Control Philosophy

The modern digital turbine control system (TCS) is designed to control the main
steam flow to the steam turbine in all operational conditions by means of the turbine
throttle, governor, admission, and or extraction control valves. The control functions are
conducted through the use of simplex or redundant electronic functions incorporated
within the TCS software and hardware, integrated through the use of servo coil
actuators.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


Master controllers automatically engage when required to ensure the appropriate
rates of change match the mode of operation of the turbine. Setpoint controls, open
and closed-loop control functions, as well as continuous monitoring functions associated
with the TCS system prevent the turbine generator from assuming inadmissible
operating conditions, thus avoiding the necessary response of the turbine protection
equipment and possible damage to the machine. This is the predominant operating
philosophy surrounding the high availability criteria of the turbine generator.

The vendor should provide each of these functions within their standard turbine
control packages. Each of these functions can be inhibited as necessary to facilitate
proper integration within the existing Distributed Control System (DCS) as required.

The principle features of the TCS system are summarized as follows:

• Speed Control

• Inlet/Admission Pressure Control-two channel selection which facilitates initial


pressure (boiler follow mode) and limit pressure (turbine follow mode) functions

• Load Control-via either a load setpoint command from a DCS, or can be configured
to receive MW input for utilization of the load control function developed within the
system, or can be configured stand-alone as a MW or Speed Droop function.

• Turbine Stress Influence

• Frequency Influence

• ADS (Automatic Dispatch System) Influence

• Valve Lift Control

The TCS system ensures stable operation throughout all operational phases, i.e.
during unit start up, shutdown, parallel operation, Island mode, etc. In generation
applications, full load rejections created by a sudden separation from the grid (lightning
strike in the field, etc.) are controlled through the TCS thereby preventing an over-speed
condition and collateral damage from occurring.

Within the standard design of the TCS system, individual device inputs within the
master controller algorithms developing a 1 of 2, 2 of 3, and or 2 of 4 cross configuration
voting functions can be deselected through the use of an optional password protected
engineering client/server Operating Terminal (OT) station. In certain critical systems,
automatic de-selection is implemented upon a “loss” of the device-input signal, with the
system automatically returning to a normal state upon “correction” of the issue. What
this means is that the system “senses” each device input signal, monitoring it for quality,
in the event the device input falls outside of the pre-selected, configurable threshold (for
example, one of the active speed pick-ups just failed high), then the device is removed

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


from it’s associated algorithm. An alarm is issued, alerting the operator of the device
malfunction, and the control algorithm automatically transfers to the next assigned
device redundancy level. Upon correction of the malfunction, the control system will
automatically transfer to the next device redundancy level to ensure the maximum
availability and protection of the system.

The TCS should provide automatic and manual shutdown. In automatic


shutdown, the system must lower the load until the generator breaker opens on reverse
current. On manual shutdown, the operator will open the generator breaker manually
once the turbine is at minimum load.

The TCS Software System Comprises the Following Standard Master Controllers:

1. Speed Control

The speed control function provides the operational control involving the speed
limiting and acceleration functions of the unit over the entire operating speed range.
The speed control system is fully integrated with the load rejection and load anticipatory
functions as required, as well as the turbine trip system. The speed control function is
designed to receive up to three speed inputs. These inputs feed a 1 of 2, 2 of 3, and or
2 of 4 voting algorithm which issue an overspeed trip command. If one of the channels
fail, that channel is automatically deselected, an alarm is issued alerting the operator of
the malfunction, and the unit shifts to the next available comparison algorithm. In the
event the speed channel is repaired (the operator found a loose wire connection in the
junction box on the ST), then the unit automatically detects the correction, and shifts
back automatically into the pre-configured algorithm.

In generation applications, when the generator is on the grid and the turbine
controller is in the “load” control mode, the speed control function continues to provide a
speed error (influence) input for use in frequency regulation. Comparing the speed
reference with the actual speed derives the speed error signal. The frequency detection
accuracy is within 10 mHz, with tunable variables controlling deadband and droop
characteristics.

The desired speed reference is selectable manually from the client Operating Station
(OS). The speed acceleration rate (ramp rate) can be selected either manually or
automatically through the client OS station. Proportional speed regulation,
acceleration/deceleration ramp rates, and turbine/boiler runback functions are entirely
configurable through the Engineering Station (ES). Discrete values are provided for
selecting steady state operation at lower speed holds, as well as for operation at “rated”
speed. Four predominant modes of start-up while under speed control are provided as
standard solutions within the TCS system:

A speed setpoint is keyed into the system via the client OS, and the operator hits
“go”, and the unit ramps at a pre-determined ramp rate (which is programmable via

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


password protection) to the desired setpoint and holds at the selected value until
another command is issued.

The operator manually raises and lowers the speed via a soft-key selector (up or
down gradient key). In this function, if the operator selects a “stop” function during a
transient condition through the predetermined critical bands, the unit will continue to
either increase or decrease to the next available threshold. What this means is that if
the operator is telling the unit to ramp up, and then “stops” the command during a
critical state, the unit will not stop until after achieving the “high” end of the critical range.
The same occurs during a downward gradient change.

Depending on the particulars of the steam turbine itself and it’s application use, the
unit can be configured to open the governor valve(s), and modulate the stop valve in
order to “warm” the unit without breaking turning gear speed. After the unit has gone
through it’s initial thermal soak period (which can be configured via either thermal
inputs-RTD’s/Thermocouples or via a time-based sequence), the stop valve will
continue to open, bringing the unit up to the minimum governor speed (typically 95%
rated speed/synchronous speed). This function is completely programmable and
generally depends on specific unit requirements. At this point in time, the unit will bring
the Governor Valve down below the Stop Valve (in order to shift the control from the
stop valve- full arc, to the governor valves-partial arc control), and issues a synch
command enable, facilitating generator breaker closure.

Another standard function utilized by many customers to facilitate automatic start-up


is the configuration of the system according to the unit’s Standard Operating Procedure.
Each unit is issued with a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which typically is
modified in writing and issued by the customer as the operations guide governing the
machine. The vendor provides for configuration of the unit to operate based on the
time- based sequence issued under the SOP. In other words, the unit would be ramped
to a pre-determined setpoint, held at that point on a timer, and then ramped to the next
point and so and so forth. At no point would the unit be “allowed” to stop within the
critical bandwidths.

The TCS employs a configurable, operator controllable, proportional regulation


controller to ensure a bumpless transfer from full arc and partial arc admission.
A separate function is employed which, when password enabled through the
Engineering Station (ES), enables a manually controlled overspeed test. Configurable
acceleration rates and gradient ceiling facilitate controlled testing of the mechanical
overspeed protection devices. In the event the unit reaches the gradient ceiling prior to
the units mechanical devices activating, or the operator disables the function, the unit
will automatically coast down to rated speed.

Upon achieving synchronous speed, the controller accepts raise and lower impulses
from the auto synchronization circuitry. Standard provisions are made within the TCS to
facilitate the incorporation of both manual and automatic command and control.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


2. Inlet/Admission Pressure Controller

The inlet/admission pressure control provides two channel selection which facilitates
initial pressure (boiler follow mode) and limit pressure (turbine follow mode) functions.
This automatic control function is activated when the inlet-steam pressure drops to a
pre-determined configurable setpoint. This gives the operator the ability to perform
sliding pressure control for lower MW minimums.

3. Load Control
Once the turbine is on the grid, the TCS can either be transferred automatically or
manually into the load control mode of operation. The load control function produces
steam flow demand signals via the position controller of the associated servo valve
actuators. Logic signals derived from the units load control system (ULCS) indicate
operating conditions, such as power load imbalance.

The load reference (setpoint) value corresponds to the current desired load as
compared to the rated main steam pressure. To initiate a change in desired load, the
operator dials in the selected desired setpoint and hits “go”, and the unit ramps at a pre-
determined ramp rate (which is configurable via password protection) to the desired
setpoint and holds at the selected value until another command is issued. The load
reference (setpoint) may be changed by either raising or lowering the desired target
load at the operator control panel, or from the increase or decrease signals generated
by the Generator synchronization functions.

Turbine runback control functions reside within the load control logic. This function
exists as designed to provide a controlling medium during abnormal conditions whereby
an engagement of automatic ramp rates bring the unit down to predetermined values.
These predetermined runback ramp rates and setpoint limits are configurable via
password protection.

Standard turbine runback features designed within the system are:

• Loss of boiler feed water pump

• Loss of condenser vacuum

• Loss of primary coolant/pump (generator H2 coolant circulating water pump)

A load limiter is embedded within the load control function to limit the steady state
opening of the control valves thereby limiting the flow of steam to the turbine. The load
limit function interfaces to the runback function so that an adjustment of the load limit
automatically causes a runback of the load reference setpoint to a level 2% above the
predetermined load limit. This desirable function prevents a sudden increase in load
when the load limiting function is corrected (for example; the boiler feed water pump
circuit breaker was inadvertently turned off, and has been re-energized). The load limit
is configurable through the entire range of operation via password protection. The TCS

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


is designed to provide an indication of deviation percentage from the load limit and
issue an indication when the load limit is activated.

A load rejection occurs when the generator breaker opens at load. This situation
should be handled by the TCS by rapidly shutting the governor valves thereby
minimizing the pending overshoot. This is an anticipatory function triggered by the
generator breaker position indication. The governor valves then reopen to achieve pre-
configured load rejection speed.

A megawatt (MW) feedback loop embedded within the TCS load control function
which automatically adjusts the megawatt reference setting to correspond with the
actual real load (MW). Through selection of this control loop function through the client
OS, the MW error value developed between the relationship of the corrected reference
MW and the actual MW is applied to a PI controller, which will automatically adjust the
control valve signal to reduce any MW deviation.

An initial load pickup (Min-load) function embedded within the TCS load control
function provides a configurable (typically 3-5%) step increase that occurs each time the
generator is initially synchronized to the grid. This Min-load function is used during
initial loading of the machine in order to prevent reverse power conditions upon synch
enable and is configurable through password protection at the Engineering Station (ES).

An impulse pressure feedback loop is embedded within the TCS load control
function to correct the megawatt reference versus the actual megawatt value based on
actual Impulse pressure. The impulse pressure error derived from the corrected
reference impulse pressure (in MW units) and the actual impulse pressure is applied to
the controller, which will trim the control valve signal to reduce any impulse pressure
error.

4. Turbine Stress Influence

The TCS system is designed to accept influencing from a turbine stress evaluation
(TSE) system thereby limiting the acceleration and load ramp gradients. During start-up
and shutdown, a TSE would provide an input generated from the algorithm delta
created between two thermocouples embedded within the main stop valve (MSV or
throttle valve) and main control valve (MCV or governor valve). This value would limit
the acceleration and or deceleration limit applied to the turbine via the master
controllers. Under normal loading operations, a TSE would provide an input generated
from the algorithm delta created between thermocouples embedded within the casing
(typically HP and IP, which can be utilized to generate a HP/IP shaft deviation
algorithm). This deviation signal is utilized within the master controllers to limit the load
gradient applied.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


5. Frequency Influence

When the generator is on the grid and the turbine controller is in the “load” control
mode, the speed control function continues to provide a speed error (influence) input for
use in frequency regulation. Comparing the speed reference with the actual speed
derives the speed error signal. The frequency detection accuracy is within 10 mHz, with
tunable variables controlling deadband and droop characteristics.

6. ADS (Automatic Dispatch System) Influence

The TCS system is designed to accept influencing from an ADS controller, facilitating
the remote dispatch loading and unloading of the machine along predetermined ramp
gradients. The load limit gradients are configurable through the entire range of operation
via password protection.

7. Valve Lift Control

The valve lift controller integrates the min-gated valve demand reference versus
valve actual (setpoint) functions. Some vendors have standard applications over-
sampling rates of greater than 20 samples per cyclic event throughout the stroke of the
valve to achieve the fastest possible response time.

The Turbine Control System (TCS) Processor

The brain of the steam turbine controller should be a high-speed digital processor.
One example is the S7 Programmable Logic Controller. The S7-416 is a high availability
processor with the performance required for applications such as steam turbine control.
It acquires measured values and status signals from the I/O, carries out open- and
closed-loop control functions, transfers the resulting commands to the I/O and performs
all the functions of the group and individual device levels. Clearly structured and
vigorously tested control concepts should be available for various configurations of plant
control tasks. One example of a specific application would provide a modular-based,
fan-free, cost-effective solution with a high degree of expansion and communication
options. This user-friendly system provides for the easy implementation of distributed
structure that is capable of handling the most sophisticated tasks in the high-end
performance range. In your application, this processor will automate the total turbine
package.

Look for a vendor to configure the TCS to allow push button valve calibration and
tuning. This significantly reduces commissioning and startup times. Operating alarms
and trends should be easy to see and configure in the TCS operator interface graphics.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


The Turbine Protection System (TPS) Processor

A critical part of the steam turbine control system upgrade is the protection system.
The protection system must have a robust controller to safely shutdown the turbine in
the case of emergency. One such controller is the S7-314C-2DP. This is a high
availability processor with the performance required for applications such as steam
turbine protection systems. It acquires measured values and status signals from the on-
board I/O, carries out open- and closed-loop control functions, transfers the resulting
commands to the I/O and performs all the functions of the group and individual device
levels. Clearly structured and vigorously tested control concepts are available for
various configurations of plant control tasks. This user-friendly system provides for the
easy implementation within a distributed architecture that is capable of handling the
most sophisticated tasks in the high-end performance range. In the TPS application,
these processors will automate the turbine trip system (TPS) package within a triple-
modular, 2 out-of-3 voting architecture.

Mechanical / Hydraulic Engineering And Modifications

The vendor should manage the coordination between the mechanical and hydraulic
modifications and the electronic control system requirements, so that the complete
control system retrofit is a successful project.

Mechanical/Hydraulic Trip Subsystem

All new steam turbines are being supplied with electronic trip systems without
mechanical bolts for overspeed protection. Many customers have requested upgrades
to the existing “Mystery Box” and mechanical bolt style systems. The mechanical
upgrade completely replaces the original equipment within a 2-out-of-3, 2-out-of-4
algorithm voting architecture. A prefabricated panel incorporating triple redundant field
devices for each of the associated parameters facilitates on-line testing and calibration.
Many of the components are designed within the system architecture to facilitate on-line
repair and or replacement. In the new electronic control logic, each parameter input is
read and compared to a trip limit. If the values (for any parameter) exceed the trip limit,
the controls will trip all of the turbine valves. In addition to the normal trip limit
comparison, the controls will also compare the values of the like parameters (such as
bearing oil pressure), will alarm if the deviation between signal levels exceeds a pre-
determined threshold limit, or if all signals are trending toward the trip limit. In this way,
potential problems can be avoided before a trip condition actually occurs, and on-line
maintenance can be performed to correct the problem and avoid a trip. Because the
transmitters can be compared, monitored and alarmed, on-line testing of the
transmitters is not required. The TPS maintains the inputs for tripping the unit from the
auxiliary devices. This input mimics the trip solenoid in the existing trip block assembly.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


A trip-reset input is necessary to clear any latched trips. The trip output of the TPS
consists of six- (6) discrete outputs, two- (2) from each processor. This matches the
six- (6) emergency trip oil dump solenoids configured in a ‘2-out-of-3 to trip’
arrangement.

Field Device Parameter Sensing Assemblies

This instrumentation upgrade is a 2-out-of-3, 2-out-of-4 voting design. Each transmitter


has a local LED readout, and is plumbed with an isolation valve and calibration port.
The transmitters are pre-wired to an on-board junction box with ring lug terminal strips.
This proposal includes 2-out-of-3 sensing assemblies for the following functions:

The following items are installed in place of the trip block assembly and provide inputs
to the TPS.
• Vacuum Pressure. The new panel has three- (3) vacuum pressure measurement
devices that provide discrete contacts and analog 4-20mA signals. They may be
connected to the TPS as either. Upon sensing a high exhaust pressure (low
vacuum) the TPS will issue a trip command.
• Bearing Lube Oil Pressure. The new panel has three- (3) pressure measurement
devices that provide discrete contacts or analog 4-20mA signals. They may be
connected to the TPS as either. Upon sensing a low bearing oil pressure the TPS
will issue a trip command.

• Turbine Thrust Pressure Sensing. While retaining and monitoring the existing oil
pressure based thrust-sensing system, this modification incorporates four- (4)
independent, pressure measurement devices that provide discrete contacts or
analog 4-20mA signals. Two- (2) of the transmitters facilitate monitoring of the
active thrust position, and two- (2) of the transmitters facilitate monitoring of the
inactive thrust position. The transmitter outputs may be connected to the TPS as
either discrete contacts or as 4-20mA signals. Upon sensing turbine thrust the TPS
will issue a trip command.

• Turbine Trip Solenoids. This modification incorporates the installation of three- (3)
new sets of turbine trip solenoids to facilitate a 2-out-of-3 voting algorithm within the
TPS system functionality. Included within this modification is the Auxiliary Governor
Function, which will consist of a single set of solenoids. A manual trip handle (Local
E-Stop) with an associated limit switch is provided for a local hand trip function.

• Simplex discrete output generated by each TPS processor in a 2-of-3 algorithm for
the Auxiliary Governor solenoid function. A set of solenoids that is in same
configuration as the turbine trip solenoids.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


Trip Solenoid Testing

The six- (6) solenoids (typically) are piped to the throttle valve emergency trip fluid
header. They are organized in sets of three- (3) pairs. Each pair is comprised of two-
(2) solenoids plumbed in series, with the three- (3) pairs plumbed in a parallel
configuration. The three- (3) TPS processors actuate the solenoids to generate a 2-out-
of-3 algorithm. Each solenoid may be independently tested. Pressure switches located
between each pair of solenoids indicate when a solenoid has been tripped. Similarly,
these pressure switches indicate when a failure of a particular solenoid has occurred.
The following permissive conditions must be met prior to testing of any solenoid:
• All TPS processors are operating normally.

• All solenoid panel pressure switches indicate a normal status.

• No TPS processor is sensing a trip and or fault condition.

Tests are conducted from the DCS via a communication link or locally via the HMI.

Speed Sensing

The Magnetic Pick Up (MPU) bracket provides for primary speed control and electronic
overspeed protection will be designed to incorporate multiple new speed probes. Within
the confines of a base scope of supply, the vendor should provide four- (4) new active
magnetic speed probes for “software” based zero speed detection, measurement, and
overspeed protection.

• Three- (3) of these probe slots are dedicated for “software” overspeed measurement
and protection.

• Three- (3) of these probe slots are dedicated for “hardware” overspeed protection.

• Two- (2) of these probe slots are dedicated for installed spares.

• Zero speed detection is accomplished directly through the use of the installed
“software” based system.

The system senses turbine speeds from ‘0’ rpm through overspeed. All inputs are
individually processed through a 2 of 3 algorithm-generating outputs to perform speed
control functions as well as overspeed trip functions utilizing a field proven MPU voting
scheme. The overspeed trip function will be implemented within control logic and
becomes the primary form of overspeed protection.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


Mechanical Overspeed Trip Assembly

The mechanical overspeed trip assembly is not very high tech. These systems use a
bushing, adjustment nut, plunger, and spring arrangement. As the spring is
compressed, the force to overcome the spring force is increased. The weight of the
plunger, spring force, speed, and the distance from the plunger to the trip lever defines
the trip speed. Since the desired trip speed, the weight of the plunger, and the distance
the plunger must travel to strike the trip lever are fixed, the only adjustment that can be
made is the spring force. Adding or removing shims, or repositioning the spring
compression adjustment nut, changes the trip speed. The only way to change the trip
speed is to shutdown the turbine to make the mechanical adjustments. Multiple runups
are not unusual. This is time consuming and introduces a potential for human or
mechanical error. Owner / Operators have experienced many problems over the years
with the setting of mechanical governors. A list of some actual issues follows here:

• Trip plunger improperly machined, a grooved finish on the bore of the plunger guide
bushing

• The end of the plunger was flared out preventing the trip plunger from moving. This
was the result of a millwright physically pushing on the end of the plunger with a
center punch.

• The plunger and guide bushing had a buildup of varnish.

• The installed spring was too strong.

• The installed spring was too weak from either an old spring that had lost some of its
force or a spring with too low a spring constant.

• The millwright turned the adjustment nut in the wrong direction.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


Table: Comparison of Mechanical Overspeed Trip System versus Electronic Overspeed
Trip System

Mechanical Overspeed Trip System Electronic Overspeed Trip System


General trip speed range, +/- 50 rpm Precise trip speed, digital set point
Trip speed will change over time Trip speed will not change over time
Does not interface with anything Provides DCS interface
Does not provide any trip indication Provides first out trip indication
Must have mechanical trip lever interface No physical contact with shaft or
mechanical trip lever is required
Oil varnish buildup will keep the Oil varnish does not affect the trip function
mechanical trip plunger from functioning
Not fault tolerant Fault tolerant
Cannot be tested except when uncoupled System can be tested periodically with a
from the driven equipment, which requires signal generator with minimal or no risk to
a shutdown the operation of the turbine
Must be initially set in a spin test pit Set by a signal generator
Requires multiple runs of the turbine to Does not require any extra runs of the
adjust the trip set point in the field turbine in the field

Redundant Interface to Valve Positioners

The vendor should provide drivers for redundant servomotor coils, expecting the
existing servomotors to have dual coils. They should also provide redundant LVDTs, as
the LVDT represents a single point of failure in a system that has redundancy built into
nearly every other area. This design provides redundancy all the way to the valve.
Failure of any module, power supply, servomotor coil, LVDT or wiring will not interrupt
operation in any way, and will only result in an alarm for the operator.

Electrical Auxiliaries

Several auxiliary items should be looked at when performing the upgrade. Vibration
monitoring equipment should be added or upgraded to monitor the health of the rotor
and associated bearings. Ensure the TCS vendor provides the capabilities to integrate
vibration monitoring data into the TCS operating graphics.

Adding more sensors to monitor bearing lube oil and metal temperatures, valve
metal temperatures, steam chest temperatures and any other temperatures as
applicable should enhance temperature monitoring. These indications should be added
to the TCS graphics.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


For the purpose of vibration monitoring, a system to monitor the status of the
bearings should be made available. It should provide highly reliable turbomachinery
information for improved protection. The system should continuously measure and
monitor a variety of parameters, which are vital to turbine protection. When any of
these parameters begin to indicate weakness in the turbine components, such as
imbalance, bearing failures, misalignment, and shaft crack conditions, the operator
should be alerted. Engineering information should be provided that includes mechanical
modification instructions to install probes in the turbine.

The communications to the existing DCS should be a non-proprietary open protocol.


Many plant sites have multiple protocols that increase maintenance. The ability to
communicate with one common protocol to devices such as generator protective relays,
automatic voltage regulators, Turbine Stress Evaluator, vibration monitoring, etc will aid
operations and maintenance capabilities.

It would be prudent for a customer to chose a vendor that can provide all of the
basics plus auxiliaries utilizing a common control platform. This includes generator
protective relay and automatic voltage / excitation systems. Having systems that
communicate with the same protocol and contain similar hardware will reduce
operating, training, and maintenance costs.

Conclusion

Because of their age, design, and lack of maintenance, today’s steam turbine
governor control systems are operating in a manner far different than the original
manufacturers designed them. They are also operating in an order of magnitude less
efficient in performance than that of similar sized turbines operating with the latest
digital controls. Typically these older steam turbines drift, control has a sluggish
response caused by multiple individual servo motors connected by antiquated linkages
and connectors, or does not operate in a coordinated fashion. These problems are
costing your operation and maintenance teams time and money better spent on
improving the operation rather than just keeping it running. Find a vendor that can
implement an innovative solution for modernizing your steam turbine controls and that
can integrate this upgrade into your current or future plant systems using a scalable,
standardized, proven platform. Upgrading to a state-of-the-art turbine control system will
generate true long-term benefits for operations, maintenance, and service of your steam
turbine.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.


References
API Standard 612, 1995, “Special – Purpose Steam Turbines for Petroleum, Chemical,
and Gas Industry Service,” Fourth Edition, American Petroleum Institute, Washington,
D.C.

API Standard 670, 2000, “Vibration, Axial-Position, and Bearing Temperature


Monitoring Systems,” Fourth Edition, American Petroleum Institute, Washington, D.C.

Clark, E. E., 2002, “Steam Turbine Overspeed Incidents,” The Hartford Steam Boiler
Inspection and Insurance Company.

Rutan, C.R., 2003, “Turbine Overspeed Trip Protection,” Lyondell/Equistar Chemical,


LP, Proceedings of the Thirty-Second Turbomachinery Symposium.
Clark, B.E., 1992, “Steam Turbine Generator Equipment” Westinghouse Electric
Corporation.

Simatic Catalog ST 70, 2000, “Components for Totally Integrated Automation,”


Siemens.

© Siemens AG 2003. All rights reserved.