Online machine condition monitoring equipment has transformed power generation and oil & gas industries by improving turbine safety, efficiency, and performance. By taking accurate measurements of vibration, shaft speed, temperature, and proximity, condition monitoring enables higher performance levels, with a less harmful impact on the environment. Faults can be instantly detected, and decisions made on whether to shut down the machine for investigation or maintenance. All control systems and their instrumentation become obsolete over time, so it is important to invest in new technology at appropriate intervals to ensure your turbines continue to operate efficiently and safely to end of their planned or expected lifetime.
Should You Invest In New Turbine Supervisory Instrumentation?
If you’re unsure whether now is the right time to invest in a new turbine supervisory system, review your existing systems, considering the following points:
1. Older Systems Cannot Always Be Relied Upon
Confidence in your turbine control systems is essential, but if they are outdated, can you be sure that the equipment will provide you with the most accurate information? If faults are not detected and reported promptly, damage to the turbines could occur. By upgrading your condition monitoring your turbines will be protected against all eventualities.
Many old Turbine Supervisory Instrumentation systems are still in operation despite the manufacturer long since going out of business, or the manufacturer has been bought out by a competitor that has since decided to no longer support that system and has made it obsolete, sometimes with very short notice. The same applies when a the manufacturer releases a new TSI system, some manufacturers are quicker than others at removing the support on their legacy systems, though it is genuinely because of key components no longer being available in the marketplace as well as the obvious keenness to move to a modern system with the security and benefits it brings. Whatever the case the spares, if still available, will likely ramp up in price due to the difficulties in obtaining components and simply the economies of scale when the demand for the product drops due to the high quantities being manufactured moving to the new latest system.
2. Older Systems May Not Cope With Increased Demand
Your TSI system should be capable of delivering accurate measurements and readings, under intense operational pressures. You may have scaled up your operations in order to increase your plant efficiency by pushing for higher output from your plant by running for longer, faster or beyond the design life of the machine since the Turbine Supervisory Instrumentation was installed, so the plant may well be subject to more stresses and strains than it has ever done before or ever designed to withstand. In pushing your machine closer to it’s limits it becomes a little more fragile and more likely to break or wear meaning you will need to keep an even closer eye on every moving component in your machine and the only way to do this is to monitor additional points or parameters that previously may have seemed an unnecessary expense. Upgrading to a system that can cope with your plant’s demands ensures that your measurement capacity matches the risk to your output.
3. Older Systems May Be Less Accurate
The accurate detection of early-stage problems is the key to effective condition monitoring. Older control may not be capable of the measurement tolerances you need to keep your turbines safe. New technology allows better and more accurate or focussed measurement algorithms to obtain previously unavailable measurement information that provides the plant manager with even more insight on the condition of his machine. The new technology also brings a secondary benefit of coming in a smaller space-saving package allowing the reduction in the number of monitoring panels or to free up space for the addition further equipment. Switching to a newer turbine will ensure that your maintenance team receives prompt and accurate alerts, so informed decisions can be made.
Contact Sensonics For Your New Turbine Supervisory Instrumentation
At Sensonics, our turbine supervisory instrumentation offers the full range of vibration, speed, and expansion measurements necessary for effective monitoring and protection. Our equipment is widely recognised as one of the most robust and accurate systems available, even in challenging heavy industrial environments. To find out more about the Sensonics Sentry G3 API670 compliant machine protection system, please give us a call today.
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