Maintaining gas turbines using a well-planned servicing schedule allows improvements to be implemented, while keeping a vital facility at optimum performance and efficiency.
Scheduled shutdown periods are commonly used to complete any repairs, maximizing availability of the turbine. They also represent an opportunity to install upgrades and improvements that will ensure continued reliability in addition to maintaining or even improving performance; all of which can be managed and delivered by expert engineers from Sulzer.
Many gas turbine hot section components have a limited lifetime. Oxidation, corrosion, material degradation and thermal cracking are the usual results of usage that determine operating life. Fortunately, new repair techniques, coating materials, inspection/testing procedures and tooling are available to restore components to a serviceable condition.
Thermal barrier coatings (TBC) can be applied to combustion liners, transition pieces and also blades and vanes to help them withstand the high operating temperatures of the gas turbine. More recent advances have seen the introduction of single-crystal (SX) materials for turbine blades, which are designed for higher turbine inlet temperatures over 2370 °F.
Without a suitable repair procedure, SX blades must be replaced after approximately 24,000 operating hours. Based on the advanced repair techniques developed by Sulzer, SX blades can be refurbished to an “as-new” condition, allowing users of SX blades to give a second life to these components and achieve substantial savings on straight replacements.
Sulzer offers many similar types of advanced component refurbishment solutions, demonstrating that a combination of expertise in material science, skilled engineering workmanship and highly developed in-house processes are essential for the reliable and cost-effective extension of the life of a gas turbine.