Industry: Power Generation
Application: Boiler Feedwater Pumps
Solution: Services | Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics
Bently Nevada teams often support customer outages, providing machinery expertise, and where necessary, troubleshooting help to get customer machines running optimally. A few weeks before the regularly scheduled service, the team could not mobilize due to the risk of COVID-19, and the travel restrictions existing in Spain at the time of the outage. The success story captured here demonstrates how the customer could solve machinery issues through remote monitoring in the midst of COVID-19.
Every two years, nuclear customer Cofrentes (parent company, Iberdrola) has a planned outage to refuel the reactor and maintain the plant. The customer is one of the largest nuclear (1X 1102MW) power providers in Spain, originally commissioned in 1984. For reference, a power plant producing over 1,000 MW can provide power to more than one million homes.
Bently Nevada teams often support customer outages, providing machinery expertise, and where necessary, troubleshooting help to get customer machines running optimally. A few weeks before the regularly scheduled service, the team could not mobilize due to the risk of COVID-19, and the travel restrictions existing in Spain at the time of the outage.
Due to some detected some high vibration levels on a feed water pump, the customer contacted Bently Nevada’s Machinery Diagnostic Service (MDS) local team to determine the best approach to get the machine running better, and agreed the problem could be addressed 100% remotely. With access to the data, the MDS team was able to perform a detailed analysis of an adverse trend identified while monitoring one of the plant’s feedwater pumps.
Bently Nevada’s MDS team recommended the installation of balancing weights on the shaft of the feed water pump during the upcoming outage, and supported the customer with the preparation and supervision of the field work. Customer staff was able to solve the issue in 48 hours with the remote support of the MDS team and be prepared for the upcoming outage.
The plant in this story is a BWR-type nuclear power station (boiling water reactor). In a BWR, the reactor core heats water, which turns into steam and then drives a steam turbine. The performance of the feedwater pumps is essential to enable power generation.
Cofrentes has two feedwater pumps. When both of them perform correctly, the station can work at its maximum power rating, producing electricity for more than a million homes. If one of the feedwater pumps were out of service, the reactor output would need to be reduced.
Due to the importance of these components, the plant’s operations team monitors them very thoroughly, and so, they were able to identify an adverse trend in the vibration values of the feedwater pump “A” early in its development. The customer anticipated a maintenance intervention to ensure maximum reliability.
Bently Nevada’s team provided short noticed implementation and around the clock remote support leveraging ADRE (Bently Nevada’s high-end multi-channel data acquisition system) video conferencing, and pictures. ADRE is a field-proven data acquisition system, which enables users to spend less time collecting machinery data and more time acting on it.
Conclusion & Resolution
MDS Engineers analyzed actual and historical data and found an unbalance in the pump shaft. The balancing scenarios were tested using Bently Balance (balancing software capable of calculating multiple solution points, considering both speed and load, in multiple correction planes).
The solution using the available coupling plane was applied reducing shaft and casing vibration below alarm levels in full range of operation. What is important, MDS recommended to the End User to complement this intervention with additional improvement actions in the next planned overhaul and to restore the operation of a permanent data acquisition system.
The Bently Nevada Machinery Diagnostic Services team is composed of more than 160 engineers globally that have successfully completed 18,000+ projects worldwide. With decades of experience, the team has a long reference list for remote diagnostics and support. In 1998, the team solved a compressor problem in the North Sea and supported the customer all the way from company headquarters in Nevada, more than 4,000 miles away. The remote team solved issues in real-time, using the Bently Nevada 3300 monitoring system with Data Manager 2000 accessed by 56k bps modem on a telephone line.
In today’s digital world, we can organize remote access to installed Bently Nevada systems, connect through mobile VPN the existing field racks to our hosted virtual servers in the computer cloud, or deploy portable systems to gather the data for solving the end-user machine problems.