Turbine control manufacturers often suggest retrofit projects are the sole viable strategy to resolve system end-of-life or obsolescence issues. But do plant operators actually need to upgrade turbine control panels? the solution, a minimum of within the overwhelming majority of cases, is no.
Gas turbine control systems are in use for many years . for instance, within the 1960s and 1970s, GE’s Mark I and Mark II systems entered service sporting the SPEEDTRONIC trademark. there have been just a couple of Mark IIIs built, and people applied mostly to steam turbines (STs).
The Controls Landscape
Currently, many TCMs promote the system upgrade because the only viable strategy to resolve “end-of-life,” “end-of-support,” “last-chance-buy,” “obsolescence,” and other ominous sounding communications. Paraphrasing William Shakespeare: To upgrade or to not upgrade, that’s the question.
Despite the “planned obsolescence” strategy played by TCMs, is there a physical, unavoidable, or mandatory got to upgrade TCPs? the solution, within the overwhelming majority of cases, is no, never. The irrefutable proof is which will operators have successfully operated original TCPs, starting as far back as mechanical controls, like fuel regulators, without ever installing an upgrade.
Some Upgrades Are Warranted
Of course, there are circumstances that need a TCP upgrade. A method to introduce an otherwise unrequired TCP upgrade by the GT OEM is through a long-term service agreement contract. A mechanical upgrade sort of a new hot-gas-path modification. Any combination of those, and other situations, is a chance to present the operator with “an offer they can’t refuse” to upgrade the TCP.
In a Perfect World
As trivial because it may sound, ideally the goal would be to control life to equal turbine life. Is that achievable? GTC definitely believes it’s, and lots of its customers can attest to the present fact.
Everyone is a consumer in lifestyle. Intuitively, people feel that an honest measure of success for a process, or product, is how long a supplier warrants it. The lifetime warranty offered by some tooling or baggage brands, among others, offers a worthy target.