Do you know how much one hour of unplanned downtime costs your power plant? While the actual number may be different across various types and sizes of plants, its significance and impact are universal. Every second that your simple cycle plant is down with an unexpected shutdown costs you money because production is stopped; and because there are so many moving parts, it may not take much to cause an unplanned interruption.
How Can You Minimize Downtime at Your Simple Cycle Plant?
Even though simple cycle systems have shorter load times than other gas plant systems, the impact of an unexpected interruption can be huge. Minimizing downtime improves your overall production and your plant’s bottom line. The following are some important ways to help keep your simple cycle gas plant up and running.
Provide Employees with Proper Training
Lost productivity isn’t caused by equipment failure alone. The employees that are responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment in your power plant also play a critical role in your plant’s run time. Additionally, in today’s economic environment, many industrial plants have fallen victim to reductions in workforce and higher turnover rates, both of which can lead to increases in human error that result in downtime.
When you invest in comprehensive training for your plant employees, especially those in the positions that have the most potential to prolong downtime (operators, technicians, etc.), you can significantly reduce instances of human error. The training you provide shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Rather it should include periodic training and refresher sessions to keep knowledge and skills fresh and reduce complacency.
Stick to an Effective Preventative Maintenance Schedule
Preventative maintenance should already be a part of your simple cycle gas plant’s normal routine. However, there are still many plants who employ a run-to-failure type of approach to equipment maintenance. While that approach may result in more immediate run time, it can also result in longer, more frequent periods of downtime.
Many simple cycle gas plants have been operating for more than a decade, and their equipment can’t last forever. But a proactive preventative maintenance schedule will help reduce the probability of equipment failures, increase the overall effectiveness of equipment, improve employee safety, and increase plant productivity.
Gone are the days when plant managers could say, “Just run it until it breaks.” It’s essential to have a proactive, rather than reactive mindset, and that means having planned preventative maintenance plans in place, paying attention to signs of any problems, and mitigating those issues proactively.
Leverage Planned Outages to Keep Your Plant Running
Leveraging your planned outages will help reduce or eliminate two serious challenges – outage extension and exceeding outage budget. Time is a resource, so it’s critical that your scheduled outages go as closely to plan as possible.
During planned outages, it’s ideal to have gas path inspections (exhaust and inlet), thermal scans, and stack inspections performed by an experienced industrial service provider. Not only will this help identify any areas that currently need repair, it will help uncover developing faults that haven’t yet resulted in equipment failure. Mitigating these faults, with either repairs or replacements, before they cause an unplanned shutdown will keep expenses down. It’s typically costlier to repair a piece of equipment after it fails than it is to repair or replace components before failure occurs. Additionally, it will not lead to unexpected downtime in the future.
Planned outages are also good times to replace obsolete equipment. Outdated equipment can slow down the production process. Installing newer parts and equipment allows your plant to improve productivity while reducing the risk of experiencing unplanned downtime in the future.
SVI Dynamics Helps Simple Cycle Gas Plants Reduce Outages
At SVI Dynamics, we are committed to providing exceptional services to various types of industrial plants, including simple cycle gas plants. Our expert team of technicians and engineers is skillful in even the most complex repair and maintenance situations. We are available to test and analyze your plant’s performance and help put together a plan to mitigate any issues that are found. As always, we will work to minimize downtime and increase your plant’s efficiency, while ensuring that plant equipment operates safely, complying with all applicable regulations.