The availability and reliability of equipment at simple cycle plants have a direct effect on the performance of the plant as a whole. As a result, proper operation of equipment, up to or exceeding its life span, is crucial to maximize the return on investment (ROI) and minimize potential negative impacts on the business.
Simple cycle gas plants typically have conversion efficiencies of up to about 40% and they offer operational flexibility as their startup is relatively fast. While there are other more efficient types of gas turbine plants, like the combined cycle gas plant, which operates at around 60% efficiency, simple cycle plants make up for that difference in their cost. It’s estimated that for a combined cycle plant the cost is about $1,000/kW, while simple cycle plants are significantly lower at about $700/kW.
When it comes to improving efficiency and increasing the ROI at simple cycle gas plants, some companies consider making the conversion to combined cycle gas turbines. This is a major undertaking and while it will likely pay off with a higher ROI in the long-term, it isn’t financially feasible in all cases. Fortunately, there are some ways that your simple cycle plant can run more efficiently, and you don’t have to invest in upgrading to combined cycle equipment.
Ways to Improve Efficiency and ROI of Simple Cycle Plants
The key to running a simple cycle gas power plant efficiently is to reduce the downtime the plant experiences, keeping equipment running, and productivity high. Additionally, it requires taking advantage of any scheduled downtime by addressing potential breakdowns while operations are already stopped. This requires using a preventive maintenance approach and being proactive rather than reactive with repairs, replacements, and upgrades to equipment.
A comprehensive inspection of your simple cycle plant is a good starting point. With the information that is gained, you will be able to create a maintenance plan for work that needs to be done immediately and work that can wait for future attention. The maintenance plan should take into consideration the age, expected life span, and workload of equipment to help determine what type of repairs or upgrades need to be done and when they need to happen to prevent outages due to sudden equipment failures.
During an inspection, engineers or technicians will be able to assess your exhaust systems, stacks, and ductwork to identify ways to improve the system. When aerodynamics, velocity, pressure drops, lining systems, ductwork, and other areas are optimized, the plant will run more efficiently overall, and you will have less downtime. While the cost of an inspection and subsequent maintenance and repairs may be discouraging, it’s important to consider the cost of unplanned downtime that will be needed to repair or replace equipment that was run until failure. Being proactive is a much more cost-effective approach, and that will increase your return on investment.
SVI Helps Simple Cycle Gas Plants Improve Their ROI
SVI Dynamics is dedicated to providing our simple cycle power plant clients with the exceptional products and services they need to help minimize downtime at their facilities. We have a team of expert engineers and technicians that are knowledgeable in even the most challenging maintenance situations. The efficiency of your plant is important to us. As a result, we offer comprehensive inspections, after which we can assist you in mitigating any issues that arise and come up with a maintenance plan that will help you stay on track.
Many simple cycle power plants are operating with exhaust systems that are at least 10-15 years old. If that’s the case with your plant, SVI can help you take advantage of modern materials and methods to help improve your overall efficiency and increase your ROI.
As always, any work we do for your simple cycle plant will be completed with safety, efficiency, and compliance to regulations in mind. Contact us with your questions or for more information about our services today.