A new innovative system developed by Endesa enables the inspection of gas power plant turbines without having to dismantle and reassemble the plants, increasing their operational lifespan by 60 percent.
The Enel Group's Spanish subsidiary developed the technology through a two-year programme that earned the company the Technology Transfer Award 2014, an important award assigned annually by the USA's Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the energy sector's top international certification agency. Endesa's system was included among the nine most innovative technology transfer projects worldwide, which see the transfer of research to practical applications that promote business sustainability and help create a more reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly generation of power.
The model features a rotor monitoring system that increases the life cycle of gas turbines to as many as 8,000 starts from an original manufacturer's estimate of 5,000 while maintaining all safety and reliability guarantees. This system enables the early detection of component deterioration, meaning that rotors can be replaced without having to dismantle them and that systems don't need to be stopped during maintenance. These operations would need six months and have an average cost of €2.2 million per turbine.
The company has tested and trialled this procedure on 18 turbines in six gas-fired power plants located in the Canary Islands (Jinamar, Barranco de Tirajana, Candelaria, Granadilla, Punta Grande and Salinas) and three plants in the Balearic Islands (Alcudia, Son Reus and Mahon), saving nearly €40 million in the process.
The Technology Transfer Award 2014 once again confirms the Enel Group's commitment to innovation and technology transfer, important values for a sustainable business focused on operational excellence. Last year the Enel Group received a prestigious award for its Increased Plant Flexibility project, which was led by Simone Simoncini from Enel Production.