The fast growing Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) in the Western United States is an exciting and growing real-time energy market, allowing previously disparate power producers to bid their asset’s generation capabilities into a broader marketplace, and its advanced market system automatically finds low-cost energy to serve real-time consumer demand across the entire west. (www.westerneim.com) Because a broad and vast array of renewable assets are included, which leads to a cleaner, greener grid, the EIM incentivizes power producers to upgrade their gas turbine plants with more operational flexibility to counter the natural volatility associated with these renewables. PSM recognized the potential our technology-enabled service products could bring to operators in this market, so we quickly identified a number of opportunities with EIM power plant operators and excitedly secured an opportunity to implement our portfolio offering.
The operators own a 2 x 1 Siemens-Westinghouse 501F combined cycle power plant located in southern Arizona. PSM was given an opportunity to perform an entire package of upgrades on one of these 501F gas turbines starting in late 2020. The substantial conversion retrofit scope included the first of a kind 501F FlameSheet™ combustion system platform installation with AutoTune, our GTOP turbine upgrade and an innovative Inlet Bleed Heat (IBH) system coupled with our FlexSuite patented Part Load Performance (PLP) Logic. Around this package, PSM was also tasked with exhaust cylinder and manifold upgrades and a full insulation upgrade. The PSM and Customer teams were proud of the amount of diligence, coordination, and teamwork to execute this project, with no COVID-19 onsite transmissions identified throughout the outage.
Upon mechanical completion of these efforts, and some emergent rotor repair, commissioning efforts commenced, with the unit successfully started, ramped up to baseload, and confirmed performance expectations! Some additional combustion system fine-tuning was required to ensure exhaust NOx emissions were fully acceptable across the now, much broader operational load range.
With the previously installed OEM technology products, the unit was able to turn down to 63% of baseload with exhaust NOx emissions of 25ppm. Today, the customer is able to run down to a much lower minimum load (~40% of baseload) up through baseload modes including peaking, with single-digit NOx and CO emissions! With the introduction of AutoTune and PLP digital solutions, the operational reliability was also greatly improved. The customer was very pleased with the results of the decision to select PSM as their service provider and the resultant enhanced turbine performance.
As an added industry recognition of PSM’s efforts, the customer elected to co-present with us at the Global 2021 501F User’s Group Conference on the scope and result of the project execution! We are very honored with the message presented to the 501F community by our customer, confirming how transparent and open communication and coordinated project execution enabled the project’s success.
If you want to learn more about this project and how PSM can help you with your gas turbine power plant service needs, please contact your PSM Sales Director, or drop us an email at: Sales@psm.com.