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Why in today’s demanding and competitive energy market, a Power Plant Control System Upgrade & Obsolescence Management can’t be part of a wait & see strategy.

Posted By: Siraj Taj, Principal ST Power Services

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Power Plant Control System Upgrade.

If you’re still considering the viability of replacing your legacy GTCC control system, friends, it’s time to take your heads out of the sand. A power plant control system upgrade should be part of a predictable maintenance strategy, not a wait and see approach.


Waiting for the inevitable to happen won’t cut it in today’s hyper-competitive energy market, and with the changing tides of industry sweeping the nation, you’re risking the overall asset performance by continuing to operate your power generating assets on obsolete control systems.


Since main equipment, i.e. Gas Turbines, Steam Turbines, Generators, Boilers, etc. are properly maintained on regular intervals, their operational performance and total asset life remains healthy; however, the control systems for turbine-generator set are not subject to routine maintenance until the technology becomes obsolete. That is when the total asset performance and operating reliability become unstable.



Nearly obsolete components take longer to procure and scarce expertise results in longer downtime. In other words, loss of revenue, low capacity factor, reduced availability, and higher maintenance cost.


The strategy of prolonging the life of an obsolete control system is not only a risky proposition, you will also miss an opportunity to be competitive in a demanding energy market with high availability, reliability, and optimum asset performance that directly translates into significantly improved business results.


Don’t compromise your business performance with an obsolete system. The new systems are better. With a new GTCC control system you’re able to operate, protect, and monitor, your power generating assets with improved  performance, and collect real-time data to optimize the Operations & Maintenance strategy that is based on Condition Base Maintenance (CBM). Sounds like no brainer to me!


Alongside higher asset performance, the latest GT control systems are able to provide initial risk mitigation to potential cyber-attack, real-time data analysis for overall asset performance, reduced number of NOVs (Notice of Violations), and enable plants to remain in compliance of changing regulations


Way back when … maybe? Getting the funding to replace your GT control system would have been difficult, however today, for example a GT control system TXP for GT 501D5A could be replaced with T3k and be fully operational in less than 30 days for a relatively low capital investment.


Why wait for your GT control system to fail before you decide on a power plant control system upgrade? Especially, when you can be experiencing explosive growth during this rare time in history? And with the shifting trade winds in the manufacturing sector the demand for reliable power is growing faster than expected, so  it’s not a question of “if?” but “when?” existing legacy power generating assets will become too unreliable, inefficient, and costly to compete in the U.S. energy market.


So be proactive and make the necessary improvements to your generating assets, and reap the benefits of the growing energy markets of today and tomorrow.

Your Long Term Service agreement should working hard to protect your business and deliver ROI. Find out more about the art and science of LTSA’s with Siraj’s free guide.

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