Outage Analysis and Maintenance Strategies in Hydroelectric Production

Outage Analysis and Maintenance Strategies in Hydroelectric Production

Reginald Wilson (Skagit Hydroelectric Project, Seattle City Light, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch262
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The implementation of major equipment within an existing electrical system necessitates a thorough comprehension of environmental policies, integrated planning, and organizational interaction in the sphere of the endeavor. In a hydroelectric energy system integration methodology, there are various optional processes and detailed analysis encountered throughout the execution. The selection of a turbine generator, for example, requires several layers of evaluation to assess the boundaries of the technology within the existing electrical system. Moreover, the decision-makers must understand the effects of the capital project upgrade as well as maintenance program implementations and utilize system thinking throughout the entire process (LaLiberte, 2013). The principle of the system boundary examines the interaction and issues of importance regardless of the organizational demarcation (Senge, 2006). This boundary principle espouses organizational interaction beyond the limiting constraints and requirements of the venture where one solution creates another problem.

In a learning organization where advance technology is proposed, key personnel must comprehend the invisible fabrics of interrelated activities. The renewable energy implementation requires overall system observations – from planning of the technology to the plant-in-service phase and beyond (Martino, 2013). The comprehensive management mechanism is designed specifically for organizational sustainability (Figge, 2002). The tool involves several layers and domains to include performance measurement, cost management, environmental quality, and strategic management, to provide an integrated approach to model and evaluate important areas.

The overall objective of the maintenance study examined the financial expenditures associated with generation outages. Specifically, these outages were based on the frequency of maintenance within a five-year period. Forced outages as well as the planned outage data were compiled for the evaluation. Ultimately, the focus of the analysis was based on the fundamental aspects of the intentional outages – planned, maintenance, scheduled, and extensions to sustain the integrity of the system. The hydroelectric generator maintenance program, its related costs, and frequency of the maintenance, was the impetus of the evaluation. The key expenditure of the entire process involved the Lost Opportunity Cost created by the forced and planned outages of generating units. It is a singular value utilized to assess the lost generation as it relates to the energy market prices to replace the diminished megawatt-hours (MWh). Moreover, the approach utilized several utility databases to properly assess the value, time-of-day, and operational condition of the hydroelectric generator before it experiences an outage. The evaluation also included a thirty percent reduction in outages for the Larie, Sembola, and Dosi Power Plants in the Mahalia Facility1 electrical footprint. Consequently, the forecast targets of these decreased outage percentages must equate to lower lost MWhrs and hence reduce maintenance costs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Maintenance Strategies: A deterministic plan specifically intended for equipment preservation.

Proactive Centered Maintenance: A systematic approach to defining a routine maintenance plan comprised of cost-effective tasks that preserve important functions.

Predictive Maintenance: A technique utilized to forecast equipment degradation to perform as-needed maintenance actions after an event occurred.

Plant Asset Management System: Allows plant personnel to access the risk of production outages and to plan future maintenance activities.

Lost Opportunity Cost: The lost compensation associated with the electrical generator’s operating ability in the marketplace and within the reliability limits.

5S Philosophy: Fundamentally a mantra designed to assist with the establishment of a quality work environment both physically and mentally.

Systems Thinking: The process and understanding of how items influence one another within a whole.

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