Today’s gas turbines are power generation systems that require fuel flexibility and the ability to cycle frequently. As a result, many outmoded power stations around the world are renovating and upgrading with Forney’s FlameHawk® Fiber Optic Flame Detection System. A very successful Netherlands-based project for the Electricity and Steam Association, ELSTA, highlights the many benefits of a Forney / ICE-BT upgrade, a solution that applies to new or existing gas turbine systems around the world.
As natural gas pulls ahead in the race for flexible fuels, Forney and its sales representative, ICE-BT, are well-positioned to quickly upgrade gas turbines. A Netherlands modification project for the Electricity and Steam Association, ELSTA, demonstrates why Forney’s FlameHawk® flame detector is receiving industry attention. The low-voltage FlameHawk® quickly replaces outmoded water-cooled detection methods. ELSTA selected FlameHawk® flame detectors because they require no external water cooling, which precludes problems of water usage, flow adjustment, and leakage. Forney’s FlameHawk® improves overall gas turbine performance by reducing maintenance costs and downtime. A superior safety product, FlameHawk®is compatible with a variety of turbines.
The ELSTA power station, near Terneuzen, the third largest port in the Netherlands, is a gas-fired, combined cycle cogeneration facility that generates both heat and electricity. The plant generates electricity for the Dutch power grid and provides steam for the plants in the neighboring Industry Park Terneuzen. ELSTA’s steam turbine maintains and controls the steam pressure for the Chemical facilities in the industrial park.
The ELSTA station includes three General Electric frame 9E gas turbines, one heat recovery boiler, and one steam turbine. A flexible production system operating on demand, the power station generates 123 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 450 ton/hour steam (90 bar) per unit, and a steam turbine produces up to 90 MW.
Looking ahead with industry and technology insight, ELSTA met the trend for fuel flexibility by renovating its gas turbine system. Part of the project included upgrading its flame detectors to FlameHawk, based on recommendations by Forney representative, ICE-BT, located in the Netherlands.
Prior to the power station modification of the burners on the gas turbine, ELSTA had problems with low-fire due to a low intensity signal from the flame scanners caused by condensation on the lenses. ELSTA’s outmoded flame sensors created cooling water leakage that resulted in corrosion and chalk-water on the gas turbines’ exterior. Before the FlameHawk upgrade, each turbine was equipped with water-cooled flame sensors. Getting the right amount of water, approximately 4.000 ltr/day per sensor, to each sensor was critical. The Forney-ICE-BT project included replacing 24 detectors, 8 per turbine with Forney’s FlameHawk FSAs, in combination with flame amplifiers, mounted outside the ex-zone.
Working closely with Forney in Europe, ICE-BT advised ELSTA to replace its outmoded flame detectors using the optical FlameHawk flame-monitoring system, in conjunction with a low-emission combustion system and the autotune feature on its three gas turbines. With FlameHawk, no water cooling is required.
After the FlameHawk installation, ELSTA experienced instant improvements.
Based upon years of laboratory and field testing, the FlameHawk flame detection system improves performance by reducing maintenance costs and downtime of flame sensors used on frame and aeroderivative gas turbine engines. With remote mounting of the electronics, only the optical probe mounts directly to the turbine, eliminating the need for external water cooling.
Installing the primary and secondary sensors was quick and easy, as was connecting the sensors with the amplifiers through flexible tubing.
With low-voltage operation, FlameHawk’s dual-channel electronics unit is an easy installation requiring less wiring, and can monitor two combustors. The Flame Sight Assembly’s (FSA) quick disconnect clamp design is ideal for operating in humid conditions. For operation in very humid climates, a purge air fitting can be added to the FSA to clean moisture from the lens if it fogs up. Fogging of the detector lens is a common problem with water-cooled detectors, especially in high-humidity environments. To remove fog or clean particles from the lens, the FlameHawk’s whole FSA assembly is easily opened by simply unscrewing the clamp and popping the adapter lens out for quick cleaning.
Designed-in safety, the FlameHawk® detector fiber optic cables are housed in flexible, welded stainless steel housings, which allows the detector to be placed far away from high ambient temperatures produced by the gas turbine. With the FlameHawk installation, no special calibration or field adjustment is required.
The flame detector is screwed in place, fiber optic cables are attached, the dual-channel electronic unit is connected, and the 4-20 mAmp output signal is used to control the system which features multiple field configurable outputs: relay, 4-20 mA, 4-20 mA loop. The signal strength meter provides a clear visual indication of system health. FlameHawk benefits are numerous and installation is simple.
About Forney Corporation and ICE-BT
USA Manufacturer, Forney Corporation:World-renowned for innovations in combustion product design, craftsmanship, and services, Forney Corporation, founded in 1927, is the industry leader in power plant systems and manufacturer of the FlameHawk flame detector system. www.forneycorp.com
Representative, ICE-BT, BV: An experienced global partner in industrial high-temperature processes, ICE-BT offers complete packaging for industrial thermal systems and is the representative for Forney Corporation in Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux).www.ice-bt.nl