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The Monitor

Production Process Insights

How Safer Sampling Helps Generate Green Power

Posted by Paul Dybro on 1/25/17 11:00 AM

A large parabolic trough solar power plant in the southwest part of the U.S. uses two 125 megawatt (net) steam turbine generators to generate more than 250 megawatts of energy. Since the power plant uses solar energy to create steam that drives a turbine, the plant faces many of the same concerns as a conventional fossil fueled power plant.

Therefore, it is critical to safely monitor and measure the quality of the steam and water used when generating steam. For this reason, a conventional steam and water analysis system (SWAS) was part of the original construction.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

Safely Cool High Temperature Samples in Plants Without Water

Posted by Jeff McKinney on 12/7/16 11:15 AM

Analysis of process steam and condensate are important aspects of any chemical processing or refining operation. Impurities in these systems such as silica, sodium, and chloride, or deviations from target pH values, can wreak havoc on a plant’s operations. Online analyses of parameters such as pH and cation conductivity are commonly performed to monitor the condition of process water and steam.

In order to achieve accurate analysis, EPRI, ASTM and ASME recommend cooling of water samples to 77°F (25°C) to ensure consistent, accurate analysis. Unfortunately, cooling water temperatures in process plants commonly exceed 100°F (38°C). While this is acceptable to provide rough cooling, it is insufficient to properly cool samples for online pH, cation conductivity or similar analyzers.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

How to avoid 9 common errors in fossil power plant SWAS specs

Posted by Joe Kreinus on 10/12/16 2:05 PM

A steam and water analysis system (SWAS) conditions, analyzes and monitors the chemical properties of the steam and water used to generate electricity. A well-designed SWAS maximizes efficiency and output while also protecting plant assets, operators and the environment.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

What you need to know for a stress-free power plant shutdown

Posted by Joe Kreinus on 10/5/16 11:00 AM

Shutting down a power plant is a complex process that can be stressful and complicated. But having a step-by-step process to follow can simplify the entire procedure, especially when it comes to shutting down and servicing steam and water sample conditioning systems or analyzers.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

How to eliminate the need for a SWAS overnight shift

Posted by Paul Williams on 9/28/16 1:44 PM

The steam and water analysis system (SWAS) is the nerve center of any power plant, and any deviation from optimal operation and consistent steam and water sampling can lead to added time and expense. In some cases, that might take the form of an overnight shift to make up for a marginally functioning SWAS.

Adding a shift is a considerable commitment and, understandably, not one plant management wants to undertake. However, alleviating this concern is possible with regular, proactive SWAS panel maintenance.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

How to accurately measure pH in high purity water

Posted by AJ Percival on 9/21/16 10:27 AM

Maintaining proper, slightly alkaline pH levels in boilers and Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs) is critical in preventing boiler tube corrosion that can be costly to an operation and potentially harmful to employees.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

­­The most popular analyzers used in North American power plants

Posted by Paul Williams on 6/21/16 7:30 AM

As the industry leader in steam and water analysis systems (SWAS) for power generation, we maintain and service those systems including the analyzers – from any brand – in power plants nationwide. Our long history and breadth of experience has given us a unique vantage point on the types and brands of analyzers most requested and used in North America.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

How to prevent magnetite from plugging your steam and water analysis system

Posted by Brad Taylor on 6/9/16 7:52 AM

Magnetite is a form of iron particulate that naturally forms on the inside of steam and water pipes. In many aging power plants during plant startup and cycling, particles of the coating can shed – known as a crud burst or iron throw. These magnetite particles can cause issues and damage within the plant’s steam and water analysis system (SWAS) by jamming and plugging sample conditioning components and analyzers. And when the SWAS does not operate properly, the water chemistry for the whole plant is at risk.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

Find the best samplers for solids and powders

Posted by Rich Gaffney on 6/7/16 10:14 AM

A number of industries routinely conduct solid and powder sampling, ranging from cement and food and beverage, to pharmaceutical, petrochemical, mining, oil and gas, and power generation. This list illustrates the wide variety of solid and powder sampling applications, and it also proves that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all sampling solution.

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Topics: Power, Cement, Food & Beverage, Chemical & Petrochemical, Mining, Oil & Gas, Solids & Powder, Pharmaceutical, Any Application, Steam & Water

Power plant retrofit solutions require knowledge, creativity

Posted by Rebecca Dinan Schneider on 3/8/16 2:08 PM

Because many of the nation’s power plants were built some time ago, it often is a challenge for project managers to update the steam and water analysis (SWAS) system by retrofitting the plant with needed new technology within the existing facility footprint.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water