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­­The Most Popular Analyzers Used in North American Power Plants

Posted by Paul Williams on 6/21/16 7:30 AM
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Popular analyzers used in North American Power Plants

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.

 Key characteristics of analyzer types

Power plant chemists, engineers and architects are in the best position to determine the appropriate analyzer for each application. Let’s take a look at the key characteristics of the five most popular analyzer types:

  1. Conductivity: Based on Ohm’s Law that describes the relationship between voltage and current in an ideal conductor, conductivity measures a solution’s ability to pass or carry an electric current (the reciprocal of resistance).
  1. pH: Used to measure pH values, pH analyzers control the amount of lithium hydroxide or amines used to minimize corrosion, and balance the acidity and water quality in pressurized water reactors and water steam circuits.
  1. Silica: Designed for pure water treatment and power cycle chemistry monitoring, silica analyzers minimize silica deposits in turbines to assure water purity and optimize ion exchange.
  1. Sodium: Sodium analyzers maximize water production and minimize corrosion by detecting sodium breakthrough at sub-ppb (parts per billion) levels and diverting contaminated water before it reaches critical areas.
  1. Dissolved Oxygen Content: A liquid process measurement for determining the amount of oxygen dissolved or carried in a liquid, commonly based around polarographic, galvanic and optical technologies.

Most popular analyzers

Where should you start your search for the best analyzer solution? Every power plant has its own criteria and processes, but becoming familiar with prevalent brands could be a helpful first step.

Without speculating on ratings and industry rankings, or suggesting preferences for or recommendations of any one brand over another, we compiled a short list of brands that are consistently popular across the spectrum of analyzers used in power plants:

  • ABB: For over half a century, ABB has developed, manufactured, supplied and installed analytical instruments for the laboratory, process, environmental, steam and power industries.
  • Hach: Fast, simple, accurate and green solutions for water analysis and management that are appropriate for use in a variety of industries and markets, including power plants.
  • Honeywell: Level and differential pressure analyzers for safe operation of steam and water circuits, monitoring levels in vessels and controlling line flow volumes.
  • Mettler-Toledo: Offers multi-parameter transmitters, TOC in-line sensors, silica and sodium analyzers, and pH/ORP, dissolved oxygen and conductivity sensors, as well as Thornton instruments and sensors for accurate, reliable measurement of critical ultrapure and pure water analytics.
  • Rosemount: Emerson Process Management’s brand portfolio of measurement and analytical technologies that provide efficient, safe operational insights across all touchpoints.
  • Swan: A top manufacturer of on-line water analysis and parameter measurement instruments in applications ranging from high purity water to wastewater effluent.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific: Sensors and online water analyzers for water purification, boiler water control, condensate and effluent applications, providing water chemistry management.
  • Yokogawa: Test and measurement solutions that combine technology with engineering and project management for field-proven operational efficiencies.

Keeping your favorite analyzer maintained

Regardless of the type and brand of analyzers you use, regularly scheduled maintenance keeps your system operating at peak performance. We are the only steam and water analysis system provider to offer a fully factory-trained and authorized service team that can service all major brands of analyzers. To ensure accurate, reliable results, our technicians verify accuracy of each analyzer – regardless of brand or manufacturer – and perform calibration to meet factory specifications and certification requirements. Sample conditioning components also are verified and calibrated as needed.

Additionally, our technicians will inspect the condition of your components, clean, repair or replace wearable parts, test sample flow and filter systems, and replenish reagents and other consumables as well as coordinate their ordering, so you have them on hand for continued smooth operation.

With your sampling system performing reliably, you can make the best decisions about the condition of your plant and conduct regulatory compliance reporting with confidence.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

Written by Paul Williams

Paul Williams is Sentry Aftermarket Products and Service Manager. The aftermarket business encompasses three distinct operating units that provide technical maintenance services, installation and retrofit, product fulfillment and technical support. Williams relies on his 25-plus years of experience for strategic partnership development, market expansion and branding, with an unwavering focus on customer success.

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