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The Smart Approach to Cycle Chemistry

Posted by John Powalisz on 9/23/19 8:03 AM

Cycle chemistry management is the best way to help prevent, recognize and minimize potentially devastating water chemistry events. Smart alarms assist in this by monitoring cycle chemistry, identifying chemistry events in real time and allowing chemists to take proper actions to correct conditions - preventing system damage and protecting assets.

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Topics: Power, Liquid & Slurry, Steam & Water

Harness the Power of the IIoT in Your Plant

Posted by John Powalisz on 9/16/19 8:00 AM

It’s not a matter of if, but when your plant will incorporate the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) into its everyday operations. The IIoT is making manufacturing smarter and faster than ever before by attaching networked sensors and intelligent devices to equipment to gather data, store it wirelessly, and then use analytics and machine learning to take actions that will optimize operations.

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Topics: Power, Liquid & Slurry, Steam & Water

Unreliable Chemical Feed? The Solution Might be Easier than You Think

Posted by AJ Percival on 6/14/19 8:36 AM

Temperature is one of the most critical parameters to control when sampling in a power plant, and accurate and reliable measurements are essential for operational excellence. Incorrect measurements can result in unreliable data that can lead to safety issues and costly equipment damage.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

Will You Get the Alarm When it Matters Most?

Posted by John Powalisz on 4/8/19 8:00 AM


When chemistry alarms go off in your steam power plant, how do you know if it’s just a nuisance alarm or a real chemical event?

The fact is, most of the time, you don’t. For many plant operators, too many alarms can be worse than none at all. And that confusion can cost you time and money during a real event.

Troubleshooting alarms with manual processes can take hours or even days to find the issue – costing up to $100,000 for every hour your operation is down, or millions if permanent damage occurs. Alarm-related problems cost U.S. industry more than $20 billion a year, driving many plants to reduce alarms and meet the International Society of Automation (ISA) standard of 1 alarm every 10 minutes.

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Topics: Power, Liquid & Slurry, Steam & Water

Cool it Down with Sample Coolers

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 3/25/19 8:00 AM

Plants and facilities of all kinds use sample coolers to cool a sample from a process stream. Cooling samples as part of your steam and water sampling system is essential to maintaining safety and the representativeness of the sample.

For example, if a sample in a power plant is too hot to handle, the operator might throttle the flow to unacceptably low levels, which means the sample is no longer representative or acceptable.

Another example comes from Hydrocarbon processing or Process Analytics. Cooling the process to handle the sample is necessary.   If you take a grab sample of a certain hydrocarbon whether it be of a liquid or a gas, the safest way is to handle the sample at below 140F.  This protects the operator when handling hot samples that need to be physically taken to the lab safely for analysis.   

In order to achieve accurate data, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), ASTM and ASME recommend cooling water samples to 77°F (25°C) to ensure consistent, accurate test results. 

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Topics: Power, Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream, Liquid & Slurry, Steam & Water

What To Know About Cycle Chemistry Sampling Equipment

Posted by John Powalisz on 6/28/17 2:00 PM

The power industry has changed drastically, and the ability to start up quickly and generate reliably and economically are no longer luxuries, but requirements. That puts more pressure than ever on your steam and water sampling system. Here’s what you need to know to minimize the adverse effects of cycling on chemistry results and streamline busy start up times. This information was originally presented by John Powalisz at the 37th Annual Electric Utility Chemistry Workshop, held June 6-8 in Champaign, Illinois.

Steam and water sampling is a key component of a successful chemistry program in cycling power plants. It helps protect both equipment and plant personnel, while ensuring maximum output, helping identify and predict failures, and helping start up the unit faster.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

See How One Utility Reduced Man Hours - But Not Performance

Posted by Jason Thomas on 6/21/17 2:00 PM

How can an automatic flow controller streamline busy startup times? See how one utility eliminated redundant tasks and reduced man hours with our newest flow controller. This project was originally presented by Jason Thomas at the 37th Annual Electric Utility Chemistry Workshop, held June 6-8 in Champaign, Illinois.

A power plant in Florida frequently cycles, requiring plant personnel to manually adjust valves during already busy startup times. Plant operators wanted to eliminate these redundant tasks to reduce the burden on staff and more easily maintain EPRI-recommended sample velocity.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

Steam Sampling 101: Basics and What Really Matters

Posted by Jeff McKinney on 6/7/17 2:00 PM

What does it take to design a practical and reliable steam sampling system? Find out what you need to know to practically implement steam sampling guidelines in your process environment. 

Steam sampling is sometimes viewed as a necessary evil in a process plant. However, the absence of steam due to a boiler shutdown makes for a bad day at a refinery, petrochemical or specialty chemical plant. But one size doesn’t fit all, and a number of variables must be considered to design and implement a practical, reliable steam sampling system.

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Topics: Power, Hydrocarbon Processing, Steam & Water

Do You Trust Your Process Analytics?

Posted by AJ Percival on 4/26/17 3:40 PM

Since a steam and water analysis system (SWAS) is critical to any power plant, any variation from optimal operation and consistent steam and water sampling can lead to problems that cause added time and expense.

The burning question is: Do you trust your process analytics?

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

How to Understand the Cation Resin Lifespan

Posted by John Powalisz on 4/19/17 4:16 PM

Cation resin can last a few days or several months, and it can be difficult to predict the lifespan even in ideal conditions. So how do you know if your resin is still functional at any given time? What does it take to prolong the life of resin – and how do you know when it’s time to refill or regenerate it? It all starts with understanding the cation resin lifespan and the many factors that affect it. Read on so you’ll never get caught with depleted resin again.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water